Westside HS students compete at national Cooking Up Change competition

They didn’t win any official prizes at the recent Cooking Up Change competition, but for the three Westside High School students who participated in the event, the experience of making it to the national finals in Washington, D.C. was its own reward.

“It’s a huge achievement, not only for our school, but for our state,” said student Barrosha Boykin, who participated in the finals on June 9 with fellow rising seniors Santiago Castañeda and Andrew Winkle.

The trio brought a taste of the Lone Star State to the competition with a school lunch menu that honored two Texas traditions: chili and barbecue. The students’ main course was a sub sandwich filled with spicy chicken chili. They paired it with grilled carrots and zucchini coated in a honey/orange glaze and finished off the meal with a fruit cocktail parfait sweetened by honey.

“This competition taught all of us that we can have inexpensive but healthy student-created school meals that look and taste great,” said Chef Reginald Martin, who teaches culinary arts at Westside.

For more information about the competition, which challenges students to create lunch menus that meet strict federal nutrition requirements on a tight budget, visit the links above. You can also find a list of all competitors’ menus here. The top prizes this year were claimed by Orange County, Los Angeles, and Chicago school districts, in that order.