WILMINGTON — Students from Denver Place, East End and Holmes elementary schools recently participated in Wilmington City Schools’ 3rd Annual Future Chefs Culinary Cook-off.
Future Chefs, a growing program within the district’s foodservice management company, Sodexo, is a program committed to educating children in healthy eating habits and encouraging them to be active and creative in the kitchen.
To qualify for this competition, 63 students in third through fifth grades submitted recipes for their favorite healthy breakfast. From those 63 recipes, a committee selected nine finalists who would show off their culinary expertise and compete for the title of Wilmington City Schools 2016 Future Chef.
Preparing their favorite healthy breakfasts and representing Denver Place Elementary School were fourth-graders Addi Beckett, who prepared “Oh No! Dad I Overslept!”; Oliver McDermott, who prepared “Breakfast Scramble with Fruit”; Izabella Myburgh, who prepared “Pineapple, Ham and Cheese Muffins”; William Wheeling, who prepared “Stuffed French Toast”; and Zoey Zurface, who prepared “Peanut Butter and Fruit Tortilla.
Representing East End Elementary School were third-grader Sydney Bennett, who prepared “Breakfast Casserole Muffins”; and fifth-graders Diamond Carpenter, who prepared “Sunrise Bagel Bites”; and Tori Piatt, who prepared “Baked Strawberry and Pineapple Oatmeal Bars.”
And representing Holmes Elementary School was third-grader Elisabeth Gordley, who prepared “Bagel Gone Bananas.”
Judging the contestants and their healthy breakfasts — in the categories of originality, kid friendly, ease of preparation, healthy attributes, plate and table presentation, and taste — were WCS School Board member and owner of Beaugard’s Southern BBQ, Marty Beaugard Sr.; Director of Public Service and Public Safety for the City of Wilmington, Brian Shidaker; and Wilmington Chief of Police Duane Weyand.
At the completion of the judging, and while scores were being tallied, members of the Wilmington Schools Cafeteria staff carried in tray after tray of healthy breakfasts samples prepared from the contestants’ recipes to be shared with family and friends who had turned out to support the Future Chefs.
During the awards presentation ceremony, Director of Foodservice Jodie Havert and Superintendent Ron Sexton presented each finalist with a medal, framed certificate, and gift bag, and as the announcement was made: “The Grand Prize Winner of Wilmington’s Third Annual Future Chef Culinary Cook-Off is William Wheeling.”
In addition to the title of Wilmington’s Future Chef, Wheeling received the grand prize basket filled with various cooking accessories and a FitBit health monitor. His recipe will also be entered into the next level of competition within Sodexo and various school districts in Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.