Little Chefs, Big Culinary Skills: Iron Chef Competition

Adrienne Ryherd
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BriscoIronChef2.jpgAs the fourth graders filed into the Recipe for Success (RFS) Classroom, the excitement was tangible. Today was the day for the Iron Chef Competition, a contest specifically organized as a fun and interactive wrap up for the Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education (S2P) class. And these little chefs were armed and ready for this culinary battle.

Battle Fruit Salad with Berry Yogurt Topping

As soon as distinguished Chef Barbara McKnight of Catering by Culinaire - volunteer through RFS Chefs in Schools Program - and Briscoe S2P Team Leader Anne Weinheimer gave the students a few tips and reminders, the students energetically went to work. Each workstation, outfitted with recipes, ingredients, bowls and knives, had four to five students, all who were bubbling over with eagerness to play their part in the preparation. A rainbow of colors, the smell of oranges, apples, grapes, pineapple, strawberries, mango and basil (yes, basil) wafted through the air as the busy little hands chopped, peeled and mixed with confidence and ease.

In charge of every step of the process, the students utilized all of their S2P knowledge as they easily transitioned into chef mode, discussing recipes and smelling their ingredients before using them. With a sense of control and responsibility, these little chefs were intent on creating the perfect bowl of fruit salad. And let's not forget the berry yogurt topping! The students whipped up a healthy and delicious topping that they could hardly wait to mix in to reveal their finished products.

BriscoIronChef3.jpgAs the students enthusiastically and animatedly took (somewhat) surreptitious bites of their ingredients, it was clear that the RFS motto "making healthy food fun" was truly at work in this classroom, connecting students to healthy, vibrant and whole fruits and vegetables and giving them the self-assurance to venture out and try new foods.

The judges - Chef Barbara McKnight, Juan Rosa (from Fiesta) and Molly Kaminski (RFS staff) surveyed the creative chaos, taking note of stellar teamwork and cleanliness.

Once the students presented their finished products to the judges, they sat down and eagerly awaited the results. The four categories included: presentation, teamwork, cleanliness and overall dish.

After the judges announced the winners of each category, to much applause and cheers, the students then dug into their own bowls of fruit salad, congratulating each other on the flavors and colors of their dishes, all the while unknowingly reinforcing long term healthy eating habits.

How do you get your fill of fruit each day?

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