Tell Us A Story About a Meal

Recipe for Success
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Thumbnail image for 0109_RFSFashionInTheFields_111118_MCW.jpgFor the 14th year, we are encouraging fourth graders throughout Houston to put pen to paper for our story writing contest around favorite holiday foods. This annual contest encourages students to write thoughtfully and descriptively about their favorite holiday foods and traditions. It also focuses students on the importance of family meals while providing teachers with a powerful tool to support their core objectives in language arts. Additionally, it helps students explore the many facets of food and recipes, including step-by-step procedures and measurements, as well as their diverse cultural histories and family traditions.

Submissions are due by October 25, 2019. Teachers at participating schools will select one winning essay from their student submissions for entry in the citywide contest. One essay per school will be accepted by the Foundation. Advance registration is required through Jennifer Fridley at, and the contest is open to all Houston elementary schools. Schools implementing the Foundation's Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ are already pre-registered for the contest.

"Recipe for Success created our annual writing contest to encourage students to focus on the importance of building family food traditions and offering a fun, festive opportunity to practice writing skills that support state test standards," said Gracie Cavnar, founder and CEO of Recipe for Success Foundation Founder. "This is one of the cornerstone tools Recipe for Success uses to weave our healthy food messaging into the curriculum of our participating Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education schools."

The grand-prize winner will be recognized during Recipe for Success Foundation's Fashion in the Fields at Hope Farms on Sunday, November 10 and roll up their sleeves in January 2020 as Chef for a Day to prepare a celebratory meal at Bistro Menil, alongside Greg Martin one of Houston's celebrity chefs. The student chef and celebrity chef then share that meal with the student's family, friends and school representatives. The winning essay will be showcased online at

The 2018 winner was Nadia Rosado (pictured above) from MacGregor Elementary School in HISD, who wrote a beautiful story about her abuelita's (grandmother) "famous" empanadas. Excerpts from Rosado's contest entry explained how "Empanada's are one of the few foods that unites all of Latin American. I bet that my Abuelita's empanadas are some of the best in the world. They are simply delish!" For the winning story, Nadia got to spend a day being a chef alongside Greg Martin, chef/proprietor of Bistro Menil. The two spent the day in the kitchen, prepping a meal for the Rosado family.

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