An Escondido Elementary student recently earned the title of Palo Alto Unified School District's (PAUSD) top chef. Michaela Jones, a 5th grader at Escondido, was presented with the Grand Prize after the judges voted for her tasty and nutritious recipe for the "Shrimp Salad" dish. Michaela was one of 12 students competing this year in the 2017 Sodexo Future Chefs Challenge, a national event that encourages children to learn good nutrition. Michaela's recipe for "Shrimp Salad" will now move on to the regional level of this competition for judging by a team of Sodexo Executive Chefs.
"Escondido is proud of Michaela's creativity and food-sense in winning this award. Her peers were very excited for her when we announced her win today," said Mr. Chuck Merritt, Michaela's principal at Escondido Elementary School.
As the Grand Prize Winner, Michaela received a Future Chef Backpack filled with a FitBit, Cooking Utensils, Cook Books, and much more. Other student participants were recognized with the following awards:
- 2nd Place: Sabine Mazzeo of Nixon Elementary for Turkey Black Bean Quesadillas
- 3rd Place: Marcello Attardi of Escondido Elementary for Pumpkin Risotto
- Best Comfort Food Award: Abigail Neumann of Duveneck Elementary for Turkey Puff Pot Pie
- Best Use of Bonus Ingredients Award: Aizack Leatigaga of Nixon Elementary for Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Kid Friendly Awards: Abi Friedland of Addison Elementary for Ground Beef Quesadillas and Elizabeth Williams of Duveneck Elementary for Vegeroni and Cheese
- Creativity Award: Anika Kumar of Hoover Elementary for Brown Rice Road Trip
- Best Plate Presentation: Luke Lew of Ohlone Elementary for Tomato Soup with Brown Rice
- Healthy Attributes Awards: Venu Sinha of Hoover Elementary for Breakfast Pita and Celine Safa of Nixon Elementary for Eggs with Veggies and Smoothie
- Best Taste Award: Genevieve Forte of Escondido Elementary for Pesto Alla Genevieve
The competition is organized by Sodexo, the school district's consultant for student nutrition services.