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Marysville students compete in Future Chefs competition


March 28, 2018 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Liberty Elementary student Cale Bennett, right, and Shanette Bigelow, who works with food services for the Marysville School District, put together some food at the national Future Chefs competition on March 22.

Students from Marysville's elementary schools gathered at Marysville-Pilchuck High School on March 22 to compete in the national Future Chefs competition.

The competition is put on by food services business Sodexo, which the district contracts with.

This is the first year that the competition has come to Marysville.

"We had kids from all the elementary schools submit recipes," said Latoya Morris, director of food services with the district.

Of those recipes, 10 were chosen to come to the competition and actually make the food, with the help of district food services staff.

Students enjoyed making the food and participating.

"I love cooking and I thought it would be fun," said Sunnyside Elementary student Dylan Qureshi.

"I liked how you actually had to cook it and prepare it and make it look nice," he said.

The competition happened at the M-PHS commons, where students could use the full kitchen to complete their food.

"I like all the cool utensils and how I cooked my food a little bit different," said Cale Bennett, a Liberty Elementary student.

Winners of the local competition will have their recipe move on to the next contest.

"The number one winner will compete with all the others to be in the national Future Chefs competition," said Morris.

The winner's recipe is also used on local school menus. "Whoever wins, their recipe goes on our main menu for Marysville schools," she said.

Students were judged by a panel of local community members on their food's originality, healthiness, ease of preparation, kid appeal, plate presentation and taste.

They also had to create their food to a specific theme, which was Asian food this year.

"They had some really creative ideas that came to the forefront and they're only third, fourth and fifth graders so this was awesome," said Morris.

It was hard to narrow it down to 10 candidates, she said.

"Obviously you want all of them to win. But when you're thinking about the creativity and the thought process from a third or fourth grader you see the attention to detail they put into it," she said.

Morris helped bring the competition to Marysville this year.

"This is something Sodexo have been doing for about 15 years," she said. "The school district had inquired about it, but prior to me nobody actually did it."

Christopher Andersson

Sunnyside Elementary student Dylan Qureshi chops up some food during the Future Chefs competition on March 22.

Morris, who has organized the competition elsewhere in the country, was able to bring it to Marysville this March.

She said it helps students think about food jobs as potential careers.

"What I realize is most of them end up liking food services. They never thought about it as a career before, but now they're thinking about being a chef or a food service director," she said.

The students also enjoy "just being engaged and thinking about healthy eating options," she said.

Parents often enjoy watching their kids compete in something new and different as well, said Morris.

Morris said the event came together well, especially considering that they had never held it in Marysville before.

"I just want to thank everybody - transportation, principals, our administrators and everyone who supported us," she said.


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