Manual Arts H.S. Wins LAUSD Cooking Up Change

School will represent district at the National Competition in Washington, DC

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: February 3, 2014

Manual Arts H.S. Wins LAUSD Cooking Up Change

The heat in the kitchen did not stop Jenifer Mendez and Kimberly K. Sanchez from Manual Arts High School from winning Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) Cooking up Change competition at Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC).

The team will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to represent LAUSD at the Cooking up Change national competition on June 9, 2014 at the U.S. Department of Education. The winning meal will also be served at LAUSD schools during the 2014-2015 school year.

"We can't wait to serve the winning meal to all our students so they can taste what their peers have made specially for them," said LAUSD Senior Deputy Superintendent Michelle King." "We are so proud of all the students who participated in Cooking up Change because they wanted to be involved in the conversation about creating delicious, healthy school meals."

Cooking up Change is a national healthy cooking competition launched by Healthy Schools Campaign. It challenges teams of high school culinary students to create menu items that are not only healthy, but also meet nutrition guidelines and the budgetary constraints (about $1 per meal) that school food services programs across the country face today. The students from the following nine LAUSD culinary programs represented their respective campuses with the following dishes:

Banning High School: Justine Ambriz, Priscilla Diaz, Bryan Orozco
Savory Broccoli & Cheese Strata, Chopped Spring Green Salad, Peachy Banana Yogurt Cup

Carson High School: Cecilia Chong, Cristina Torres
Asian Chicken Stir Fry, Sweet Tangy Tangerine Salad, Kiwi Banana Paradise Parfait

Dorsey High School: Phillip An-Perez, Javon Jackson, Andres Sanchez
Teriyaki Melt, Broccoli Slaw, Tropical Delight

Doyle Career & Transition Center: Cecilia Carrillo, Leticia Sanchez, Esteban Tostado, Jr.
Jam-exican Jerk Chicken Tacos
Mild Spice Fruit Pico de Gallo Salsa
Dirty Rice & Black Beans on Bed of Seasoned Collard Greens

Francis Polytechnic High School: Kevin Escobar, Jose Garcia
KJ's Beef Fajita Tacos, Pico de Gallo, Sweet & Sour Tart

L.A. Center for Enriched Studies: Daniel Allen, Bryan Back, Felix Blanco
Tlayuda, Black Bean Soup, Pineapple Salsa

Manual Arts High School: Jenifer Mendez, Kimberly K. Sanchez
BBQ Chicken Pizza, Spicy Bean Dip, Tropical "C" Burst

Santee Education Complex: Norberto Cazares, Jr., Francisco Granados, Ruben Trejo
Chicken Cacciatore, Al Fresco Italiano Veggies, Luau Parfait

West Adams Preparatory: Chris Beltran-Chicas, Jose Lugo, Janice Villa
Open Philly Steak & Cheese Sandwich on a Flatbread
Mixed Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
Sweet Potato & Pineapple Express

The culinary teams followed a rigorous recipe development process with a limited list of ingredients to create dishes that are low in calories, fat, sugar and sodium. The District's Food Services dietitians carefully checked each recipe to meet nutritional requirements.

"Cooking up Change students now understand the challenges food services face creating delicious and nutritious meals for thousands of school children," said David Binkle, Director of Food Services at LAUSD. "The menu items presented during the competition are unique, and the food services team and I will take them into consideration as we plan out next school year's menu."

At the national competition in Washington, D.C., LAUSD will compete against other school districts from Chicago, Houston, Orange County, Calif., Orlando, Fla., Jacksonville, Fla., Winston-Salem, N.C., Memphis, Tenn., Wichita, Kan. and Little Rock, Ark.

The Los Angeles Cooking up Change competition was sponsored by LAUSD's "I'M IN" campaign, an all-inclusive program designed to raise awareness about the District's healthy meals to help fight off childhood obesity, as well as to encourage student attendance and dropout prevention. For more information on the "I'M IN" campaign, visit

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