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West Warwick students show off culinary skills

March 10, 2014

Winners pose with Sodexo's Donna Walker. Third-place winner Ian Shurtleff, second-place winner Elise Cantin and first place winner Samantha Strain were chosen by the judges. Jessica Boisclair. Daily Times.

WEST WARWICK— Friends and family gathered in the cafeteria at West Warwick High School Saturday to cheer on third and fourth grade students as they showed off their culinary skills at the fourth annual Future Chefs Challenge.

Donna Walker, Manager of Sodexo West Warwick, explained that this Sodexo based competition helps the students understand how to make and eat healthy foods.

The national initiative was created to get students “thinking about making healthy food choices while also encouraging them to get active and creative in the kitchen.”

She explained that students tend to learn better when they are doing hands-on activities, and this competition is the epitome of that.

Each year, third and fourth grade students join 2,000 other students from 30 states, 166 school districts and 1,000 Sodexo served school sites to compete for win the title of future chef.

She said a preliminary competition was held a month ago to decide who would serve their creations on Saturday.

“We sent a letter out to the elementary schools and we had 50 recipes come back,” she said. “Out of the 50 we had non-partial people pick five from each school. They had their challenges, we have a lot of tun and turkey.”

Students were responsible for creating a sandwich that was both healthy and tasty; the theme varies each year, with the first year being after-school snacks and last year being salads.

Walker said the judges had a difficult time choosing the winner because there were “some very creative sandwiches,” like fourth grader from Wakefield Hills Mae D’Ambra’s cell phone shaped sandwich.

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