On November 3, 2014 twenty-four fifth grade students teamed up for the second annual Iron Chef Jr. competition hosted by the Milton Public School Food Services. Each team put their heads together to prepare a meal using a “secret basket” of ingredients. This year, the mystery ingredients were frozen spinach, frozen carrot coins, boneless chicken thigh meat and black beans. Teams also had a choice of whole grains, including rice, tortillas, dough balls, ravioli, and pasta. To assist the students in the kitchen, five local chefs were recruited for the event: Tony Derienzo from Abby Park, Esteban Gallego from Ester Restaurant, Lauren Barone from Seasoned Palette Catering, Tim Doherty from the Blue Hills Grille and Maureen Buckley from Whole Foods in Dedham. After reviewing the rules and revealing the mystery ingredients, teams quickly began preparing their unique dishes.
Each teams’ dish was scored by a panel of “celebrity judges,” including Katie Millett, Executive Director of Nutrition, Health and Safety at the MA Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education, Mary Gormley, Superintendent of Milton Schools, John Grant, Fire Chief of Milton, Holly Concannon, Principal of Collicot School in Milton, Jonathan Redden, Principal of Cunningham School in Milton, and a fellow grade five student.
After the judges’ scoring, there was a tie for first place. The tie was between the Blue Hill’s Grille team with a chicken, bean, carrot burrito, a spinach tart, and a salad and the Whole Food’s team with a spinach and chicken pasta dish and a carrot, tomato and bean salad.
This competition aims to expose Milton students to a variety of new, nutritious foods through a unique culinary experience. Students also learn about the new regulations introduced through the National School Lunch Program. This competition encourages participants to foster their creativity and build skills to prepare healthy dishes at home. Everyone is a winner in the end!
For more information about the amazing work done by Milton Public School Food Services, check out this 2014 slide show. To get your child involved in next year’s Iron Chef Jr. event, contact Jackie Morgan, Director of Food Services at Milton Public Schools @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Blog written by: Eliana Lakritz, B.S., FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student