Kindergarten through fifth grade students will compete at 9:30 a.m. and 6-12 students star at noon in the Home Ec room behind the school cafeteria. This year it had to be a Mexican recipe, include at least three items grown or raised locally, look inviting, taste good, have nutritional value and be prepared with reasonable effort for potentially up to 250 people in the school cafeteria.
Cooking in the morning will be: Jefferson Freeman and Sam Sutton, first grade, preparing Mexican egg cups; Kashi Campbell, first grade, making chilaquiles; TJ Liblik and Nisha Woolworth, second grade, preparing picadillo; Ricky Hughes and Ingrid Hanson, third grade, preparing quinoa taco salad; Evan King, third grade, making Mexican meatballs; and Zora Leck, fourth grade and Arla Sutton, fifth grade, preparing “A to Z Carnitas.”
Those competing in the afternoon are: Tori Sturk, seventh grade, making chicken enchiladas; Lexi Pence, seventh grade, preparing roast beef burritos; Jacqueline Figueroa, eighth grade, creating chili rellenos; Denis Riordan, 11th grade, cooking up deluxe chile and lime steak tacos with black bean tomatillo salsa dip; and Caitlyn Holley, 11th grade, preparing homemade empanadas and refried beans.
Awards will be presented around 11 a.m. for the morning contestants and around 2 p.m. for the afternoon contestants. Judges are Raul Rios, Lance Evans, Martha Farish, Tony Ghazel, Butch Reifert and Charles Dalton. Chef Zach Holley will again be the student chef coach and master of ceremonies will be Kyle Freeman. Admission is free.
“Everyone is welcome to come watch all during the day, cheer your favorite budding chef to victory and have the opportunity to taste each wonderful recipe after it has been presented and judged,” says Farm to Cafeteria Director Madie Murray.
Following the competition, a taco feast will be held that evening from 4 to 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria. Tickets are just $10 and may be purchased from the elementary or high school office and the chamber of commerce.
Freeman and Holley will be serving to the community what they have created from scratch: a bountiful feast of tortillas, beef and pork fillings, beans, rice and all the fixings, including fresh salsa. Diners can also enjoy a table filled with an array of home-made desserts. During the meal, there will be a slide show of previous competitions, and guests will have the opportunity to meet this year’s budding chefs as they are recognized for their achievements that day. Funds raised by this event will be used to purchase produce and meats from island farms for the public school lunch program.