The West Haven Public Schools Food Services Department held a Future
Chefs competition for fourth-graders April 30 and named a Washington
Elementary School student the winner after she won over judges with a
salmon and asparagus dish.
This is the second year in a row the department, which
is run by Sodexo, has held the contest. The Food Services Department
received such impressive submissions that it will be incorporating the
recipes of this year’s six finalists on its school menus in June and
plans to compile a Future Chefs competition cookbook of student
contributions next year.
The contest theme was healthy snacks, while last year’s was sandwiches.
“We were really looking forward to the Future Chefs
competition this spring because of the wonderful submissions we received
last year, and this year’s group definitely raised the bar. We love
seeing the students’ creativity in the dishes they come up with and
hearing the stories behind the recipes,” Food Services Director Meg
In early April, Food Services collected submissions
for snack recipes from fourth-graders in the district’s six elementary
schools and chose one winner from each school. The six students then
made their recipes at the April 30 championship in the West Haven High
School cafeteria with assistance from Food Services Department staff
members. A panel of judges—Superintendent of Schools Neil C. Cavallaro,
Mayor Edward M. O’Brien and Food Services chef Dawn Melillo—sampled the
six snacks and scored them based on various categories.
Washington student Halie Chancio earned the highest
amount of points for her salmon and asparagus dish and explained that
it’s a recipe that has been made by her family members for as long as
she can remember.
“I’m really excited and happy,” she said after being
declared the winner and receiving a basket of cooking supplies and
summer-themed goodies as her grand prize.
The other contestants were Forest Elementary School
student Dominic Konakeski, who made veggie "pops” after taking note of
the popularity of cake pops and deciding to attempt a healthy version;
Edith E. Mackrille Elementary School student Emma Davey, who baked
muffins made out of applesauce; Savin Rock Community School student
Shirleya Lawal, who offered a smoothie recipe she uses at home when
encouraging her sister to eat healthy food; Alma E. Pagels Elementary
School student Kameryn Parlee, who whipped up some cheese crisps with
avocado; and Seth G. Haley Elementary School student Nina Reed, who
created lettuce wraps stuffed with chicken, grapes and a few other
healthy ingredients. Each received a prize of cooking utensils and a
Contact: Communications Director Susan Misur, 203-937-4300 X7114; email@example.com