Teen Chef Battle Makes Healthy Eating Fun at CVHS

May. 19, 2013 / By

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JOHNNY FLORES JR/Coachella Unincorporated

COACHELLA – The chefs carefully placed a souvlaki pita and a southwest chicken sandwich in front of the three judges, next to their scorecards.

But this is no ordinary cooking competition. This is a Teen Chef battle, part of Coachella Valley High School’s afterschool cooking program in which two teams compete for the coveted Emerald Spoon.

“Southwestern cuisine is a blend of southwestern, Native American and Mexican cuisine,” said student Jaziel Morales, wearing a cowboy hat for presentation points. “Vitamins and minerals come from the mangos, lime, and cheese. Fiber comes from the bread and the lycopene is found in the tomatoes, which helps lower your cholesterol.”

The two teams were judged on teamwork, organization, knife skills, presentation, creativity in presentation, visual presentation, food safety, cleanliness and taste. Judges scored each category on a scale from 1 to 5.

At the end of this session, the Southwest chicken sandwich team was deemed the winner. They enthusiastically accepted the Emerald Spoon from Naomi Soto, the HealthCorps coordinator at Coachella Valley High School (CVHS) who oversees this program.

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Coachella Unincorporated is a Youth Media Startup in the East Coachella Valley, funded by the Building Healthy Communities Initiative of The California Endowment and operated by New America Media in San Francisco. The purpose of the project is to report on issues in the community that can bring about change. Coachella Unincorporated refers to the region youth journalists cover but also to the unincorporated communities of the Eastern Valley with the idea to “incorporate” the East Valley into the mainstream Coachella Valley mindset.