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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