Teen Kitchen Project’s Jr. Iron Chef celebrates local teens

(From left) Andrea Valenzuela, Karely Vasquez, Isaak Tapia and Izayuh Sanchez competed in the Teen Kitchen Project’s Jr. Iron Chef SCC culinary competition at Kaiser Permanente Arena on May 18. — Contributed

WATSONVILLE —  Teams of local teen chefs competed at the Jr. Iron Chef SCC culinary competition on May 18 at Kaiser Permanente Arena.

The seven teams of amateur chefs used original recipes to create healthy dishes they hope will inspire their school meal programs to use locally farmed, healthy ingredients.

The event was sponsored by Whole Foods Market.

Teams cooked before a lively crowd of onlookers and judges, including famous local chefs.  The top three teams were: Mission Hill Middle School Mavericks, What the Fork? from Aptos High School and Up In Your Grill which included teens from Watsonville High, Ceiba and Aptos High School.

Each winning chef was given a specially-engraved knife from Teen Kitchen Project. 

“The goal of the competition is to promote recipes that use local and seasonal produce that can be replicated in a school cafeteria kitchen,” said Angela Farley, Executive Director. “Making fancy dishes is fun, but our goal for this round of competitions is to enable students to repeat their dishes at home and with friends.”

The community has another opportunity to experience the culinary skills of teen chefs from the Teen Kitchen Project at their annual Everett Farm Family Dinner fundraiser on Sept. 7. Early bird tickets can be purchased starting July 7 at teenkitchenproject.org.

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