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Bon Apettit! Student Chefs to Compete During Culinary Challenge

For this edition, 20 teams will face-off from seven school districts, including Alexandria City Public Schools.

Last year’s Culinary Challenge winners, Takoma Park Middle School for their entry ‘Winter Bowl.’ Here collecting the award from Real Food for Kids Culinary Challenge judges. (Courtesy photo)

Alexandria, VA – Real Food for Kids will host its 8th Annual Culinary Challenge. The event takes place on Saturday, March 21 at Hayfield Secondary School. For this edition, 20 teams will face-off from seven school districts, including Alexandria City Public Schools. The winning team will have a lunch item featured on school menus!

“The Culinary Challenge is the only event in the D.C. region that gives students a platform to influence and change what is served in their school cafeterias,” explained Jenn Yates, executive director of Real Food for Kids. “We strive to fight childhood obesity and hunger by increasing access to healthy food in schools. The Culinary Challenge helps us shine a light on this need, with students showing us how it can be done.”

Students’ recipes are vetted for compliance with USDA standards ahead of the competition. They are then judged on taste, presentation, and potential for student appeal by a panel of judges. The panel consists of school nutrition directors, a food marketing professional, and celebrated local chefs.

The event is free and open to the public but space is limited so attendees need to register HERE. This year, a special donation of $35 or more will include a free copy of the 2020 Culinary Challenge Recipe Book with the recipes from all of the teams.

Doors open at 10:45 a.m. to the general public. And yes, there will be food available for sampling! At 12:15 p.m. an awards ceremony will be held featuring guest speakers. Hayfield Secondary School is located at 7630 Telegraph Road.


Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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