On Monday, June 8, nine teams of students chefs from across the country will meet at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., for the Cooking up Change National Finals. After winning local contests in their hometowns, the teams will now prepare their award-winning meals for a national panel of judges, including policymakers, healthy school food advocates and professional chefs. Debra Eschmeyer, executive director of Let’s Move! and senior White House nutrition policy advisor, will join us to help crown the national champion!
The students will also attend a Capitol Hill briefing on Tuesday, June 9, where their meals will be served to members of Congress and where they’ll urge their national leaders to support their learning and growth by maintaining a high bar for school food. On June 10, the students and their meals will be featured at a Senate tasting event.
We are thrilled that Karen Duncan is once again the Cooking up Change National Honorary Chair.
“I am happy to be working with these students to help make their vision for school food a reality in their schools and in schools across the nation.”
As a national leader, former educator, mother of two, and wife of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Karen is a powerful advocate and supporter of healthy school food for all students.
Owner and Chef
Del Campo and Taco Bamba
Martin J. Blank
Institute for Educational Leadership
Coalition for Community Schools
Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women
U.S. EPA Office of Children’s Health Protection,
Program Implementation and Coordination Division
Healthy and Ready to Learn Initiative, Children’s Health Fund
Regional Executive Chef
The Source by Wolfgang Puck
Corporate Relations, Corporate Citizenship Center,
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Programs
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
U.S. Department of Education
Sr. Associate for Children’s Health, Safety and Well-Being
American Federation of Teachers
Baltimore City Public Schools
Great Kids Farm
Deputy Under Secretary of Food Nutrition, and Consumer Services
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Congratulations to the Cooking up Change national finalists from Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Memphis, Orange County, Orlando, Washington, D.C., and Wichita. Best wishes in the national competition!
Cooking up Change is a dynamic culinary competition that puts student voices front-and-center in the national dialogue about school food. With limited ingredients, tight deadlines and real-life constraints, teams of high school culinary students take on a big challenge: Create a delicious, nutritious school lunch that their peers will enjoy.
Healthy Schools Campaign launched Cooking up Change in Chicago in 2007 to engage students and the broader community in a dialogue about critical changes needed in our nation’s school meal program.
Since that time, stronger school food nutrition standards have been implemented, and Cooking up Change students continue to lead the way by designing school meals that are healthy, delicious, fun—and, most importantly, meet all the necessary criteria to be served in school cafeterias across the country.