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 for about $1 per meal.
Healthy Schools Campaign launched Cooking up Change in Chicago in 2007 to engage student chefs and the broader community in a dialogue about critical changes needed in our nation’s school meal program. In addition to spotlighting remarkable student talent, Cooking up Change brings attention to the challenges of serving fresh, healthy school meals and the need for reform in our school food system.
Ten cities across the country will host Cooking up Change contests this season: Chicago, Houston, Jacksonville, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Memphis, Orange County, Orlando, Wichita and Winston-Salem. In the spring, winners from each city travel to Washington, D.C. for the national finals and raise their voices for healthy school food at a legislative briefing.
Healthy Schools Campaign launched the 2013-14 season of Cooking up Change in Chicago in November. With 14 teams, more than a 100 students and over 700 guests, the competition brought Chicago's brightest young chefs into the national conversation about school food.
Congratulations to Chicago's first-place winners, at Chicago Vocational Career Academy, who will be going on to compete in Washington, D.C. this spring. Their winning meal was curry chicken, Caribbean garden salad and "plantains." Learn about the recipe for curry chicken!
More Chicago winners:
National School Nutrition Partner
Official Culinary Partner
Official Travel Partner
American Federation of Teachers
Asian Food Solutions, Inc.
Sponsor Cooking up Change!
Contact Sara Porter via email or at 312-419-1810.
We are thrilled that Karen Duncan, Christopher G. Kennedy and Amy Rule are serving as National Honorary Co-Chairs of Cooking up Change. These wonderful leaders bring a unique and powerful voice to promoting healthy eating for all students.
“Everybody finds something that empowers them and brings out their talent. I admire that these students have found such passion, creativity and vision for making good food, and I thank them for focusing this talent on school food. I am happy to be working with these students to help make their vision for school food a reality.”
Karen Duncan, Wife of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
“I’m proud to partner with the students of Cooking up Change in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. I admire their dedication to bring that fight directly into their schools and make a difference. More nutritious and affordable meal options are the focus of Top Box Foods, and together, we will reach more people through schools.”
Christopher G. Kennedy, Founder of Top Box Foods
“Healthy students are better prepared to learn. From the kitchen to the classroom, Cooking up Change empowers students to take an active role in their health and wellness. I congratulate them and look forward to seeing the results of their hard work.”
Amy Rule, First Lady of the City of Chicago