Stadley student qualifies for cooking challenge

Stadley Rough student qualifies for national cooking challenge regional semi-finals
Posted on 04/02/2019

Stadley Rough School fifth grader Lukas Espinoza will head to the regional semi-finals of the 2019 “Sodexo Future Chefs Challenge” after beating out 45 competitors at his school last month.

“Crispy Guac” was the recipe that will take Lukas to the next level held April 23-26. More than 2,700 other students at the 1,400 Sodexo-served schools nationwide participated in the challenge to prepare Mexican-inspired recipes. It is the ninth year of the national initiative which was created to encourage students to be healthier and more involved in food preparation.

Lukas was one of school’s three finalists, whose recipes were judged on originality, taste, kid friendliness and use of healthy ingredients. Josmerie Ramirez and Artianna Contreras were also chosen as finalists after preparing quesadilla and tacos.

“This yearly event is one of our favorites that we present at Danbury Public Schools. The finalists and audience are really engaged,” said Barry Mollengarden, general manager of DPS lunch program.  

Forty regional winners will be chosen at the end of April, from which five national finalists will then be chosen. The public will then vote to select the winner of the 2019 competition.

Sodexo, a food services company who partners with over 435 school districts in the U.S., initiated the “Sodexo Future Chefs Challenge” to bring awareness to children and teen obesity and to create a fun and interactive way for students to be active in the kitchen. In addition to offering healthier options for school lunches, Sodexo offers this event to encourage students to be mindful of their food choices.