Students cook off to create tasty, healthy sandwiches

Future Chefs Competition held at Helen Morgan School

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  • Photos by Karen Daley McCall Manning won first place for her "Chicken Crisp Sandwich."

  • Isabella Verdesco, Noor Elhamouly, Elizabeth DeGasperis, Ethan Acquadro, Suvaani Ranasinghe, McCall Manning, Taylor Kelly and Mike Fowle competed in the "Future Chef Competition."

Contestants and their creations:

Isabella Verdesco: 4th grade, “Bella’s Banana Bash”
Noor Elhamouly: 4th grade, “The Noorwich”
Elizabeth DeGasperis: 4th grade, “Salami Garden Sandwich”
Ethan Acquadro: 5th grade, “Nate the Grate”
Suvaani Ranasinghe: 5th grade, “The Tropical Sunwich”
McCall Manning: 5th grade, “Chicken Crisp Sandwich”
Taylor Kelly: 5th grade, “Taylor’s Tasty Turkey Sushi Rolls”
Mike Fowler: 4th grade, “Mike’s Geometry Bites”

Armed with cooking utensils and sporting aprons and hats, more than 30 students battled it out to create the tastiest, healthiest sandwich.

The students got cooking on Tuesday, March 18 at Helen Morgan School's First “Future Chef Competition," where the finalists were narrowed down to eight.

“My mom is an amazing cook and I want to be like that,"
— McCall Manning, winner of the Future Chef Competition

Parents and guests were invited to walk around the tables and watch “tomorrow’s chefs” in action.

The chosen fourth and fifth grade contestants set up their sandwiches with the help of Sodexo employees who volunteered their time. The sandwiches needed to have healthy ingredients and were judged on: originality, health attributes, easy preparation, kid friendly, taste and plate presentation.

Judges included: Kelly McEvoy from the Board of Education, Kim Walsh from Sparta High School’s cafeteria and Craig Merrill, Social Studies teacher from Sparta High School and winner of the “Culinary Throwdown.” The chefs were asked what their sandwich was, what it contained and why they chose to make it.

All contestants were awarded a metal, certificate and gift bag but fifth grader McCall Manning, who created the “Chicken Crisp Sandwich," was dubbed the winner. Judge Walsh said it reminded her of Thanksgiving dinner with the apples.

“My mom is an amazing cook and I want to be like that,” McCall said.

McCall won a gift basket from Sodexo containing cooking supplies and also will have her sandwich appear on the lunch menu at Helen Morgan School next month.

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Pool Rules