In an episode of the television show, Bones, the main characters investigate a fragment of human bone that was found in a school’s cafeteria food. The point of the episode is not to scare kids from eating food from their school’s cafeteria but to shed light on the fact that public school systems should make it a priority to serve healthy, nutritious, meals to their students. The Wake County Junior Chopped Competition’s main goal was to show that public schools can serve meals that are healthy for kids to eat and also can taste good.
Students of the Honor’s Culinary class at Apex High School took a part in the competition to create a new menu of one meal and one dessert that could be served in Wake County School. It was Team Sporks against Team Peak City. The competition was set up like the Food network show, Chopped. The students were given their ingredients, which were unknown prior to competition, and forty-five minutes to make a main course meal and dessert. They were required to use all the given ingredients and they cannot use salt. Along with three judges from Wake County, there were people from local news stations, other Apex High School teachers, Ms. Erica Hoskins (culinary teacher of Apex High School), Dr. Diann Kearney, and many others who came to see the show.
Watching the competition was like watching the Chopped live. The enthusiasm that was displayed by the junior chefs impressed most, if not all, the adults in the kitchen. The teachers, who were watching the students cook, were all talking to each other about how they could never do this. They were amazed at the ability of these students to create a brand new recipe within three quarters of an hour. Eventually, the forty five minutes were up, and it was time for the judgment. The judges were pleased with all the dishes. While they were all spectacular, the triumphant team was Team Sporks with their black bean quesadilla and apple cupcake.
The Junior Chop competition finished with the utmost success. Mrs. Erica Hoskins, the Apex culinary teacher, believes that it went “awesome.” She was not surprised with how well the students completed the challenge and “always had high expectations from them.” It is the “best group [of students] I’ve ever had,” Hoskins says confidently although she admits and laughs at the fact that she says that with every class she has. Nevertheless, she is highly impressed with their level of skills.
The Honors Culinary students proved that being healthy does not mean eating foods that are not appetizing. In the future, not only will there be better nutritious foods in lunch lines but also a generation of amazing culinary artists.