By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal
Three La Habra culinary students went to Washington DC and left victorious.
Isabella Moreno, Yasmin Marquez and Carlos Marquez headed to the nation’s capital with La Habra High School Culinary Instructor Mario Schwarz-Cole on June 12 to take part in the national finals of Cooking Up Change Challenge.
The three recent La Habra High School graduates took the national award with their Chicken Kashmir dish and sides of Pepino Curry and Tropical Kheer.
The students won the regional competition on May 30 with the same Indian-Mexican dish.
According to the Healthy Schools Campaign, the contest challenges high school culinary students to create healthy, great-tasting meals that meet the real-life requirements of the national school meal program.
The team went to Washington where they competed against 19 other students from around the country, who were part of the six other regional winning teams.
The meals were judged on their originality, taste, texture and appearance. Teams scored additional points for the quality of their presentation to the judging panel.
Audrey Rowe, a former administrator for the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, served as one of the judges enjoyed the La Habra students.
“I was impressed that they took a bold approach to create a school entree students would enjoy,” she said in a statement. “They presented well and deserved to be winners.”
Yasmin and Carlos Marquez are planning on attending Orange Coast College in the fall to study culinary arts. Moreno, set to attend Mt. San Antonio College, is still undecided on her major, but said she plans on continuing to cook.