Manual Arts H.S. Wins LAUSD Cooking Up Change® Competition

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 3, 2014) - The heat in the kitchen did not stop Jenifer Mendez and Kimberly K. Sanchez from Manual Arts High School from winning Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Cooking up Change® competition at Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC).  The team will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to represent LAUSD at the Cooking up Change® national competition on June 9, 2014 at the U.S. Department of Education.  The winning meal will also be served at LAUSD schools during the 2014-2015 school year.  

“We can’t wait to serve the winning meal to all our students so they can taste what their peers have made specially for them,” said LAUSD Senior Deputy Superintendent Michelle King.”  “We are so proud of all the students who participated in Cooking up Change because they wanted to be involved in the conversation about creating delicious, healthy school meals.”

Cooking up Change® is a national healthy cooking competition launched by Healthy Schools Campaign.  It challenges teams of high school culinary students to create menu items that are not only healthy, but also meet nutrition guidelines and the budgetary constraints (about $1 per meal) that school food services programs across the country face today.   The students from the following nine LAUSD culinary programs represented their respective campuses with the following dishes:

Banning High School                   Justine Ambriz, Priscilla Diaz, Bryan Orozco
                                                     Savory Broccoli & Cheese Strata, Chopped Spring Green Salad, 
                                                     Peachy Banana Yogurt Cup.

Carson High School                      Cecilia Chong, Cristina Torres
                                                      Asian Chicken Stir Fry, Sweet Tangy Tangerine Salad, Kiwi
                                                      Banana Paradise Parfait.

Dorsey High School                      Phillip An-Perez, Javon Jackson, Andres Sanchez
                                                      Teriyaki Melt, Broccoli Slaw, Tropical Delight.

Doyle Career & Transition Center      Cecilia Carrillo, Leticia Sanchez, Esteban Tostado, Jr.
                                                          Jam-exican Jerk Chicken Tacos, Mild Spice Fruit Pico
                                                          de Gallo Salsa, Dirty Rice & Black Beans on bed of
                                                          Seasoned Collard Greens.

Francis Polytechnic High School       Kevin Escobar, Jose Garcia
                                                          KJ’s Beef Fajita Tacos, Pico de Gallo, Sweet & Sour Tart.

L.A. Center for Enriched Studies       Daniel Allen, Bryan Back, Felix Blanco
                                                          Tlayuda, Black Bean Soup, Pineapple Salsa.

Manual Arts High School                    Jenifer Mendez, Kimberly K. Sanchez
                                                           BBQ Chicken Flatbread, Spicy Bean Dip, Tropical “C”

Santee Education Complex                 Norberto Cazares, Jr., Francisco Granados, Ruben Trejo
                                                            Chicken Cacciatore, Al Fresco Italiano Veggies,  Luau

West Adams Preparatory                    Chris Beltran-Chicas, Jose Lugo, Janice Villa
                                                            Open Philly Steak & Cheese Sandwich on a Flatbread,
                                                            Mixed Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing, Sweet Potato
                                                            & Pineapple Express.

The culinary teams followed a rigorous recipe development process with a limited list of ingredients to create dishes that are low in calories, fat, sugar and sodium.  The District’s Food Services dietitians carefully checked each recipe to meet nutritional requirements.  

“Cooking up Change students now understand the challenges food services face creating delicious and nutritious meals for thousands of school children,” said David Binkle, Director of Food Services at LAUSD.  “The menu items presented during the competition are unique, and the food services team and I will take them into consideration as we plan out next school year’s menu.”  

At the national competition in Washington, D.C., LAUSD will compete against other school districts from Chicago, Houston, Orange County, Calif., Orlando, Fla., Jacksonville, Fla., Winston-Salem, N.C., Memphis, Tenn., Wichita, Kan. and Little Rock, Ark.

The Los Angeles Cooking up Change® competition was sponsored by LAUSD’s “I’M IN” campaign, an all-inclusive program designed to raise awareness about the District’s healthy meals to help fight off childhood obesity, as well as to encourage student attendance and dropout prevention.  For more information on the “I’M IN” campaign, visit

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Contact: Thomas Waldman (213) 241-6766 or
              Tatum Wan (818) 590-1530