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Stillwater’s Team Parfait Take the Crown in Jr. Chef Elementary School Cooking Showdown


Photos courtesy of Shelly Young, Robin Budig, and Sydney Hendrickson For a complete photo album from the Jr. Chef competition, please click here!


On May 23, 2023, eight elementary teams worked tirelessly to create tasty and inventive recipes for consideration on next year’s school menu. At the end of the inaugural Riverview School District Jr. Chef competition, Stillwater Elementary’s Team Parfait emerged as winners! Their recipe, Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry with Rice and a Creamy Fruit Salad, wowed the judges and earned the team of fourth grade students a place on next year’s elementary school menu.


“The contest was very close,” said Shelly Young, Riverview’s Supervisor of Food Services.

Eight teams competed in the Jr. Chef competition (a ninth team, The Cacti Kittens, representing Eagle Rock Multi-Age, unfortunately withdrew as the event conflicted with the school’s annual High Tea reading celebration). Recipes prepared offered a vast array of flavors, tastes, smells, and creativeness. There was clearly something for everyone in this year’s Jr. Chef competition.


Each contestant received a personally embroidered apron with their team’s name and a goodie bag consisting of fun items and new products which will be introduced in the 2023-2024 school year.


“The kids worked so hard and took such great pride in their recipes,” shared Jennifer Horton-White. Horton-White was one of 14 judges and volunteers for the competition, not only trying each dish the teams created but also in monitoring the student chefs for proper food safety practices. Students and coaches participated in a food safety class held by Young and her Food Services team a few weeks prior to the big event.


Judges and volunteers comprised Riverview employees, students, parents, administrators, and representatives from Oxbow Farm and Reser’s Fine Foods. Reser’s, represented by National Account Manager Paulina Burbank, donated four Safeway gift cards to be given to the winning team.


An additional raffle was held and London Moore, a third-grade student from Stillwater Elementary and member of the Cookin’ Hawks team was the lucky winner! Moore received more than $300 worth of items from Pampered Chef. Gifts and prizes and “goodie bag” items were gathered through a combination of donations, items provided through Riverview’s affiliation with the Cool School Café program and purchases made through the Farm to Table grant received by the Food Services team last fall.


All team recipes will be included in a 2023 Jr. Chef cookbook, including the Burrito Bowls recipe planned by the Cacti Kittens of Eagle Rock Multi-Age.


“I am so very thankful for the coaches, volunteers and judges – this event could not have taken place without all of their help,” said Young. “I am super proud of everyone who competed and could feel everyone’s excitement throughout this process. For our first year, I think this went great! I am already thinking about how we can make this event better for next year!”


A list of competing teams and recipes are included, along with a list of this year’s judges and volunteers. Thank you to everyone who made the first-ever Riverview School District Jr. Chef event such a flavorful triumph and success!

TEAMS AND RECIPES

Team 1: THE COOKIN’ HAWKS (Stillwater Elementary) Recipe: Barbecue Chicken Sliders with Fruit Salad Team Members: Charlie Boman, Tyler Cook, London Moore, Daryna Rostotskyy, with Jennifer Boman as Coach

Team 2: TEAM PARFAIT (WINNING TEAM – Stillwater Elementary) Recipe: Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry with Rice and a Creamy Fruit Salad Team Members: Brigid Babcock, Kieran DelCarmen, Clare Jackman, with Rachel Talkman as Coach

Team 3: THE FLYING SQUIRRELS (Carnation Elementary) Recipe: Meatless Breakfast – English Muffins, Scrambled Eggs with Cheese Team Members: Michael Batishchev, Will Byrnes, Lincoln Julius, Musa Khan, with Emi Byrnes as Coach

Team 4: SHOOTING STARS (Carnation Elementary) Recipe: Green Pasta with Pesto and Snap Peas, Fruit Salad and Mixed Berry Smoothie Team Members: Brooklyn Graff, Elora Suchyta, with Liz Hellman as Coach


*Team 5: CACTI KITTENS (Eagle Rock Multi-Age) Recipe: Burrito Bowls Team Members: Maggie Carosino, Matthew Verrett, Noah Verrett, Laila Wetherbee, with Laura Verrett as Coach


Team 6: CEG3 (Carnation Elementary) Recipe: Homemade Chili, Homemade Chips and Cheese Team Members: Titus Edmonds, William Reid Neiger, Spencer Skeem, with Stephanie Skeem as Coach


Team 7: THE PENGUIN CHEFS (Carnation Elementary) Recipe: Penguin Pizza with Fruit Salad and Assorted Veggies Team Members: Jayden Baldwin, Tyson Davis, Kellen Hubler, with Lauren Hubler as Coach


Team 8: BEST CHEFS! (Riverview Learning Center/PARADE) Recipe: Meat Loaf with Apple Slices and Steamed Broccoli Team Members: Saige O’Neill, Arrow Seelbach, with Lara O’Neill as Coach


Team 9: THE WORLD CHEFS (Stillwater Elementary/Cherry Valley Elementary) Recipe: Lentils and Lassi Team Members: Jack Cho, Darya Nikalayeva, Ariya Woods, with Sheetal Woods as Coach


* - team withdrew from competition because of scheduling conflict.


COMPETITION JUDGES AND VOLUNTEERS


Rebecca Bonilla-Myers (Oxbow Farm), Terri Bookey (Principal, Carnation Elementary), Robin Budig (Riverview Food Services Program Assistant), Paulina Burbank (National Account Manager with Reser’s Fine Foods), Aisling Hendrickson (Student at Stillwater Elementary), Karen Hendrickson (Parent and Community Member), Sydney Hendrickson (Student at Tolt Middle School), Jennifer Horton-White (Riverview Secretary II – Substitute Office), Elise Luoto (Student at Cedarcrest High School), Jan Neigel (Program Assistant/EA II at Eagle Rock Multi-Age), Mayra Paniagua (Managing Cook at Cedarcrest High School), Meisha Robertson (Riverview Director of Business and Operations), Chuck Young (Community Member), Patti Zavala (Oxbow Farm).

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