Future chefs cook up healthy comfort food

By Nicholas Johnson | May 10, 2017
Courtesy of: Mukilteo School District Serene Lake Elementary fifth-grader Ayden Griffin with his mushroom risotto, which earned the Judge’s Choice award in this year’s Future Chefs competition.

Serene Lake Elementary fifth-grader Ayden Griffin’s mushroom risotto sat well with the judges during the 9th-annual Future Chefs competition.

Griffin’s dish won the Judge’s Choice award during this year’s competition, which gives elementary school students throughout the district a chance to show off their cooking skills.

“It’s one of the most fun things we get to do each year,” said Brad Wall of the school district’s Nutrition Services department.

This year’s event asked students to use their creativity to come up with a comfort food that is healthy, tasty and would stand out above traditional recipes, like macaroni and cheese.

Some 18 students grades 3-5 competed this year. Those students were from Challenger, Endeavour, Lake Stickney, Odyssey, Picnic Point and Serene Lake elementary schools. The district’s other six elementary schools will participate in next year’s competition.

“We received approximately 150 recipes from the participating schools and had to narrow it to three from each school,” Wall said.

Judges included Superintendent Marci Larsen, Executive Director of Elementary Education Annie Johnson, Sno-Isle Skills Center Chef Instructor Chef Becky Pechman, and school board members Michael Simon and Judy Schwab.

‘This year was a really tough event on our judges, as there were so many great recipe’s to choose from,” Wall said.

Brooklyn Parker of Endeavour won the award for best table decoration for her Perfect Panko Chicken Tenders. Adam Fox of Lake Stickney won the award for fun kid food for his Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes.

Olivia Jackson of Lake Stickney won the award for health-conscious food for her Lentil Soup a la Lulu. Camille Hansen of Picnic Point won the award for simple kid-friendly preparation for her Chunky Applesauce.

“Nobody leaves the competition feeling like they lost, and that is our main goal,” Wall said. “It’s a really fun environment and they get to work with adult mentors, as well as culinary students from Sno-Isle Tech Center.”

This year’s sponsors included Pepsi, Frito Lay, Bargreen Ellingson and Edward Don.


Mushroom Risotto recipe

8 Crimmini Mushrooms

¾ Cup Arborio Rice

4 Cups Homemade Chicken or Veggie Stock

3 Tbsp Coconut Oil



In a pan, cook mushrooms and 1 Tbsp coconut oil on medium heat for 15 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. In a pot, simmer 4 cups of stock.

In a separate pan, melt coconut oil and add Arborio rice. Cook on medium for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of stock to rice. Stir until most of the stock in gone. Add another cup of stock and repeat until the stock is gone. Add the mushrooms.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.