Elementary Students Serve Up Creativity in Future Chef Competition
Posted on 05/03/2022
Future Chef Competition

Four EHPS elementary school students showed off their chops during this year’s Sodexo Future Chef Competition. The competition, now in its 8th year, invited third, fourth, and fifth graders to enter. They submitted their favorite healthy recipe from a movie or book, and four future chefs were selected to make those recipes during the competition on April 26th at East Hartford High School.


Jaedyn Diaz, 4th grader from Langford, made green eggs and ham. Angelina Fonseca, 4th grader from Langford, made ratatouille. Jakhi Middleton 3rd grader from Langford, made Jumpin’ Jack chicken dumplings. Juliana Tedesco, 5th grader from O'Connell, made apple cookies inspired by the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

“I was nervous, but excited at the same time,” said Angelina.

They had help in the kitchen from Sodexo staff, as well as culinary students from East Hartford High School. One of those high school students, Devon Chaney, actually competed in this event when he was in elementary school.

“My grandma signed me up and I made hummus. It was just a fun experience,” said Devon. “The kids get to go in the kitchen and do stuff for themselves.”

Once their dishes were complete, the chefs served them to a panel of judges from the East Hartford community. Jen King, Program Coordinator at East Hartford Youth Services; Rosalyn Wormack, Operations Analyst at East Hartford Public Schools; Frank Forrest of the Hillstown Grange and East Hartford Hunger Action Team; and Meredith Patenaude, Master of Public Health student intern judged the entries in categories including originality, ease of preparation, healthiness, kid-friendliness and taste.

Juliana, with her apple cookies, took home the grand prize.

Sodexo Future Chefs Competition


“The goal is really to have fun ultimately, but to teach the students that there’s healthy things that they can make in the kitchen. Gives them the opportunity to see our kitchen, see what we do here in the school department and it gives them something to look forward to,” said Shari-Lynn Staeb, General Manager of Sodexo Services at East Hartford Public Schools. “I think it’s inspiring.”

Jaedyn said, “I think it was really fun. I’m glad that I actually entered and that I was able to make food almost all by myself.”