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Elementary school students compete in Future Chefs competition

Waco ISD third-fifth grade chefs compete to see who has top dish in competition
Posted at 9:33 AM, Feb 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-20 10:33:51-05

WACO, Texas — Waco ISD's annual Future Chef competition, held at University High School, had third-fifth grade chefs compete with their unique dishes in seven different categories. The top prize winners of those categories went home with baskets of kitchen goodies so these kids can practice their cooking skills all throughout the year.


It’s a night these elementary school chefs will never forget.

That’s just a few of the 22 dishes entered for the Waco ISD's Future Chef competition — where elementary school students from all across the district compete to see which of their creations come out on top.

“Each year, Sodexo chooses a theme, and we send it out to the elementary schools and this is open to kids third to fifth grade and they submit their recipe based upon that theme, and this theme was 'Your favorite home cooked meal,'” said Julia Pennington, Executive Chef for Waco ISD.

Each chef has one hour to prep with some help from district staff, then plate 50 bite-sized portions for the judges and public to try.

“I like to cook and I cook whenever I go to my grandma’s and cook for my cousins. Even if I don’t make it, I’m still going to like the experience,” said fourth grade chef Harmony Rodgriquz.

An experience that fourth grader Makynzie Davis hopes to help her excel in the future.

“I want to be, my brother has deathly dairy allergies and, so, I want to start a restaurant. I want it to be called dairy free for days and it doesn’t have any dairy,” Davis said.

“I actually want to be a chef because I kind of have experience and I want to like cook for people and make them smile and I want to have my own restaurant,” said third grade chef Katelynn Bottcher.

No matter what these kids decide to do, what they’ve prepared in this competition will help them prepare in life.

“This is something that is a great lesson for them to learn,” concluded Pennington.