Seven Peoria Public School fifth-grade students will prepare their original
healthy Asian-fusion recipes at Lincoln K-8, 700 Mary St., Saturday, March 10, 9 a.m. – noon,
for the Sodexo Annual Future Chef competition.
While nearly all cuisines can be considered a fusion of cultures, such as Tex-Mex, Asianfusion
draws on ingredients and techniques of a nearly a half-dozen countries including
Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, The Phillipines, Korea and both Cantonese and Mandarin cuisine
The PPS students and their featured recipes competing on Saturday will be:
Elizabeth Bartholomew, Trewyn School, My Spicy Noodles
Lillian Carmack, Washington Gifted Middle School, Chicken Fried Rice
Julie Djamadoua, Lindbergh Middle School, Teriyaki Chicken Vegetable Shrimp Soup
Lydia Lynn, Calvin Coolidge Middle School, Won-Guac
Ariyah Hightower, Harrison Community Learning Center, Asian Chilli
Noelle Sarraf, Mark Bills Middle School, Asian Fusion Guacamole
Jaret Seigel, Rolling Acres Middle School, Speedy Chicken Stir-Fry
To prepare their recipe, each fifth-grade chef will be paired with a high school mentor from
Woodruff Career and Technical Center (WCTC) Culinary Arts program. The finished recipes
will be judged by a panel including Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat; Board of
Education members; PPS administrators and renowned local chef Mark Shoopman. Recipes
are judged on originality, presentation, ease of preparation, kid-friendliness and healthiness.
Future Chef contestants will check in from 8:30 to 9 a.m and begin the day in Culinary Boot
Camp, covering kitchen and food safety and hygiene. After ingredient distribution, each chef
will prepare their recipe and clean their work station from 9:20 to 10:45 a.m. Show plates and
samples will be placed on judging tables between 10:45 and 11 a.m. Judges will test each
recipe and interview contestants from 11 to 11:30 a.m. After scores are tabulated, the
awards ceremony begins at 11:45 a.m.
Each contestant receives a gift basket and certificate. Two runner-ups will receive silver and
bronze medals. The top winner receives a gold medal and will continue on to the next level of
the Future Chef competition.
The Sodexo Future Chefs program, now in its eighth year as a national event, is designed to
create positive behavioral changes in students by enabling them to become actively involved
in good nutrition. PPS students are among over 2,600 students representing more than
1,300 Sodexo-served school sites in 256 school districts in 30 states. The winner from each
district will be considered for a regional finalist award. Between one and five national finalists
compete for the public’s vote.
Sodexo district general manager Mark Streamer and district executive chef Douglas
Simmonds coordinate the PPS Future Chef contest.