Kentucky Farm to School Junior Chef State Tournament
Junior Chef, which is part of the Farm to School Program, encourages high school students to learn how to cook by using local ingredients to prepare healthy meals while at the same time teaching students about agriculture, marketing, organization, teamwork, and community involvement.
The Farm to School Program connects local farmers to school districts to make fresh Kentucky Proud foods available to Kentucky children. Participating Kentucky school districts spent an estimated $468,000 on local foods during the 2012-13 school year. A total of 84 school districts are members of the Kentucky Proud program, which helps Kentucky farmers market their products to their local communities.
Owen County High School’s Cuisine Rebels culinary team won the second annual Kentucky Proud Junior Chef competition Friday. Participating in the trophy presentation were, from left: Tina Garland, Farm to School coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture; Agriculture Commissioner James Comer; Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services and a Kentucky native; team members Carley Bennett, Morgan Woodyard, Kadee Carter, Hailey Chappell, and Cannon Goodrich; and Samantha Benjamin-Kirk with the USDA Southeast Regional Office’s Farm to School Program. The Owen County team was coached by Kim Webster.
Sullivan University will offer $6,000 scholarships to members of the winning team – Hailey Chappell, Carley Bennett, Kadee Carter, Cannon Goodrich, and Morgan Woodyard. Each member of Thomas Nelson’s team will be offered $4,000 scholarships. The chefs on the two other semifinalist teams, Corbin High’s “Roasting Redhounds” and Owensboro Apollo High’s “Cooking Fairies,” will have the opportunity to receive $2,000 scholarships. Sullivan offered more than $70,000 in scholarship money.
Owen County’s team received $600 from John Wiley & Sons publishing company, along with free textbooks for team members attending Sullivan’s culinary program. Wiley representative Darchelle Leggett also presented the winning chefs with a book titled “Professional Cooking” and the runners-up from Thomas Nelson with a gift bag that included books and other items.
The winning recipe:
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp Promise margarine
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 slices bacon
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 cup kale, chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup yellow squash, shredded
1/2 cup zucchini, shredded
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup milk
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
1/3 cup sour cream
Heat oven to 350°. Place diced potato in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil on medium high heat. Boil potatoes until soft. Drain all but 1/4 cup of liquid. Add margarine, salt and pepper.
Mash the potatoes to a smooth consistency. Spoon roughly 2 Tbsp. of potatoes into bottom of greased jumbo muffin tin. Press to the bottom and slightly up the sides to form a crust. Bake potato crusts for 20 minutes or until they start to turn a golden brown.
In a medium skillet, prepare the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon and set aside. In the same skillet, brown ground beef, onion, and peppers. Cook until no pink remains. Drain.
In a medium bowl, combine remaining vegetables with ground beef mixture. Add bacon and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Toss to mix well.
In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs, salt, pepper, and milk until well combined.
When crusts come out of the oven, fill each evenly with egg mixture, then evenly divide the meat mixture and top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake 40 minutes or until golden brown. Top with a dollop of sour cream and serve.