Cooking up something healthy

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NAUGATUCK — Five Naugatuck fourth-graders put their cooking skills and healthy recipes to the test last week during the Future Chef competition.

The competition is sponsored by Sodexo, a national company that is the food service provider for Naugatuck Public Schools. Fourth-graders from throughout the school district submitted healthy, Mexican-inspired recipes, and the top five recipes were selected for the competition.

Maple Hill Elementary School fourth-grader Jordan Kovach (healthy rice bowl), Hop Brook Elementary School fourth-grader Emily Muckle (burrito pie and guacamole), Western Elementary School fourth-grader Lily Kuzma (crispy black bean taco), Maple Hill fourth-grader Nasya Dechane (taco salad) and Hop Brook fourth-grader Joleigh Louis (sweet fish taco) were chosen to compete this year.

The five young chefs came together March 12 at Naugatuck High School and cooked their dishes, with the help of adult mentors, for a panel of judges. The dishes were judged in six areas: originality, healthy attributes, easy preparation, kid friendly, taste and plate presentation. Louis won the competition with her sweet fish tacos. She won a gift basket with cooking accessories, a cookware set and an Echo dot. Her recipe will also be submitted to a Future Chef regional competition.