The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services today announced that Gianna Rivera of Bloomingdale High School in Hillsborough County is the 2017 “Fresh From Florida” Student Chef Cook-Off champion. Rivera competed against four other regional finalists from across the state. Rivera’s winning Citrus Chicken Taco with Watermelon Salsa will be served in a school cafeteria, and the recipes of all five finalists will be converted into school meal service portions and accessible to sponsors throughout the state.
“A healthy diet is the foundation of academic success, and this competition is a fun way for students to learn how to incorporate wholesome ingredients into their daily lives,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.
Rivera and the other finalists prepared original dishes featuring at least one Florida-grown fruit or vegetable for a panel of judges. Sheldon Riley of Fort Pierce Westwood High School in St. Lucie County placed second with his Southwestern Chicken and Orzo Salad. Wesley Hill of Eastside High School in Alachua County placed third with his Sautéed Chicken Salad with Citrus Bell Pepper Salsa.
The “Fresh From Florida” Student Chef Cook-Off entry requirements include:
- Applicants must be a Florida student in ninth through 12th grade.
- The recipe must be original and submitted with a photo.
- The recipe must contain at least one fresh fruit or fresh vegetable grown in Florida.
- The recipe must have clear directions and be prepared in 75 minutes or less.
- The recipe must promote healthy eating habits and meet National School Lunch Program guidelines.
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