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Congratulations to Northern High (Durham Public Schools) - 2024 NC Jr. Chef Competition Winners!

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Three high school teams competed as finalists in the annual North Carolina Jr. Chef Competition to create unique school lunch entrée recipes. The competition results were announced this week in a virtual awards ceremony. The Flaming Knights from Northern High (Durham Public Schools) won first place and a silver medal for their Crispy Taquitos recipe.

The Northern High team worked to create a healthier version of taquitos, a student favorite. They sauteed chicken with a variety of spices and added diced cabbage and onions, julienned zucchini, grated carrots, and black beans. The Jr. Chefs wrapped the filling in whole grain tortillas, which they baked in the oven to crisp. They served the taquitos with a home-made spicy chipotle dipping sauce. The recipe featured North Carolina-grown cabbage, onions, and zucchini.

The “GHS” team from Garinger High with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools won second place and a silver medal for their Le Ramsay recipe. The Jr. Chefs featured flavors from their Hispanic heritage in their twist on Fajitas with Orange Rice and Fresas Con Crema, which featured North Carolina-grown beef, peppers, and strawberries. The “Nighthawks” team from First Flight High with Dare County Schools won third place and a silver medal for their Chicken Cordon Bleu with Orzo Rice and Mushroom Demi-Glaze, their version of an elevated comfort food often found on restaurant menus. The recipe featured North Carolina-grown broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, and Carolina Gold Rice.

High school students across the state were challenged to work with their teachers and School Nutrition administrators to develop creative recipes for school lunch entrées that are compliant with School Nutrition Program standards, include at least two North Carolina-grown products and one USDA Foods item, are replicable by School Nutrition Programs and are appealing to students.