Garden Grove High School Culinary Arts Students Cook Up a Win

GGHS Cooking Up Change Winners

A team of culinary arts pathway students from Garden Grove High School placed first at the 10th annual Cooking up Change event hosted by Kid Healthy Greater Orange County on Thursday, March 16 at the Northgate Gonzalez Markets headquarters in Anaheim.

The team, led by teacher Chuck Fregoso, was challenged to create a full school lunch menu following national program nutritional  requirements. Students worked collaboratively with mentor Chef Charlie from Bracken's Kitchen, utilizing ingredients commonly found in a school cafeteria and adhering to a limited budget of $3.00 per serving, all while making it creative, delicious, and nutritious. Garden Grove HS’s winning menu was Cajun Chicken Fajitas on Rice, Viet-style Pickled Cabbage, and Peach Bionico. Team members Joshua Nguyen, Nathan Huynh, Julian Alarcon, and Hung Mac each received a $1,000 prize.

“The success of our students at this event is a true testament to the high quality of GGUSD’s Career and Technical Education Pathways which prepare students with the technical skills needed for exciting futures in 21st century industries,” said GGUSD Board of Trustee Lan Nguyen. “Our culinary students should be extremely proud of this exciting accomplishment.”

During the event, each team presented their meal to an esteemed panel of judges and were rated on originality, taste, appearance and presentation, The winning teams receive prizes, scholarships, culinary experiences and are given the opportunity to advocate for healthier, tastier school lunches.

In addition to the students from Garden Grove High School placing first, Bolsa Grande’s team won third place and $500 each, while the Los Amigos culinary arts team won the Audience Choice award and $250 each for their school lunch creations.

This event is part of Healthy Schools Campaign’s National Cooking up Change Series.