MCPSS cafeteria workers experimented with new recipes this morning in the district’s first ever Commodities Cook-Off, and they were judged by aspiring high school chefs.
The contest was designed to allow child nutrition workers come up with recipes for a new potato soup base by Old South Foods, which offered a $100 first-place prize. Child Nutrition Director Suzanne Yates thought it would be fun to add four other categories to give cafeteria workers a chance to come up with creative and delicious ways to prepare commodities.
Cafeteria workers representing about 40 schools submitted more than 80 entries into the Cook-Off.
“It was very interesting and fun to see what the cafeteria ladies could come up with,” said Maya Harris, a student at Baker High who was won categories in the Beef, Pork and Peanut cooking competition for the last two years.
Recipes were judged on appearance, taste, ease of preparation, recipe and nutritional value.
“It’s good that students got to judge the recipes, since we’re the ones who would eat them,” said Aaliyah Cook, a student at Murphy.
Cook said she hopes some of these recipes will be served in school cafeterias.
“They were creative and their presentation was good,” Cook said. “How they put this with that and that with this was pretty good.”
What is a commodity?
The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) allocates certain foods to each state to serve in school cafeterias. Commodities include: tomatoes, pears, apples, collard greens, potatoes, catfish, shredded reduced-fat cheese, green peas, chicken fajita strips, blueberries, pinto beans, ground beef, frozen corn, frozen broccoli, turkey, sliced ham, mozzarella cheese sticks, and much more.
Mobile County Public Schools receives about $1.4 million worth of commodities each year and only pays $1.85 for shipping for each case.
Comments on "MCPSS cafeteria workers invent new dishes for Commodities Cook-off"
Congratulations to all winners - but the real winners will be the KIDS who are served more delicious, appetizing, and healthy meals in our schools! All of our system's very hard-working cafeteria staff members deserve way more accolades than they get.