Pint-sized chefs served up delicious Mexican food creations during a cooking competition this week.
Students from Claremore's Catalayah, Claremont and Westside Elementary schools competed in the Sodexo Future Chef Competition hosted at Claremont.
The theme of the day—Mexican food.
The winning dish was ensalada de arroz ole created by fifth grader Sophie Willis.
Second place went to Lauren Pharam with her fiesta pork and black bean chili and Zeke Henry's vegetarian torta secured him third place.
The competing chefs created their dishes in front of a panel of judges: Chef Ron, from Owasso Public Schools, Tim Gilliam, Director of Operations from Claremore Public Schools, and Daniel Wells, Head of Dining Operations from Rogers State University.
Principal Randa Fay, whose school hosted the competition, said, "As a district we strive to provide our students with as many enriching opportunities as possible…We want to give them opportunities to shine."
She said they know not every student wants to play sports and not every student is interested in band. This, she said, is another creative avenue.
"This is an opportunity for students who like to be creative, who like to explore and try new things, or who enjoy cooking and preparing meals," Fay said. "It gives them an opportunity to be responsible, by cooking with fire and safely using knives and other utensils."
Claremore Public School Superintendent Bryan Frazier wholeheartedly agreed.
"Since I am a self professed "foodie" I love this competition for our students. Last year I was a judge and it was amazing to watch the skills of these students at such a young age and the excitement possessed for food and cooking. The real beauty of this type of competition is purpose; we are seeking to provide for our students opportunities for engagement that mirror their interests so students will be actively involved in their own learning," Frazier said. " We want our students to dream big and find their passion, this competition fits this perfectly."