Cooking to Perfection

Cooking to Perfection

by Susan Neuhalfen

Seniors Antonio Cauich and Payton Ouellette of The Colony High School’s Culinary Arts Class landed four of the six new menu items at Medical City Children’s Hospital Kids’ Fit Menu Challenge. This is the first time in the five-year history of the national contest
that all of the dishes that were submitted by the two students at TCHS were chosen.

“I’m really proud of them. The nutrition factor is a big undertaking for the students,” said Amanda Bensley, Culinary Arts Teacher at TCHS. “I have a bachelor’s degree and a culinary degree and it’s hard for me.”

Antonio made gluten free Confetti Spaghetti Pasta and Turkey Pinwheels while Payton submitted Buffalo Chicken Tacos and Cheeseburger Zucchini Boats. The menu items included sides and dessert and had to adhere to nutritional guidelines including keeping the dish under 550 calories and including at least ½ cup of fruits and vegetables.

“They would create something, we’d put in the nutrition guidelines and then they’d have to make adjustments,” said Ms. Bensley who is in her third year teaching at TCHS. “It’s challenging.”

In an effort to help kids develop better eating habits, Medical City Children’s Hospital and the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association (GRDA) partnered with Texas ProStart® high school culinary students to create kid-friendly, fun to make, fun to eat recipes featuring fruits and vegetables. They then partnered with restaurants to include these items created by the students in their menus. All four items from TCHS were added to the Neiman Marcus kids’ menu and are doing very well.

TCHS has participated in the program for the last few years. Though the menu items were awarded in the spring, it wasn’t until recently they were added to the Neiman Marcus menu. A new team from TCHS just recently learned their newly created menu item may be added to the Top Golf menu.

“The Aloha Aloha Slider is the slider so nice you have to say it twice,” laughs Ms. Bensley about the honey soy chicken slider, served with apple carrot fries and a raspberry drizzle.
Ms. Bensley said that one thing is for sure: they couldn’t have done it without the help of the Medical City Staff, Ryan, Amy and Jill.

“I couldn’t ask for a better team to help my kids, they are great motivators,” said Ms. Bensley. “We couldn’t do this without them at all.


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