Syosset’s Iron Chefs Win


ironchefCornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and Whole Foods Market in Lake Grove coordinated the second annual Junior Iron Chef of Long Island competition on Saturday, March 15. In this one-day cooking challenge, Middle and High School age students competed in teams of three to five, creating vegetarian recipes featuring local products that could ultimately be implemented into school cafeteria menus as healthy food options for students.

Each team was given one hour to prepare their dish to present to nine culinary judges on hand for the event. Twenty Long Island teams from various schools and organizations took part for a chance to claim the Junior Iron Chef of Long Island title. The criteria used for judging was based on taste, presentation, creativity, use of local ingredients, use of USDA ingredients, healthy choices and cafeteria ready entrees.

First-place winner of the high school teams went to Team Mercy girls from Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Syosset. The team consisted of seniors Briege Pilch, Jacqueline Scacco, and Kelsey Capobianco.

Their falafel with strawberries, avocado, couscous and corn in a cilantro lime vinaigrette was inspired by the colors of spring and the goal to eat healthy while being creative with food. It received rave reviews from the judges!

Vito A. Minei, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension for Suffolk County and Claire Fastenau, Northeast regional chef for Whole Foods Market, both judges, were so impressed with the talent, enthusiasm and teamwork of all students on hand. They deemed this educational event a huge success in encouraging youth to learn new skills in cooking to lead to a healthier lifestyle.

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Elizabeth Johnson is editor of Manhasset Press and Manhasset Press Magazine. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community Newspaper" several years in a row.


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