Young chefs have a fiesta with food competition (slide show)

MARYSVILLE – Some of the best chefs in Marysville competed for top honors Thursday.

Never mind that they are only third- to fifth-graders.

LaToya Morris of the Marysville School District and its food supplier Sodexo oversaw the competition for the second-straight year.

Last year the contestants made Asian recipes; this year the theme was Fiesta.

The 10 students who competed sent in their own recipes to Morris, who picked the finalists with help based on the recipe entries.

First place went to Cale Bennett, a fourth-grader at Liberty Elementary. He made a Southwest Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing.

As the winner, his dish will be made for all students in Marysville schools for lunch May 30. He also will compete in a regional competition.

He also won some prizes, as did Lillie Wedge, who was second, and Jayden Nelson, who placed third. Lillie, a fifth-grader at Sunnyside, made Baked Chicken Chimichungas, while Jayden, a third-grader at Cascade, make Fajitas.

Each of the 10 finalists faced seven judges, who scored them on originality, easy preparation, healthy attributes, kid friendly, taste and plate presentation.

They were helped at the site of the competition in Marysville-Pilchuck High School’s food commons by district food service employees. Each contestant made 40 samples.

Other finalists: Zane Zayas, third grade, and Israel Alvarez, fifth grade, Cascade; Jenna Muise and Pierce Butcher, both Kellogg-Marsh fifth-graders; Kalina Paepule, fifth grade, Pinewood; Cash Hurja, fifth grade, Sunnyside; and Joshua Earnheart, fourth grade, Grove.

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