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Kid Chefs Craft Award-Winning Recipes


Forget Top Chef. Students in Atlanta recently took part in their own culinary competition — and the winner is slated to face off against 26 other finalists from across the country.

Atlanta Public Schools took part in the Sodexo Future Chefs: Healthy Salad Challenge, which featured more than 1,750 students from 140 school districts in 28 states crafting tasty and nutritious salad recipes. Atlanta had among the biggest representation in the competition, with 160 elementary school students submitting entries.

After being narrowed down to 12 finalists, the judges selected a “Twisted Mango Black Bean Salad” as the winning recipe. Crafted by sisters Kristen and Kaitlin Blount — in fourth and third grade, respectively — the salad earned high marks for its originality, taste, presentation, kid-friendliness and use of healthy ingredients. In a news release announcing the winning recipe, Sodexo noted the salad “was delicious.”

The sisters received a $200 gift card, garnishing kit and basket of cooking utensils from food merchandise company Hubert. They now head to the regional finals, where they will vie to become one of five national finalists who will compete for public votes on the Future Chefs’ YouTube channel.

Check out the recipe below.



1 bag, frozen edamame

1 / 16 oz canbeans, black

1 bag, frozen corn

1 container, fresh red pepper

1 container, fresh green onions

1 container, fresh cilantro

2 avocados

1 container, fresh mangos

1 container, fresh pineapples

1 bag sweet potato chips


1. Cut avocados into halves, removing seed.

2. Pour black beans in a cylinder. Rinse with cold water.

3. In a bowl add edamame, corn, red pepper, green onion, black beans, mangos and pineapple.

4. Add Vinaigrette (@1 cup) to taste to bowl. Toss to coat items.

5. Measure 1 cup into the avocados halves.

6. Drizzle with remaining Vinaigrette.

7. Add cilantro as a topper to salad.

8. Add sweet potato chips to salad and plate

Chili Lime Vinaigrette Ingredients:

¼ cup olive oil

½ tsp. sugar

¼ cup cider vinegar

Salt to taste

½ tsp. lime juice

2 ½ tsp. honey

½ tsp. cumin

½ tsp. coriander

½ tsp. chili pepper

½ tsp. black pepper


Blend all ingredients together in a bowl with a whisk. Add salt last, if needed.