Nutrition Teams representing RSU 54, RSU 22 and Lewiston Public Schools squared off in the Maine Department of Education’s (DOE) 2022 Farm to School Cook-off finals competition recently. The competition took place in the Child Nutrition Culinary Classroom in Augusta and was concurrently livestreamed on the Maine DOE YouTube channel.
Hosted annually by the Maine DOE’s Child Nutrition Office, the cook-off is a statewide culinary competition for teams of school nutrition professionals and students to promote local foods in school meals. This voluntary competition is available to all school districts in Maine and consists of three regional competitions and a final competition held in Augusta.
During the final round, the teams whipped up some great breakfast and lunch meals utilizing three local ingredients and one USDA food in each meal. As an added challenge, the teams were tasked to incorporate local buckwheat flour, donated by Buchard Family Farms, and local beets, donated by Dig Deep Farm, into their breakfast and lunch meals, respectively.
Congratulations to Lewiston Public Schools for being crowned the 2022 Farm to School Cook-off Champion! They will receive a personalized plaque as well as $1,000 prize money to be used towards school kitchen equipment, both donated from Cambro Manufacturing. For breakfast, they used buckwheat two different ways; making buckwheat granola, and a buckwheat flour biscuit. For lunch, they made a soft chicken taco with cilantro rice, and used beets two ways in a flavorful salad and salsa.
A great day was had by all! All of the teams recipes from this year will be compiled and put into a 2022 Farm to School Cook-book and shared with schools across the state.