Three high-school seniors have been awarded $10,000 in scholarships for culinary school by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) in the 2015 AICR/C-CAP Small Plates Recipe Contest. The contest is a national competition sponsored by the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) and AICR to inspire budding chefs to create delicious dishes that are also cancer-protective.
The winners successfully developed appetizers or small plate recipes that met AICR’s evidence-based guidelines on eating for lower cancer risk — highlighting fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other cancer-protective plant foods.
“AICR is proud to play a part in inspiring tomorrow’s chefs to use their skills to create innovative recipes that highlight the tastes, textures – and health benefits – of plant foods,” said AICR’s Senior Vice-President for Programs Deirdre McGinley-Gieser. “These students were challenged to create delicious dishes that let their ingredients’ natural flavors shine through. We’re delighted with the results.”
Kristopher Lopez, a senior at Food and Finance High School in New York City, was awarded $5,000 for his first place recipe, Mediterranean ‘Faux’-Lafel with Cucumber Dill Sauce.
“I have an interest in Middle Eastern cuisine and wanted to reinvent the traditional falafel,” said Lopez. “Being challenged to highlight plant foods helped me be more creative and open to trying new ingredients and new combinations. It’s inspired me to bring more of these foods into the dishes I make going forward.”
In the fall, Lopez will attend Johnson and Wales University in Miami to pursue an associate degree in Culinary Arts.
Jenna Kraus, of Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix, AZ, won second place and a $3,000 AICR scholarship for her Crusted Salmon with Rosemary Honey over an Orange and Arugula Salad. Taking home 3rd place and a $2,000 AICR/ C-CAP scholarship was Margaret DeMarco of Virginia Beach Technical High School in Hampton Roads VA, for her recipe for Skinny Santa Fe Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing.
In this year’s contest, culinary arts teachers at 165 C-CAP schools across the country challenged students to create nutritious and delicious small plates or appetizers featuring a variety of fruits, whole grains, seeds, nuts, spices and other plant foods. AICR research has shown that diets high in these plant foods can help lower cancer risk.
This is the third year AICR has awarded scholarships as part of the AICR/C-CAP Recipe Contest.
C-CAP provides scholarships, education, and career opportunities in the culinary arts for underserved youth. “Many young people today suffer from illnesses resulting from poor nutrition and being unaware about healthy eating,” said Susan Robbins, C-CAP President. “Part of our mission is to educate our C-CAP students on these issues, and provide them with the tools and opportunities to encourage healthy lifestyles and be the ambassadors of this message in their communities. We are proud to partner with AICR in this effort.”
A panel of judges chose the winners based on originality, flavor, healthfulness, ease of preparation, and writing. Judges for the 2015 AICR/C-CAP Small Plates Super Foods Recipe Contest were:
- Amanda Cohen, Chef/Owner, Dirt Candy
- Dana Jacobi, Cookbook Author and nationally syndicated Food Columnist
- Scott Uehlein, Corporate Chef, Canyon Ranch
- AICR funds cutting-edge research that finds links between everyday lifestyle choices and the prevention and survival of cancer. AICR also empowers individuals to make healthier choices to reduce the risk of cancer through outreach and partnerships, such as this one.