High School Students Win AICR Scholarships for Healthy, Cancer-Protective Appetizers

Three high-school seniors have been awarded $10,000 in scholarships for culinary school by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) in the 2016 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 developed an appetizer 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.

“Our unique role in this contest is to really bring a focus on cancer prevention. This is a great educational opportunity for young chefs, who have an interest in healthy meals,” said Alice Bender, MS, RDN, AICR’s Head of Nutrition Programs. “The students show that healthy food can be delicious, beautiful, and innovative.”

Hannah Herrera, of Maricopa High School in Maricopa, Arizona, won first place with her Furikake Crusted Cod with Ponzu Vinaigrette recipe. She was awarded a $5000 scholarship and will attend the Art Institute of Las Vegas in the Fall.

“My inspiration came from my willingness to create something different, but yet still stick to my roots and maintain a very elegant dish,” said Herrera. “I learned that to make a dish so healthy yet flavorful, it takes some research outside of the kitchen as well as in.”

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Jordyn Bray, of Kellam High School in Hampton Roads, VA, came in second place for a $3000 scholarship with her Root Vegetable Soup with Toasted Almond Gremolata. Third place and a $2000 scholarship was awarded to Samantha Gaytan, from the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies in Los Angeles, California, for her Grilled Vegetable Salad with Asian Dressing.

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.”

In the AICR/C-CAP Recipe Contest, now in its fourth year, AICR awards scholarships to the top three dishes that feature a variety of plant-based foods and meet AICR recipe guidelines. Diets high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, spices, and many other plant foods can help lower cancer risk, as shown in AICR research.

A panel of judges chose the winners based on originality, flavor, healthfulness, ease of preparation, and writing.

Judges for the 2016 AICR/C-CAP Recipe Contest were Dana Jacobi, Cookbook Author and nationally syndicated Food Columnist; Scott Uehlein, VP Product Innovation and Development, Sonic; and Melanie Young, Author/Radio Host/Health Coach & Motivator.

For the three winning recipes, along with past winners, visit www.aicr.org/ccap

For more information about C-CAP visit www.ccapinc.org.