ATWATER -- Several young cooks competed for the best recipe in Atwater last week.
Fourteen students from across the Atwater Elementary School District were vying for the top chef title as part of the Future Chefs competition on Thursday at Mitchell Elementary School.
The competition was part of a national challenge by Sodexo, a global food services company, said Sandra Sanchez, a general manager for Sodexo.
Alexis Martinez, a fourth-grader at Peggy Heller School in Atwater, won the top chef title, Sanchez said. Martinez took the top recognition with her "PB&J Quesadilla" recipe.
The recipe requires one jar of peanut butter, one jar of low-sugar strawberry jelly and two wheat tortillas. The recipes ranged from desserts to entrées, Sanchez said. Most of them included a lot of fresh fruits and fresh vegetables.
The recipes were judged based on five categories: healthy attributes, originality, how easy it is to prepare, whether it's kid-friendly and the students' plate presentation, Sanchez said.
The objective of the competition was to encourage children to continue to cook, and to think of healthy options when they do, Sanchez said. "To get the kids thinking in terms of healthier items when they are putting together their meals at home," she said.
Hopefully, they will pass along the message to other students, she said.
Every participant took home a bag with school supplies, an apron, a T-shirt, a hat and a medal, Sanchez said. The grand prize included kitchen tools.