Parasole Chef, MN Students Win Nat’l Food Contest

A group from South Education Center Alternative in Richfield and Chef Todd Bolton of Parasole won the Recipes For Healthy Kids Challenge, a nationwide competition launched last September as part of the Let's Move! campaign; more than 300 recipes were entered. />

A team consisting of students and faculty from South Education Center Alternative (SECA) in Richfield and Chef Todd Bolton of Parasole Restaurant Holdings won the grand championship in a nationwide food competition.

The team's Porcupine Sliders-healthy mini turkey burgers served on multi-grain buns-were named best in show at First Lady Michelle Obama's Recipes For Healthy Kids Challenge, which was launched last September as part of the Let's Move! campaign.

Bolton got involved in the competition because his son attends SECA.

In addition to Bolton, SECA's team included Theresa Guthrie, a teacher at the school; Wanda Nickola, the district's food service manager; Mary Lair, the school nurse; and five students.

On Monday, SECA beat out two other finalist teams-Ira B. Jones Elementary School in Asheville, North Carolina, and Joshua Cowell School in Manteca, California-for the grand prize: $3,000 and a trip to the White House.

Each team had one hour and 45 minutes to prepare their recipe during the competition, which was held in Dallas.

The three teams that competed in the final round of the competition, as well as the top 10 recipes in the challenge, will have their recipes published in the upcoming Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbook.

More than 300 recipes were entered for the challenge, and the school-based teams of students and adults had to use the U.S. Department of Agriculture's new nutrition guidelines for the National School Lunch Program when creating their dishes. Recipes also had to be able to be easily incorporated into school lunch menus across the United States.

Parasole was founded in 1977 and owns 10 restaurant brands, including its newest restaurants-Burger Jones, the Uptown Cafeteria and Support Group, and Mozza Mia.