Your child is invited to enter the Elementary School Culinary Competition!
Mon, Jan 27 11:15am

            Palo Alto Unified School District

Elementary School Culinary Competition


This year is the 10th Anniversary Year of the Elementary School Culinary Competition and we’re accepting entries from grades K through 5.


The idea behind this event is to help educate the kids in HEALTHY EATING HABITS.  Too often we hear about obesity in kids and kids not making the right choices in terms of their eating habits.  That’s why we want kids to submit recipes for            

Re imagining Their Favorite School Lunch Meal


Judging will be based on the following criteria (see attachment for tips):

  • Originality
  • Kid Friendly
  • Ease of Preparation
  • Healthy Attributes
  • Plate Presentation
  • Taste
  • Student Chef Presentation to Judges
  • Zero Waste Champion


Timeline of the event:

  1. Kids who would like to participate need to fill out the recipe card attached and return it to their teacher, school office, or Lunch Server.
  2. Teachers will collect the recipe cards and give them to building office.
  3. Buildings return recipes to Alva Spence at PAUSD District Office no later than Friday, January 31st, 2020.
  4. A distinguished panel of administrators will evaluate recipe submissions and narrow the number of finalists down to 1 student per school (depending on how many school sites participate).
  5. Those finalists will be formally invited to a Culinary Competition “Cook-Off” on Wednesday, March 4th, 2020, scheduled at JLS Middle School Kitchen from 2:30pm-5:00pm.


All Finalists will receive a chef coat, apron and hat.


The local press will be invited to take pictures of the kid’s creations and parents, siblings and teachers can view (and taste!) the final product during the reception portion of the event.


Transportation of the kids will not be provided for the competition. Kids will need to be dropped off and picked up or families can stay and watch the competition. 


Participants in grades K-3 will have a kitchen staff member assigned to help them to ensure that there are no safety issues. This will ensure safe food and preparation practices are followed and no one gets harmed. 


As an added bonus, our competition is just one of 275 school district competitions that Sodexo will be orchestrating across the country in March. The winning recipe from each event will be entered to win a national competition in April. More details will follow, but we’re lining up some great prizes for those that are chosen to receive national recognition!  


Please let me know if I can answer any questions or concerns.



Alva Spence

General Manager/Food Service Director

Palo Alto Unified School District

Office (650) 329-3720

Mobile (925) 895-4143