Fifth grader wins 2014 Future Chef Challenge

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Jacob Himes’ parents say he started cooking in the family kitchen as soon as he was tall enough to reach the countertop — while standing on a chair. Today that experience came in handy when the Okatie Elementary fifth-grader’s Corn and Black Bean Wrap took top honors in the 2014 Future Chef Challenge.

Himes was one of five elementary school student finalists from across the district who prepared sandwich creations for a panel of five judges at the Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career Excellence.  Judges awarded points based on originality, taste, healthy attributes, plate presentation, ease of preparation and kid-friendliness.

The five finalists were chosen from 30 young cooks from district elementary schools who submitted sandwich recipes in this year’s challenge, sponsored by Sodexo. Himes’ sandwich wrap recipe included baked chicken, corn, black beans and garbanzo beans.

“It’s easy to make, you can eat it on the go and it tastes great,” Himes said.  “It’s nice but not too fancy.”

Receiving silver medals were Selena Lopez Martinez (M.C. Riley Elementary, Hungry Tasty Sandwich) and Evan Woodward (M.C. Riley Elementary, Tom’s Turkey Sandwich).

Receiving bronze medals were Azaria Jones (Shanklin Elementary, Ultimate Nutella Sandwich) and Ava Maldonado (Mossy Oaks Elementary, Deluxe Sandwich).

Himes’ grand prize was a gift basket of cookware.  Silver medalists also received cookware, while bronze medalists received movie passes.