December 2, 2022

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Simple Impartial Cooking

CPS high school students compete in food truck style culinary competition part of year end showcase

CHICAGO (CBS) — Order up! Some Chicago high schoolers are showing off their cooking skills — competition style.

There’s a taste test and big bragging rights to earn. But as CBS 2’s Steven Graves shows us, it’s more about invaluable lessons they learn.

The name of the game here, “Food Truck Wars”. A lot of great ideas, with only one winner. But before you get to that, you have to taste everything, right?

And proudly serving up piping hot pitas is Jerry Green with Roberto Clemente School.

“We put our all into it. We put love into it.”

Tender chicken, fresh lettuce, and tomatoes as well. A food truck concept that serves delicious bites and gives Green, a senior culinary student, a purpose.

“I came from not the best neighborhood, not the best family. Family dynamics and issues but one thing that’s always been there is food in the kitchen,” Green said.

Friday, it’s Englewood Community Kitchen where his fellow cooks and other Chicago high schoolers dish out ideas. It’s part of their end-of-year showcase.

Food truck, ice cream, or burritos — nothing is ‘Krabby’ North-Grand High School’s Spongebob theme cuisine. You’re looking at ‘pretty’ patties.

“I’m excited, I’m nervous. I hope we win!”

On the line — bragging rights for the best pitch, recipe, and design for a future real truck?

“It would be nice if there was a CPS food truck. I don’t want to let any cats out of the bag, but we never know what’s coming down the pipe,” said Sherry Franklin, Chicago Public Schools.

The winner decisions — made by judges from the culinary arts and hospitality world. They ask tough questions and dish out advice.

While other food entrepreneurs like Adreannia Robinson are there for support and to seek out talent.

“They’re developing their passions. It is outstanding to be able to see that as a small business owner,” Robinson said.

In the end, North-Grand took the cake with the most wins. Others got surprise scholarships for secondary education — up to $5,000.

Green, while not getting a listed award, considers just being here a win.

“I know one thing, as long as I make good food for people, I’m happy,” he said.

Everyone gets something. Each student will walk away with money for their own embroidered chef coat and a stomach full of good food.

Five high schools from around the city competed in Friday’s competition. It’s the first year CPS themed it around food trucks.