Thursday, October 27, 2011

Iron Chef Jr. Competition Steals the Show at Ithaca’s Food Justice Summit

A press release from New Roots:

Iron Chef  Jr. Competition Steals the Show at Ithaca’s Food Justice Summit 

Ithaca, New York – October 27, 2011 Sponsored by Greenstar Community Projects, Ithaca celebrated its first Food Justice Summit this past weekend.  Saturday’s event included an Iron Chef Jr. competition, live music, and a speech from Malik Yakini, an activist and educator from Detroit who spoke about food security in impoverished areas and racism in the food system.  Mr. Yakini also spoke at Cornell University and New Roots Charter School on Monday 10/25.

The Iron Chef Jr. competition was held on October 22, 2011 at the Neighborhood Pride Grocery Store on Hancock Street in downtown Ithaca. Student representatives, ranging in age and cooking experience, from New Roots Charter School, Beverly J. Martin School, and the Southside Community Center were in attendance. Students were broken into groups and were led by local Ithaca chefs. “It was an awesome experience. I appreciate the executive chefs and what I learned from them,” exclaimed Aidan Hodges, a competitor on the Ralph's Ribs 
winning team and 11th grader at New Roots. The teams created a delicious four-course meal using local, fresh produce provided by local farmers.
Event organizer, Joshua Dolan of Cornell Cooperative Extension said, “the event raised awareness in the community about what our kids can do and how easy it is to get it done.” Community members enjoyed the fresh food, the competition, and the talent that the students displayed.

“It was the best event I have been to all year,” comments Allyn Rosenbaum, head chef at New Roots Charter School, coordinator of New Roots’ Farm to School program, and Iron Chef Jr. judge.  Rosenbaum continues, “It was great being an active member of the community here today, as well as to watch our students in action and taste their delicious food.”

A great sense of community involvement was displayed this weekend. With the success of the Iron Chef Jr. competition, Dolan plans on continuing the competition next year with more student and community collaborations. 

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