Master Chef Cafeteria Challenge – 8241

Master Chef Cafeteria Challenge – 8241


Students read an article from the Department of Agriculture on the pros and cons of school lunches and respond to each-other via a discussion board question. The culinary teacher, in the role of Master Chef, challenges students to design a lunch menu that is practical in terms of nutrition, cost, and preparation time. The menu items must also be popular enough with students to sell and be profitable. Students are given a target maximum cost of $10.00 to produce four identical lunches. Students conduct research using information literacy skills acquired earlier in the year. Using their knowledge of the USDA requirements for school lunches students compare and contrast menus and recipes that fit the guidelines. They must also consider how the items can be integrated successfully into the current Henrico County Schools’ lunch program. Each students uses spreadsheet software to record costs, nutrition and calorie values, and to calculate the amounts of ingredients needed to produce four lunches. Proposals including all calculations are submitted to the Master Chef. Master Chef evaluates the recipes, and provides students with written feedback to all teams and selects six to be prepared. The students whose recipes are select will cook them for the judges. Those whose proposals are not accepted are required to be sous chefs on each team. Students form their own cooking teams and assign duties to be carried out on the coming event. These teams will be challenged to organize will enough to prepare and serve the meal within a strict time period. They are also required to prepare a presentation detailing relevant facts about the meal and using a persuasive appeal. One test-market day, teams prepare and serve the four test meals for the panel of dieticians including the school’s Cafeteria Manager, Assistant Manager, their Supervisor and a Registered Dietician. The two primary Chefs present their short scripted details about the meal. They are also required to answer any questions that the Judges have during tasting. After all meals are served the judges give feedback to students regarding the meal and the presentation. The Judges are at liberty to select any of the entrees to be prepared and tested in the school’s cafeteria. If this does occur at a later date, teams will regroup around tasks prepare a test-market plan and collaborate with cafeteria personnel to prepare and package the meal. .

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Using previous knowledge of digital information fluency, students conduct internet research using websites and search engines of their choice to identify menu items that fit the USDA criteria. Students conduct analysis of these items, and justify their choices. Students post their choices to the blog and justify them, and reflect on them after the process is complete.

Students use digital discussion boards in class, and blogs to post recipes, reflections, and video of the event.They also form random teams to collaborate on the final reflection product. Students select cooking teams and assign roles for competition day. They reflect on the team’s performance using the “Master Chef” blog. Due to the short time period, students are required to communicate and organize some details outside of class. Students prepare a brief synopsis of the meal, and presented the information. Students collaborate in a real-world task with those in the profession.

Using knowledge USDA dietary guidelines, students must select items that possess the nutrient balance needed. Students use digital information fluency skills to locate and evaluate information about possible foods to be served. Students use excel to calculate, analyze and regroup food nutrients in order to make a choices. Based on this analysis, students compile a menu of several cohesive items and must justify their choices to the “Master Chef” Students must also stay within a budget for the meal. STudents post their choices and reflect on the successes and challenges of the meal choice.

A major part of the Judges assessment was the presentation of food items on the plate. After selecting the different elements of the meal, students must design a pleasing, plated presentation for the entrees. Students also decided to reflect via a video interview and worked with the ITRT to script, film, and assemble a video reflection on the whole process.

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