Some of you may have already read about our Junior Cooking Challenge program, which culminated with a final cook-off competition at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena on Earth Day (April 22). We are humbled by the experience to empower future generations around the importance of nutrition and cooking healthy meals, and enjoyed watching them take to the kitchen. The energy and excitement was palpable!

There were eight fifth grade student teams who competed, with their chef mentors leading them along the way. Proud parents filled the room along with our esteemed panel of judges including:


Each dish was prepped, cooked, plated and then presented to the judges; and each team explained why they chose their recipe and their ingredients and where they were sourced locally. Once the judges tasted and deliberated, they chose the winning team, Team Stark & Co., who WOWed the judges with their use of local, organic, seasonal ingredients, presentation, and outstanding menu…and all under $2.25 per meal. The team was led by local Sonoma County Chef & Founder of Stark Reality Restaurants Mark Stark who is passionate about working with children and teaching them about the art of food. The team’s winning dish was a Cali Korean BBQ and Mary’s Chicken Rice Bowl with a side of roasted greens and things; honeyed citrus, yogurt, pistachio crunch; and a refreshing coconut agua fresca. 

If you would like to recreate the winning recipe at home with your kids, you can find the delicious recipe below.

Lastly, we’d like to thank our partners Conscious Kitchen, Oliver’s Markets and the Culinary Institute of America, as well as our chef mentors and judges who donated their time to support their community.



Cali Korean BBQ Mary’s Chicken Rice Bowl with Roasted Greens & Things, Soy Butter


Recipe serves 12

Total cost $2.21 if sourced locally


2 lbs Mary’s organic chicken thighs, boneless / skinless

1⁄2 cup tamari sauce

2 cups local water

3⁄4 cup brown sugar

1 inch ginger sliced

2 cloves garlic smashed

1⁄2 bunch green onions rough chopped

1⁄2 cup canola oil

4 tbsp gochujang paste


Place the tamari sauce, water, sugar, garlic, ginger, onions in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Korean chili paste and canola oil. Let cool. Place the chicken thighs in a container and cover with the marinade. Let marinate for 1–2 hours.


To cook, remove from the brine and place the chicken on a sheet pan. Place in a

preheated oven at 450 degrees and cook for 15 minutes until golden brown and cooked

through. When cool, cut into large diced pieces. Store until needed.


Cauliflower Rice

3 cups rice

1 cup grated cauliflower

1 qt local water

1⁄4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tsp salt

Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Place the rice and cauliflower in the rice cooker

and steam. When done, season with vinegar and salt.


Roasted Vegetables

3 bunch Broccolini cut in 2 inch pieces

1 butternut squash peeled and cut in 2 inch pieces

1 pound crimini mushrooms sliced 1⁄4 inch thick

1⁄2 lb sugar snap peas


3 bunch Kale torn into 2 inch pieces

1⁄2 cup coconut oil

2 tbsp basil curry spice (or similar)


Toss all the ingredients with enough coconut oil to coat, then season with the spice and

salt. Place all on separate sheet pans and roast in a 400 degree oven until just cooked through.


6-minute Sesame Egg

Clover Sonoma organic eggs (per serving)

Toasted black and white sesame seeds

Place the eggs in simmering water and cook for 6 minutes. Remove and cool in ice water. Peel and cut in half. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Soy Butter

1⁄2 cup tamari sauce

2 lbs of Clover Sonoma organic unsalted butter large diced

Bring the tamari sauce to a quick boil, then whisk in butter a few pieces at a time until a sauce is achieved. Keep warm.


To serve, place a 1 cup scoop of rice into a bowl. Arrange the rewarmed chicken, the warm vegetables over the rice. Place the egg in the middle. Drizzle with soy butter. Serve.


Honeyed Citrus,Yogurt, Pistachio Crunch

3 lbs assorted citrus peeled and cut into 1⁄4 inch thick wheels 

2 cups Clover Sonoma organic vanilla yogurt

4 tbsp orange blossom honey


Pistachio Streusel

1⁄2 cup flour

1⁄4 cup brown sugar

1⁄4 cup oats

1/8 tsp salt

1⁄2 tsp ground cardamom

1⁄4 cup chopped pistachios

1⁄4 cup Clover Sonoma organic unsalted butter at room temperature

In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together, then mix in the butter until a crumb forms.

Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool.


To Serve:

Spoon a tablespoon of yogurt on a dish, arrange the citrus over the yogurt, drizzle with

honey and top with some of the streusel.


Coconut Agua Fresca

1 qt organic coconut water

2 qt water

1⁄2 cup agave syrup

6 California organic dates

1 can organic coconut milk

2 lime juice



Place all the ingredients, except the ice, in a blender and puree. Pour into a pitcher of

ice. Serve.