(Memphis) Several Shelby County High School students showed off their culinary skills at the L’Ecole Culinaire Culinary School in hopes of winning a trip to Washington, D.C.
Students turned up the heat in the Cooking Up Change competition where student from across the country battle it out with pots and pans.
"This is the BBQ chicken for the salad we have with the pinaples and stuff," Lakeidra Greer said.
Greer won the local competition last year and knows using flavors from the Bluff City gives her an edge, "We just kept it with BBQ because Memphis is known for it."
"The most important thing they learn about preparing meals other kids are going to be excited to eat," Chef Tony Geraci, Executive Director of Child Nutrition with Shelby County Schools, said.
The food must be healthy and nutritious.
The students can only use foods the district typically buys for school lunches.
"The lunch they serve now it be healthy, but not healthy enough," one of the student cooks explained. "More kids are like overweight."
The Northside High School Student hopes to bring the issue to lawmakers in Washington.
"They need to slim down on their weight. Eat healthy now," the student explained.
Chef Jenn was tapped to judge the dishes after winning Cutthroat Kitchen on the Food Network.
The local chef said she was impressed with the competition that is about much more than just cooking.
"It makes learning relevant, it makes learning important, and it makes learning fun and tasty," Chef Geraci said.
Students at the Memphis Health Careers Academy won the local competition and will represent Memphis in the nation's capitol.