Memphis Students Head To National Healthy Cooking Competition

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(Memphis) - Student chefs Tavarious Cleaves and LaKeidra Greer are putting their best into what will go on the plate.

"BBQ taco with red onions, green peppers and cheese on a wheat tortilla," says Cleaves.

"We're gonna design the plate with pineapples on bottom, then oranges on top of it," says Greer as she prepares the dish.

Their BBQ chicken taco, graham cracker sweet potatoes and fruit  yogurt salad  won the Memphis City Schools Cooking up Change competition.

Next week, they'll be in Washington to compete with eight other schools.

The Executive Chef at the Fed Ex Forum opened his kitchen for practice.

"I really want them to hone their skills, really want them to go up there with confidence to bring back a victory for Memphis," says chef Thomas Winklebleck.

He gave them tips on presentation.

This  competition is about what kids will eat at school.

The young chefs both learned cooking from their grandparents and never imagined this.

"We are gonna be presenting it before the house of representatives, Congress, some very important people," says Cleaves.

Their teacher, Jarchella Miller, hopes it gets others interested in culinary art.

"When school starts back it's gonna be on the lunch menu. So everybody in the school system will get to try their lunch menu," says Miller.

Workers with the Grizzlies are on hand to critique like the real judges.

"Man. It tastes just like TGI Fridays," says one judge.

It's a thumbs up, with a little advice on presentation. It's advice the students hope makes the difference come competition day Monday.

"I think we will take it all," says Greer.

The students will also take tours and have discussions on healthy lunch choices while at the competition.

Click here to learn more about the competition.