Nothing can “pick me up” quite like adorable photos of my beautiful children! If you typically get a case of the Mondays, like me, maybe my cute pictures will make you smile too Hope you have a great week! My brother and his girlfriend are coming into town to visit this week (YAY!) so I’ll likely be MIA!
Stirring up recognition; Chanhassen High School chef Steve Riley is one of four finalists Thursday at a national cook-off with his popular white chicken chili.(NEWS)
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) March 30, 2011 Byline: KELLY SMITH; STAFF WRITER Steve Riley never reveals his recipes. But if the Chanhassen High School chef wins a national contest this week, he’ll have to share his white chicken chili recipe with the world.
The creative former corporate chef beat out 60 food service applicants to be a finalist at Campbell Soup Company’s “Souper Recipe Contest and Cook-off.” The latter part of the Savage 47-year-old’s motto — “good looking and good cooking” — will be put to the test Thursday at a Philadelphia cook-off. If he wins, the recipe for his buffalo-sauce spiced white chicken chili will appear on soup cans nationwide. website chanhassen high school
“I had no idea this would result in this,” he said. “I think it’s great. I’m representing Chanhassen High School and Minnesota.” Two years ago, the school district hired the 22-year Honeywell corporate chef after the company out-sourced its food service. Riley moved from cooking up roast beef and prime rib for corporate executives to making chicken nuggets and pizza for 1,400 teenagers. website chanhassen high school
He also brought a passion for cooking from scratch, whipping up homemade sauces and soups, adding fresh vegetables and fruits, and spicing up pre-made entrees.
In her nearly 30 years in the Eastern Carver County district, Food Service Director Diane Timmers has seen the school kitchen scene transformed from giving students one entrée choice and nearly no homemade or fresh options to five entrée options and healthier, innovative foods.
Riley and his staff cook up everything from fresh vegetables and caramel yogurt apples to tortilla soup and black bean brownies. They’ve also added more whole grain foods and dishes with less sodium.
“He’s just so creative,” colleague Barb Regan said. “This district is different, and changing the idea of what food service is. We’re just trying to make things healthier and better for the kids.” As the cafeteria opened one day last week, students crowded the kitchen, including the elaborate salad and soup bar.
“I get soup, like, every day,” sophomore Elly Krych said as she poured Riley’s white chicken chili into a bowl. “It’s different all the time.” Sophomore Aaron Buchanan tried the chili for the first time after hearing friends rave about it. “Wow, this is really good,” he said, testing a spoonful.
If Riley can prevail in the Campbell’s contest, his recipe will be featured on soup cans and he’ll get a $500 shopping spree at the company. His competition: two health-care chefs and a university chef who will prepare hot wings, noodle bowls and a chicken casserole.
“This would be a great honor for his career,” Timmers said. “And it’s an honor for our district to have him.” Kelly Smith — 612 – 673-4141