DALLAS, Aug. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen and Medical City Children's Hospital teamed up to inspire young North Texas chefs with a Kids Fit Menu contest earlier this year. This month, the winning dishes, Pizza Dippers and a Honey Lime Chicken Wrap, are being unveiled at nine of the company's casual dining locations for a limited time. In addition to having their items on the kids' menu, the talented students from two local area schools, Abelardo Villegas and Hope Cachay from Jack E. Singley Academy, and Kaitlyn Flenker and Vivian Martin from Buinger Career and Technology Education Academy, have received a scholarship from Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen.
"As an aspiring young chef, I was honored to have the opportunity to experiment in the kitchen with Chef Robert Pesch and the Registered Dietitians at Medical City Children's Hospital. I enjoyed creating a healthy, delicious kids menu item for one of my favorite local restaurants," said Kaitlyn Flenker, Kids Fit Menu chef.
Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen partnered with Medical City Children's Hospital to challenge two-person student teams to create healthy, hand-crafted dishes through the Kids Fit Menu program. Each student team was required to incorporate two full servings of fruits or vegetables into their recipe, as well as follow strict guidelines regarding the amount of sugar, sodium and trans fat that could be utilized in their dish. This kept each menu item healthy and also gave students the chance to get creative with ingredients and flavors in each dish.
"It inspires me to work with young culinary students who are passionate about becoming chefs," said Robert Pesch, VP, Corporate Executive Chef of Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen. "At Cheddar's, we're always looking for ways to expand our menu, so we're excited for our Guests to test the students' creations."
More than 25 schools in the Dallas Fort Worth area partner with Medical City Children's Hospital's Kids Fit Menu program each year. The Texas ProStart culinary students developed their meal ideas and met at the Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen test kitchen for a cooking competition and tasting event on Saturday, April 1. Judges for the event included President of Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Ian Baines, winner of Chopped Junior, Tara O'Donnell, and kid judge, Sebastian Schaefer. Each meal was scored on taste, presentation and healthfulness. Winning chefs were awarded a scholarship from Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen.
"Our kids teaching kids and the Kids Fit Menu programs help fulfill our mission to improve the overall health of children, starting with eating habits," said Bill Lee, CEO of Medical City Children's Hospital. "We're proud to partner with Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen to educate young chefs in the area and promote the Kids Fit Menu at its participating North Texas restaurants."
The winning dishes will be available starting August 1 in select Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen locations, including Bedford, Garland, Allen, Dallas (Greenville Ave. & LBJ Freeway locations), The Colony, Arlington, Irving and Mesquite. For more information about Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, including details on participating locations, purchasing gift cards for special occasions or signing up for the eClub to receive exclusive information and promotions, visit www.cheddars.com.
ABOUT CHEDDAR'S SCRATCH KITCHEN
Irving, TX-based Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen was founded in 1979 by Aubrey Good and Doug Rogers, who believed that when a meal is prepared from scratch just for the guest, it not only tastes better, but it makes the Guest feel good. Every Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen delivers scratch goodness and experiences generously done the right way, not the easy way. With a recipe for success, the brand has grown to 168 company-owned and franchise locations in 29 states. In 2016, Technomic Consumer Choice Awards ranked Cheddar's No. 1 full-service restaurant chain for guest's intent to return. Additionally, the Editorial and Advisory Council at FARE honored Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen as a 2016 Leader in Foodservice. For more information, visit Cheddars.com.
Medical City Children's Hospital is a 156-bed comprehensive, award-winning pediatric health care facility in Dallas, Texas, established in 1996. World-class pediatric specialties include congenital heart surgery, hematology and oncology, craniofacial surgery, kidney transplant, neurosurgery and orthopedics. Medical City Children's Hospital offers a Level IV NICU, the highest level of neonatal care available in Dallas. Medical City Children's Hospital has been recognized by The Joint Commission in 2015 as a top performer on key quality measures and was named a top 10 Best Hospital in Texas by U.S. News and World Report in 2015. Medical City Children's Hospital is part of Medical City Healthcare.