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Elementary Students Show Off Culinary Skills

Desmond O'Boyle

How young do you start teaching children how to cook? The Eugene 4J School District thinks 4th and 5th grades are a good time to start.

Elementary Students faced off in a culinary competition Saturday at Sheldon High School. Future Master Chef Oria Winkler was working on a sandwich called "Sweet Monkey Spice."

Winkler: "It has honey, peanut butter, bananas, and cinnamon."

Reporter: "What is your favorite part about doing this today?"

Winkler: "Just like seeing how many people are doing all the sandwiches', and trying new things. And it just seems really fun."

4J Food Service Manager Julie Whittlesey says kids come in with a wide range of culinary skills.

Whittlessey: "And so what happens is they come here, and you see this kind of light go off. Parents are asked actually not to help. And so our Table Leads take on that position to help them. So the kids really feel empowered. And by the end of it, they leave here and they just feel really good about themselves. For the past few years, we've actually seen kids leave here with confidence they didn't come in with."

Students prepared their specialties in the morning, followed by judging at noon. The winner with the best dish got an I-pod Nano and everyone got to sample each others' cuisine.

copyright, 2014 KLCC