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Inside Kendall

Recipe contest for high school students: Take the Kendall Cooks Challenge!

High school students who like to get creative in the kitchen can showcase their recipe creations in the Kendall Cooks Challenge  recipe contest. Students submit a recipe incorporating three mystery ingredients revealed by Kendall College VP of Culinary Arts Chef Chris Koetke and a guest chef.

The Kendall Cooks Challenge is open four times throughout the school year, each time introducing new mystery ingredients via video by Koetke and a guest chef.

Round 1: September 5 – October 31, 2012 (Guest Chef: Kendall alumnus Jose Garces)
Round 2: December 1, 2012 – January 21, 2013 (Guest Chef: Kendall alumna Beverly Kim)
*Round 3: February 1, 2013 – February 28, 2013 (Guest Chef: Kendall alumnus Shawn McClain)*
Round 4: Launches April 1, 2013 (Stay tuned for information about the guest chef and mystery ingredients)Kendall Cooks

The winner of each round receives a professional knife kit and is eligible to win the grand prize: an all-expense paid trip to Chicago in Summer 2013 for a week long culinary camp at Kendall. Students do not have to participate in every round to be eligible for prizes.

Round 3 mystery ingredients were revealed by Chef Koetke and Kendall alum Shawn McClain (Iron Chef challenge winner and celebrated restaurateur). They include: salmon, poblano chiles and quinoa.


  • Chef Koetke says “Salmon holds up to lots of different cooking methods! You can steam it or poach it, you can grill it, sauté it, and you can flavor it in lots of different ways.”
  • Remember to check for and remove any small pin bones that may be wedged into the filet

Poblano Chiles:

  • Poblano peppers are mild and just slightly spicier than a bell pepper.
  • It is a wide, heart-shaped pepper used in many different types of recipes such as sauces, salsa, casseroles and stuffed peppers.


  • Pronounced KEEN-wah, is a tiny, nutty-tasting, gluten-free grain, that delivers healthy doses of protein and fiber
  • There is a bitter coating on the tiny seed that needs to be rinsed away. Most of the quinoa sold today in supermarkets is pre-rinsed, although a quick rinse under the faucet never hurts. To rinse: Place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and run it under cold water for a few seconds. Shake off any excess water and you are ready to proceed with cooking.
  • 1 cup dry quinoa yields about 3 cups cooked quinoa. To cook 1 cup quinoa, you need about 2 cups liquid.
  • Quinoa holds lots of water, so make sure to drain it thoroughly after it’s cooked. Otherwise it may make your whole dish watery.

Students interested in culinary school in Chicago or just sharing a creative recipe can enter their recipe for round 3 on Kendall’s Facebook page until February 28.

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