Fourth-grader takes top honors in recipe challenge

We’ve got a dinner idea for you tonight -- courtesy of the fourth-grade winner of the Sodexo Future Chefs Challenge.

Congaree Elementary’s Sophia Barfield created a chicken teriyaki stir-fry pizza that captured top honors from a panel of judges at the March 14 Sodexo Future Chefs Challenge in Lexington Two, held at Brookland-Cayce High School.

The national cooking challenge, now in its eighth year, was created to get students thinking about making healthy food choices while also encouraging them to be active and creative in the kitchen. Seventy-five Lexington Two students submitted recipes, and 13 finalists were selected to compete. They were among 2,600 other students representing more than 1,300 Sodexo-served school sites in 30 states nationwide.

In addition to Sophia, other Lexington Two finalists and their elementary schools included: Ethan LeVon and Ester Stella Peter, BC Grammar No. 1; Jada Jackson and Jaden Johns, Cayce; Cooper Smith, Congaree; Madison Bumgarner and Zachary Head, Pineview; Caden Hunter and Connor Merchant, Saluda River; Ava Harmon and Amaya McCoy, Springdale; Sara Brentlinger and Naomi Hallman, Wood.

The winning student from each participating school district will be considered for regional finalist awards, and the selected regional finalists will vie to become one of five national finalists competing for the public’s vote on