Mattawan Middle School, Mattawan, Michigan
Ask a middle school student if they’ve ever eaten a crepe and many will ask: What’s a crepe?” Not at Mattawan Middle School.
This year, a three-person team of talented young chefs, who called themselves the Mattawan Crepe 66 Café Crew, created a unique and tasty recipe that left a lasting impression on the Michigan Junior Chef contest judges: It’s called Not Your Ordinary Gluten-Free Crepe and Parfait Breakfast.
The Crepe 66 crew got the inspiration for their team name from the I-94 exit nearest their school, No. 66. All team members attend Mattawan Middle School, and their coach, David Rose, is the foodservice director for Mattawan Public Schools.
The Michigan Junior Chef contest is a biannual event, held at Michigan State University and sponsored by the Michigan Department Education, the Michigan Center for Regional Food Systems, and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. The theme of this year’s contest was school breakfast. Schools were required to form teams of young chefs who would create tasty new breakfast meals that are easy to replicate, meet current school nutrition guidelines, and taste great.
The Mattawan crepe crew settled on gluten-free crepes because so many of their friends and family members now embrace the gluten-free lifestyle. Also, one contest guideline was to follow current food trends – and gluten-free diets are certainly one of them.
The winning dish – the breakfast crepe is a very thin, homemade gluten-free crepe cooked on the stove top and placed in a muffin pan to form a nesting cup. The cup was filled with an egg, cheese, and veggie mixture; baked; and then topped with It’s Greek to Me Yogurt Salsa. In keeping with the highway theme, the crepe was accompanies by a 10-ounce, Highway Parfait which looked like a traffic light with red, yellow, and green fruit; yogurt; and a homemade granola-type topping.
Mattawan’s Foodservice Director, David Rose is no stranger to Junior Chef. 2015 was his second year to bring a team to the competition. According to Rose, “Junior Chef is an amazing experience for me and for the kids. Our student team gets to create something new, influence what their friends eat, and visit the beautiful MSU campus where the competition is held. Who wouldn’t like that?”
For their third-place win, Crepe 66 team members each received a copy of Michele Obama’s book, American Grown, and Mattawan school foodservice department received a check for $250.
This story is part of a School Breakfast Success Story Compendium by Michigan Team Nutrition. To read more success stories, click here!
Nicholas Drzal, RD, MPH, Michigan Department of Education
Chris Flood, MS; Nutrition Communications Consultant, Healthy Habits Today