recipe rescue winnersOn Saturday March 5th, the Recipe Rescue Cook Off took place at the Institute of Culinary Education in Battery Park. More than 75 kids submitted applications, and five students were selected from each division to participate in the competition. One of those selected was Sofia, a young gourmand and Allergic to Salad student at New Voices Middle School in South Slope, who won the prize for her age group with a family recipe for Cuban Garbanzo Beans.

The purpose of the competition was to resuscitate family recipes, inject them with health factor, and give the participants a chance to hone their culinary skills. Any student in New York City could apply through a form online. Prior to the competition, the finalists participated in a workshop where they got the chance to practice their recipes. Each student could also bring along a parent or mentor, since the competition was focused on preserving family heritage. Sofia brought along her mother, who originated the winning recipe.

Brooke Marie Robinson is Sofia’s ATS educator at New Voices. She said that Sofia was very “surprised” and “humbled” to be selected. Discussion around the contest also presented an opportunity for the rest of the students in the class to discuss their family recipes. One of the students brought in a Dominican plantain dish and they discussed it in class.

Brooke moved to New York in September for the NYU street studies program. She started teaching with Allergic to Salad shortly thereafter, combining a lifelong love for cooking with a desire to educate.

Brooke says that many of her students express that they’re more excited to cook at home after learning at school. They are also more apt to try more things. The cook off sparked some interesting discussion amongst the class and encouraged all of the students, not just Sofia, to think about bringing the cooking skills they learn in school to bear on the rest of their lives.

Cuban Garbanzos


Servings 8-10


1lb Dried Garbanzo beans

Olive Oil

3 medium russet potatoes peeled and quartered

1 yellow Malanga, peeled and cut into pieces

1 spanish style chorizo

½ lb lean salt pork, diced

3 small yellow onions, peeled and finely chopped

6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 small green bell pepper, core, seeded, and finely chopped

¼ cup tomato puree

1tsp sweet paprika




1 turkey sausage in place of chorizo

3 strips of turkey bacon in place of lean salt pork

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