HAVERHILL — Superintendent Maureen Lynch is pleased to share that Whittier Tech seniors and sophomores studying Culinary Arts recently participated in a competition using ready-made meals offered to members of the military.
The MRE Challenge competition was held at the Army National Guard facility in Natick on Jan. 28.
Students were given six pouches of MRE meals, which are ready-to-eat packaged food rations used by United States Armed Forces members. Students were tasked with using the ingredients in the MRE packages to create an appetizer, entree, dessert and drink that would be more appealing than the pre-packaged meals. The MREs included drink powders, meals such as chili, macaroni, breadsticks and other items.
“MREs are stubborn little things,” said Nora Broadrick, a sophomore from Amesbury. “It’s hard to deconstruct them. We had to work with what we had and turn it into something else.”
In the 30 minutes allotted to plan and 90 minutes to execute, the senior and sophomore teams transformed their pouches into a tasty meal. After being tasted by military troops, the sophomores were awarded a bronze medal for creativity.
Their meal featured:
- Appetizer: A tart made from breadsticks and jalapeno cheese with bean puree topped with crushed red pepper and crushed almonds
- Entree: Spicy chicken and beef burritos
- Drink: Fresh fruit combined with powdered drink beverages
- Dessert: Pound cake and angel food cake topped with craisins and crushed M&Ms
It was Whittier’s first year in the competition. They competed against 17 other Massachusetts schools, and the sophomores plan to return next year.
“It was a lot of fun being in a different environment and working with something different,” said Haley Miller, a sophomore from Salisbury.
Instructors Kris Crovetti and Tjitse Boringa accompanied the students.
“I’m very proud of them for putting themselves out there in an unfamiliar situation and thriving,” said Boringa.
“They learned important team-building and communication skills,” Crovetti added. “They were able to work as a team on a six foot table.”