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TUSD's International Culinary Showcase celebrates culture, diversity and food

Posted January 23, 2015

A celebration of culture, diversity, and most importantly, food, took place at Catalina High School on Thursday, January 22.

The 2015 TUSD International Culinary Showcase brought together the HealthierUS School Challenge and TUSD's Fusion program. Both programs promote healthy lifestyles through nutritional foods and exercise.

The HealthierUS School Challenge is a voluntary initiative that recognizes and awards schools that go above and beyond with nutrition and physical education. Catalina High School hopes to obtain the bronze category prize this coming year by working with students to build a menu enriched by the various cultures and values that reflect the school.

"Our goal was to increase participation and increase what students like to eat," said Gayle McCartney, HealthierUS Challenge Specialist.

Cuisine from all over the world was available for attendants to taste and enjoy. Each international dish was inspired by students at Catalina High School. The dishes were then reconstructed by the Fusion program to ensure they had healthy and nutritional ingredients. The current Fusion menu at Catalina High School includes unique and flavorful dishes such as Lime in the Coconut Chicken, Inside Out Lasagna, and Malaysia Beef Flatbread Pizza.

TUSD Director of Food Services Shirley Sokol commented, "We are working with Catalina to celebrate culture through food and to celebrate our district."

In addition, attendants were encouraged to score and provide feedback on the dishes. Dishes with the highest scores will be considered for Catalina's new Fusion menu, and the top scoring dish will be featured at the boutique hotel The Lodge on the Desert.

The Lodge on the Desert has chosen two of the highest scoring dishes to feature at their restaurant. They plan to feature one dish on January 30 and the other on January 31.

 • Nepal – Shrimp Momo, inspired by Laxmi Gurung
 • Honduras – Pastelitos, inspired by Ingris Cruz

Of the event, TUSD Superintendent Dr. H. T. Sánchez enthusiastically said, "TUSD is a melting pot of diversity and culture. Catalina High School is the center point for all this and is bringing us together through something we all love: eating!"

 Photo of celebration
Students, staff, and community members celebrated with healthy and delicious food.
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The dishes represented cuisine from students' cultures.
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The Fusion program ensures meals are healthy and delicious.
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The Fuel Up to Play 60 program concluded the event with a dance party to promote physical activity and exercise.
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Photo of dish
Fusion Dishes
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Student displays one of the many tasty dishes.
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Nutrition information and materials were provided to participants.