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Blackburn students present their best pot of greens for second annual cook-off

The winners were Nia and Moe Selassie of the 2019 Greens cook-off are pictured holding the 1st place trophy.

The winners were Nia and Moe Selassie of the 2019 Greens cook-off are pictured holding the 1st place trophy (photo by Charles Smith/University Communications).

LATOYA BYLINE

Nine middle school students paired with parents, grandparents and friends from the community to cook their best pot of greens. Collard and mustard greens from the learning garden were used in the contest.

Heather Wilcox, assistant director for JSU’s Center for University-Based Development (CUBD) says, “This is a beautiful event because the students are actually learning how to grow vegetables from the beginning to the end. They are involved in the entire process from the seeding to the leaves being grown, and now they are able to actually cook what they grow.” 

Heather Wilcox, director for JSU's CUBD shows the audience the size of the greens picked from the learning garden and also used for the cook-off.

Heather Wilcox, director for JSU’s CUBD shows the audience the size of the greens picked from the learning garden and also used for the cook-off (photo by Charles Smith/University Communications).

The cook-off had a host of judges from BMS, Jackson State and the community to try each contestant’s famous pot of greens. After the judging was complete, BMS alumnus Nick Wallace announced the winners. In fall 2017, Wallace won part two of the “Alton’s Challenge” tournament on Food Network TV show “Chopped,” successfully following up his 2014 spot on the show “Cutthroat Kitchen.” He is currently the CEO and executive chef of Nick Wallace Culinary.

“They asked me to judge the contest and announce the winners but for me, this competition is much more than that,” says Wallace. “I graduated from this school and I’ve done so much with these students with creativity kitchen, so this is home.”

The winners were:

  • 1st place: Nia & Moe Selassie, green and kale smoothie
  • 2nd place: Kevin Trunnell and Ms. Davis, famous pot of spicy greens
  • 3rd place: Jackie and Corday Kitchens, famous pot of greens and cornbread

 

Mother and son duo, Jackie and Corday Kitchens took the third place trophy and bragging rights in this year's contest.

Mother and son duo, Jackie and Corday Kitchens took the third place trophy and bragging rights in this year’s contest (photo by Charles Smith/University Communications).

2nd place winners Kevin Trunnell and Ms. Davis pose with their famous pot of greens. Ms. Davis admits that this is her first time cooking greens (photo by Charles Smith/University Communications).

2nd place winners Kevin Trunnell and Ms. Davis pose with their famous pot of greens. Ms. Davis admits that this is her first time cooking greens (photo by Charles Smith/University Communications).

"We are a really healthy family and we are also vegan. We wanted to make something healthy and quick so this 'New You' smoothie was our strategy. It is green and delicious. There is no salt or sugar in our recipe," says Nia Selassie. Nia and her son Moe won 1st place. (photo by Charles Smith/University Communications).

“We are a really healthy family and we are also vegan. We wanted to make something healthy and quick so this ‘New You’ smoothie was our strategy. It is green and delicious. There is no salt or sugar in our recipe,” says Nia Selassie. Nia and her son Moe won 1st place. (photo by Charles Smith/University Communications).