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2 Poland students competing in United Way's Youth Cooking Challenge

March 25, 2019




Emma Taylor and Elijah Jones holding PPP Awards in front of Poland logo


Poland students Emma Taylor and Elijah Jones hold up their Prepared, Productive and Proud Awards they received from the school during a PPP Assembly on Friday, March 22, for competing in the United Way of the Valley and Great Utica Area’s Youth Cooking Challenge. Scroll below the story to view their videos. To go to the challenge's voting page, click here.





POLAND – Poland Central School District students Emma Taylor and Elijah Jones are competing the United Way of the Valley and Great Utica Area’s Youth Cooking Challenge.

Emma, 12, teamed up with chef Victor Ramirez of The Madison Bistro. Elijah, 10, was paired with chef Tim Hardiman of The Taylor & The Cook and Utica Bread.

You can vote for the Poland students by clicking here to visit https://lite987.com/cny-kids-are-really-cooking-with-united-way/ and scrolling down past the videos to vote in the poll.

Voting lasts through Sunday, April 7.

Emma and Elijah also received the Prepared, Productive and Proud Award from Poland Central School District during the PPP Assembly on Friday, March 22, for their involvement with the Youth Cooking Challenge. For more photos of other award winners and performers from the assembly, visit the Poland Facebook page by clicking here.


The United Way’s Youth Cooking Challenge is presented by Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield and is part of United Way’s health initiative with a focus on childhood health and wellness – including obesity prevention. The challenge helps develop cooking skills at a young age, while promoting healthy eating habits as adults.  Seven youth chefs were selected and paired up with seven local chefs to create a special signature dish.

After the online voting period, two teams will advance to a “cook-off” finale event scheduled for Monday, April 15. This event will be shown live on the United Way of the Valley & Greater Utica Area’s Facebook page and held at Restaurant Equipment Corporation’s test kitchen in New Hartford.

All contestants will receive this year's selected cookbook, the runner-up will receive a cooking themed prize basket valued at $150 and the grand prize winner will receive a cooking themed prize basket valued at $250 donated by Boscov’s!

Other sponsors of the cooking challenge include Capitol Arts Complex, Restaurant Equipment Equipment Corporation, Townsquare Media and the Oneida County BOCES Teacher's Association.










Emma and chef teammate with plates of food in front of them

Emma working on her dish as chef looks on

Emma put the topping on her dish.

Elijah and chef teammate display their signature dish

Elijah and his chef teammate shake hands by their signature dish

Elijah poses in the kitchen