COSTA MESA — As a dramatic soundtrack played, Killybrooke Elementary School students chopped, stirred and cooked healthy gastronomic masterpieces using the secret ingredient — tomatoes — in hopes of beating out the competition.
Team Food Revolution made chili and served it in a hollowed red bell pepper with chili-pepper corn muffins.
But it was Team Veggie Monsters that took the top honor by only two points with a whole-grain pasta, marinara sauce and bruschetta for Killybrooke's "Iron Chef"-inspired cooking competition Monday in the school's multipurpose room.
"It was great," said sixth-grader Eli Lemna, 12, on winning. "I thought it was going to be real close — and it was."
Fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders watched two teams of nine compete. Students created an original dish — evaluated on appearance, taste and creativity — with the help of adult mentors from the Newport-Mesa Unified's nutrition services department. The mentors also served as the three-judge panel.