For Immediate Release
Posted: November 21, 2019


New Hampshire Department of Education
(603) 271-0448 |

Students compete to make new dishes from military meals

Story by Siobhan Lopez on WMUR about the 2019 MRE Challenge.

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Siobhan Lopez

November 21, 2019

SALEM, N.H. —Students from six New Hampshire high schools took part Wednesday in a cooking competition inspired by the Food Network show "Chopped."

The state Department of Education and New Hampshire National Guard teamed up to plan the "MRE Challenge."

Culinary students were given three meals ready to eat, the prepared meals soldiers typically eat, to create a new dish and were given a mystery ingredient halfway through. That mystery ingredient were plantains, the only fresh ingredient in the mix.

"Seeing what these students are doing tonight with the excitement and what they can do with different ingredients and make it more palatable, I just think it's a win-win situation for everyone," said Maj. Gen. David Mikolaities, adjutant general of the New Hampshire National Guard.

Other career technical education programs involved in the event included the marketing and digital video programs, whose students produced and shot the event live.

"I'm just excited about the investment that New Hampshire has made in CTE programs that create the opportunity for students to be able to do this," said Frank Edelblut, commissioner of the Department of Education.

Making the plantain the star, Team Pinkerton took home the win with a ratatouille.

Officials said they hope to expand the event next year to involve other high schools.