Kids in the Kitchen: Strawberry Spinach Salad

Washington Post-Culinary scholarship winner Jeanine Williams, a senior at Roosevelt High School in the District, credits her aunt Stacy for this family recipe. When Jeanine doesn’t have the vinaigrette ingredients on hand, she uses Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette.

MAKE AHEAD: You’ll have vinaigrette left over, which can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

4 servings


  • 4 ounces (about 1 cup) pecan halves
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 ounces (about 5 cups) baby spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled, rinsed and cut into halves
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

(See Directions)

Tuna Tartare Competition

Executive Chef Shigefumi Tachibe of Chaya Restaurants in San Franciso and Downtown Los Angeles is the creator of Tuna Tartare. 

All Hail to the Food King!

Well, the humble chef took time out of his busy schedule to help teach kids from high schools involved in C-CAP  how to make his legendary dish.  The students from underserved communities were then put to a  Tuna Tartare challenge in January 2010.  Watch the 2 part MCCN series.

Watch MCCN Host Sunni Boswell teach middle school kids about Asian Fruits: Video

C-CAP Students Compete for Top Tuna Tartare Chef Honor

C-CAP Students: Photo Credit KCRW

CHAYA Restaurants has partnered with Careers through Culinary Arts Programs (C-CAP) to help educate and train underserved high school students who want to pursue a career in the restaurant industry and is the first to launch C-CAP LA’s Adopt-a-School program.

Fifteen culinary students from Hollywood, West Adams and Westchester high schools will compete in a “Top Tuna Tartare Chef” competition at CHAYA Downtown as part of C-CAP’s Adopt-a-School Program.  CHAYA’s Executive Chef Shigefumi Tachibe and CHAYA Downtown’s Chef de Cuisine, Kazuya Matsuoka will judge the competition, along with Executive Director for C-CAP, Los Angeles, Mitzie Cutler.

Chaya Downtown Los Angeles

CHAYA has an unprecedented 390-year history of restaurants owned and operated by the same Tsunoda family both in Japan and California.  CHAYA began under an enormous shade tree in Hayama, Japan, centuries ago, where they offered tea, sweets and respite to weary horseback travelers.  Today, there are two locations in Japan (Hikage CHAYA and La Marée de CHAYA) and four locations in California (Beverly Hills, Venice, Downtown LA, and San Francisco). 

Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) works with public schools across the country to prepare underserved high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry.   C-CAP provides training and curriculum enrichment programs including: teacher training; scholarships and cooking competitions; job shadows, job training, internships, and career advising; college advising and college 101; and product donations.  For more information about C-CAP, visit

And the winner is…results of competion: