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Photo Gallery: Athens Restaurants Compete in School Lunch Challenge

A student judges a dish.

Local restaurants competed Saturday for the chance to have a dish added to the Clarke County School District’s 2018–2019 menu, with Donderos’ Kitchen coming out on top.

Donderos’ won the annual School Lunch Challenge with its chicken fajitas and roasted sweet potatoes. The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia’s turkey, cheese and veggie panini with steamed broccoli and lemon zest finished second in the student vote, while Taziki’s Mediterranean Café’s entry, a “pizzadilla” with chopped salad won the silver medal among adults. The Last Resort Grill also competed.

All entries had to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition guidelines, be prepared in less than 90 minutes and cost less than $1.50 per plate.

The School Lunch Challenge was started by the University of Georgia’s Richard B. Russell Library in 2015, and is co-sponsored by the Clarke County School District, Mayfield Dairy Farms, the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences and Department of Food and Nutrition, The Fresh Market, Seed Life Skills, Athens Farm to School and Heirloom Café.

All photos were taken by Jessica Silverman.


Students sample the eventual winner, Donderos’ Kitchen’s chicken fajitas.



Georgia Sen. Richard B. Russell co-sponsored the bill that created school lunches in 1946.


Renee Smith (left) and Ashley Na of the Athens Land Trust give a cooking demonstration.


Charles Hay of The Olive Basket demonstrates how to cook the Korean noodle dish japchae.