Thunderstorm Chicken Sandwich


Sahar Alfatlawi

Anaheim High School introducing the new Thunderstorm Chicken Sandwich.

Sahar Alfatlawi, Public Relations Officer and Reporter


On September 27, Anaheim High School introduced the new Thunderstorm Chicken Sandwich created by Anaheim Colonists Christopher Rojas and Joaquin Reyes through Cooking Up Change,  a culinary competition that Anaheim participated in for the first time this year. Served at the colonist cafeteria, students lined up to judge the new menu item.

Chef and Co-Creator of the Thunderstorm Chicken Sandwich (left), Christopher Rojas, posing with Anaheim HS Vice Principal Dr. Valdez (right).

Sahar Alfatlawi


Using the school’s typical chicken patty, Rojas and Reyes added a twist with a coating of “housemade hot sauce,” topped with a slice of pepper jack cheese. It is served with “The Calm Before the Storm Slaw,” made of carrots and celery mixed with a ranch dressing, served with a side of cilantro for burgers and house-pickled onions.


Rojas was inspired by the high demand for more diverse flavors in school lunches. “What you usually get from students is that the food is bland and it’s not tasty…” Rojas and his partner took the initiative to create a dish that appeals to students’ palates.


Using a “voice or choice” method, students were able to rate the dish from “like it,”(green) “kinda like it,” (yellow) to “dislike it”(red). AHS juniors, Bryan Baez and Hailie Garcia believe that as long as students keep creating great food, they should keep on doing what they are doing. Garcia acknowledges that students know what their peers like and want; therefore, they are the perfect candidates to make the school menus.

AHS juniors, Bryan Baez and Hailie Garcia            Sahar Alfatlawi                                


The program Cooking Up Change, launched by Kid Healthy, is a “National culinary competition.” Kelsey Markland, the program manager for Kid Healthy, states that this program allows “students throughout Orange County to take part in creating a school lunch menu that can actually be served in school cafeterias.”

The next competition will take place in Spring of 2019. Markland advises all students interested in this competition to talk to their culinary teacher about future participation. Since the Thunderstorm Chicken Sandwich received positive feedback, students can look forward to seeing it on the menu on a weekly basis.