Miracle Rivera, left, of Osceola High School, accepts her award for winning the 2022 High School Collard Recipe Contest for her Collard Deviled Egg from Vanessa Marquis, president of the American Culinary Federation of Tampa Bay. ACF Tampa Bay sponsored the competition in support of the Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival. Photo courtesy of ACF Tampa Bay
BY JOYCE NANETTE JOHNSON, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — Osceola Fundamental High School student Miracle Rivera is the proud winner of the 2022 American Culinary Federations (ACF) Student Recipe Contest. She will have a chance to showcase her award-winning Collard Green Devil Eggs recipe at the 5th annual Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival on Feb. 19.
Miracle reminisced that her grandmother, Allison Jelks, was always in the kitchen making everything from scratch. However, Miracle didn’t have an interest in cooking until she took a cooking class in 10th grade.
“I was informed by one of the chefs in my cooking class about the ACF student recipe contest, and I decided to try something new,” said the 18-year-old.
The ACF of Tampa Bay is part of the national non-profit organization whose main objective is to assist culinary professionals in advancing their careers through educational opportunities and community outreach programs that can provide a road to certification. The Tampa Bay chapter membership is composed of chefs, cooks, culinary educators, and students from Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco counties.
One of their successful community outreach programs is the ACF Educational Foundation’s Chef & Child Initiative. This program enables chapter chefs to go out into their communities to educate children and families about healthy nutrition options.
“Students from Bayside High School, Osceola Fundamental High School, and Gigi’s Playhouse submitted recipes that had to have collard greens as one of the ingredients,” explained ACF Chef Vince Blancato, who has been at the festival from its beginnings.
“The collard green smoothies are delicious and always a big hit with the crowd,” he shared, noting that last year the winning recipe was for Collard Green Cupcakes.
Chef Rene Marquis was one of the judges for this year’s contest.
“They [the students] were judged on 50 percent scale, 25 percent for taste, 15 percent for creativity, and 10 percent for execution, which included several modules from the observance of sanitation requirements to making sure all of the product had availability for the specific season.”
This year’s Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival has added another dimension to the event, the Culinary Experience Stage, sponsored by Healthy Start of John Hopkins of All Children’s Hospital and hosted by registered dietitian Wendy Wesley for the American Heart Association.
The Culinary Experience Stage will showcase all cooking demonstrations, and limited samples will be available, including Miracle’s winning collard green deviled eggs.
“I’m very nervous,” Miracle said. “I’ve never done anything like this before. I appreciate the experience.”
Some of the other scheduled guest cooks and chefs include Bowlz and Bunz Food Truck, chefs from Three Generations Food Truck, and Chef Javon Holmes of Freya’s Diner.
This year’s headliner and special guest will be Chef Gabrielle E. W. Carter, who was featured on Netflix’s “High on the Hog,” a documentary based on Jessica B. Harris’s book of the same name. It explores Black people’s diverse contributions to American cuisine. Carter’s recipes and storytelling have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Garage Magazine, and The Smithsonian.
Carter will share her “Florida Gulf Style Groundnut Stew with Collards, Florida Conch Peas, and Prawns” and will also take time to answer cooking questions from the audience.
The main stage will offer diverse forms of entertainment, including line dancing, exercising, yoga, live music, drumming, and giveaways.
The 5th Annual Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival takes place on Feb. 19 from 10-5 p.m. at the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, 2240 9th Ave. S.
Collard Green Deviled Eggs
- ½ c of diced onion
- 1 c of chicken broth
- ½ c of water
- 3 bundles of collard greens
- ½ tsp of Abobo
- ½ tsp of garlic powder
- ½ tsp of onion powder
- Salt and Pepper TT
- Carton of Boiled eggs
- 3 tbsp of sweet relish
- 2 tbsp dill relish
- 5 tbsp of mayo
- 1 tbsp of mustard
- Paprika (optional)
- Rinse each bundle of greens in the sink in cold water and repeat. Place a stockpot on medium heat, then add diced onions and sauté for 4-8 minutes.
- Pour chicken stock and water into pot. Bring to a boil. Then add one bundle of greens into pot (cut in half if green leaves are large). Cover with lid and let it get tender for about 6 minutes, continue to add bundles until all are in. Stir Occasionally
- Add in Adobo, garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper. Let them simmer for 25-40 minutes or until a dark green. Place a large pot with water on high heat to a boil
- Add uncooked eggs and boil them for 12-16 minutes. Take off heat, strain, and rinse hardboiled eggs under cool water.
- Peel eggs and cut in half the long way. Put the cooked yolks into a bowl and egg whites onto a flat surface. After all yolks are into the bowl, mash them with a spoon or potato masher until it’s a crumbled consistency. Add in mayo, relish mustard and salt and pepper.
- Take collard greens off heat and slowly add them by tablespoons into the yolk combination. Mix well.
- Finally, pour yolk combination into a zip lock bag and cut a small piece of the bag off a corner. Squeeze the combination slowly and neatly into the hardboiled egg whites. Sprinkle paprika over all the deviled eggs and serve.