After the final round of voting, a 2016 Hayes High School graduate was recently announced as the winner in a national taco contest.
Jarod Siekman, 20, a sophomore at Bluffton University in Ohio, was recently announced as the winner of the Sodexo’s Make It Mindful Taco contest, which aimed to find a taco recipe that could be served in all Sodexo locations. Siekman was announced as a finalist in November, and he recently won the final round of online voting.
“When I found out that I won, I freaked out a little bit because I hadn’t heard any updates in awhile,” Siekman said in an email Friday. “Then, I immediately called my family. It was very exciting news and out of the blue when I received the email with the details.”
Siekman previously said he was shocked to be a finalist, because he doesn’t cook that often and the competition was nation-wide.
Siekman said he won $2,500, which he will be putting toward tuition for his final year at Bluffton University, where he is studying math and secondary education.
“It is basically one big scholarship!” Siekman said.
Siekman’s creation — a chicken, avocado and mango taco — was the product of a study aboard trip to Guatemala. Siekman said when he was abroad, he would walk past a taco stand every night on his way home and get a taco full of fruit, salsas and chicken. He said he modified the recipe with avocados, which he enjoys.
“I have actually made the tacos a couple of times for my friends and family, and they all loved them,” Siekman said. “My cafeteria at Bluffton will be making them in the near future for the rest of the campus. It has been a very exciting experience with some delicious tacos being made.”
Siekman’s recipe can be found at https://www.mindful.sodexo.com/winner/.