Press Release

Virginia’s Phoebus High School Wins NASA HUNCH Culinary Challenge for Second Time

By SpaceRef Editor
May 22, 2019
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 It was a victory in the kitchen that was twice as nice for one local team of high school students.

Phoebus High School of Hampton, Virginia, has won the 2019 NASA HUNCH Culinary Challenge with their organic harvest hash with butternut squash entree. NASA’s Johnson Space Center Food Lab in Houston will process the entree and send it up to the International Space Station (ISS) for astronauts to enjoy.

Nationally, 37 schools competed in this year’s the HUNCH Culinary Challenge. Ten schools progressed to finals and competed at Johnson in April in hopes of being named as the 2019 NASA HUNCH Culinary Challenge winner.

“When we saw our name pop up as the first-place winners, we were very overly excited,” said Travis Scott, culinary teacher at Phoebus High. “Our entire school supported us from the start of the competition all the way until the final winners were announced; they motivated us to bring home a win.”

The students from the winning team included Mya Brooks, Wesleigh Gomes, Daysi Hale, Iyana Miller, Amarianna Thomas and Tierra Tucker.

Phoebus High’s entree was judged by Johnson Food Lab personnel, industry professionals, the ISS Program Office, and astronauts for quality and taste. They were also rated on a required research paper and presentation video. Their entree will be processed for spaceflight within six-nine months.

In its 16th year, HUNCH, or High school students United with NASA to Create Hardware, develops high school students in many ways by highlighting their talents in order to contribute to NASA’s missions. The program provides students hands-on experience with the space agency – such as building NASA-designed parts for use by agency personnel, or food for astronauts to enjoy. The HUNCH Culinary Challenge is in its fifth year.

Phoebus High is no stranger to having their creations make it to space. In 2015, a culinary team from the high school won the HUNCH Culinary Challenge and had their entree, Jamaican rice and beans with coconut milk, included in an astronaut cookbook for preflight preparation to the ISS.

Read more on the team’s success at:

To read how this year’s Phoebus High team came up with their winning dish, visit:

For more information about NASA’s HUNCH program, visit:

For more on the HUNCH Culinary Challenge, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.