Wellness City Challenge Announces 6th Annual Contra Costa County Mayors’ Cookoff


City officials from Contra Costa County are joining together for the sixth time to promote building a healthy community.

Each year, the Contra Costa County Mayors’ Healthy Cookoff brings our communities together to meet a common goal of understanding the importance of promoting healthy living which begins with health and nutrition education. Cindy Gershen, classroom teacher at Mt. Diablo High School in Concord, restaurant owner, and founder of Wellness City Challenge has been working in the Mount Diablo Unified School District to build out curriculum that can be shared with other schools.

Pamela Singh, Executive Director of Wellness City Challenge, stated, “It is important to have partnerships at all levels, from our political leaders to community health and nutrition education representatives, to ensure the public has the tools necessary to make informed decisions. Anna Fisher, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Mount Diablo Unified School District, and one of the judges, is just one example of a partnership that has been created to develop programs that will encourage students to eat healthy foods. This year Cindy is partnering with Food Services to begin a taste testing program which will show students’ healthy food can also taste good. The Mayors’ Healthy Cookoff will demonstrate what happens when partners come together to educate the community.”

Each city attending the event will be represented by their Mayor, Vice-Mayor or Council Member along with their selection of a chef from a restaurant in their city and a “sous chef” student from Mt. Diablo High School’s Sustainable Hospitality Pathway. The competition will be “iron-chef” style for the grand prize.

Each team will be given a grocery bag containing a protein food item, grains from Concord Grocery Outlet and fresh produce from Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association. Judges will include Kish Rajan, Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development for the State of California, and other notable leaders from the community who will decide the winning entry based on healthiness, taste, creativity and presentation.

At this time, the cities of Antioch, Concord, Danville, Martinez, Moraga, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, San Pablo, San Ramon and Walnut Creek have signed up to participate. Sponsors of the event include Wellness City Challenge, City of Concord, Concord Grocery Outlet, Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association, Mt. Diablo Recycling, Republic Services, Sports Authority, The Big C Athletic Club, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, Cancer Support Community and Kaiser Permanente.

The 6th Annual Contra Costa County Mayors’ Healthy Cookoff will be held at Todos Santos Plaza in Concord on Thursday, July 31st beginning at 4:00pm. The public is invited to observe the friendly competition and learn more about healthy eating.

Pamela Singh About Pamela Singh

Pamela Singh (Executive Director)
CEO/President of Planting for the Future Foundation
After a 25 year career in the banking industry in multiple positions, Pamela is on a journey to work with the non-profit sector to build synergy in order to support the consumer. By joining resources whether its information sharing, individuals and/or monetary, her goal is to build synergy via “best practices” that can be leveraged as needed. With prior experience of taking visions to a state of action/implementation through passion for what she believes in, it is her intent to create a support system which begins at the local level.