Culinary Challenge Contest

Superintendents: Amy Peterson, Cami Wells 
Assistant Superintendent: Brenda Aufdenkamp


PURPOSE OF THE CONTEST

The 4-H Culinary Challenge Contest will require youth to demonstrate healthy decision making through nutrition, food preparation, menu planning, and food safety, utilizing foods and nutrition curriculum. They will apply healthy living knowledge and skills by planning a nutritious menu, demonstrating their understanding of time management skills in the kitchen, and expressing their originality and creativity through an appropriate themed and properly set table. To showcase these skills, youth will create a menu, prepare one food item, and choose an appropriate theme for their occasion while expressing their food, nutrition, and food safety knowledge during a live interview with a judge at the contest. In order to highlight knowledge and skills acquired during pre-contest preparation, youth will utilize technology as part of their interview.

AGE DIVISIONS

Age divisions will be determined by their 4-H age, the age of the youth before January 1 of the current year. 

  • F500097 Intermediate: Ages 10-13
  • F500098 Senior: Ages 14-18

ELIGIBILITY

Winners at a county contest (Table Toppers, Favorite Foods or other such contest) may advance to the4-H Culinary Challenge Contest, but participation at the county level is not required. The 4-H’er must been rolled in at least one Foods and Nutrition project to enter the Contest.  Each County is eligible to submit up to 4 teams of two 4-H members for the 4-H Culinary Challenge Contest State Fair 4-H Foods Event to be held during the Nebraska State Fair. Selection of such eligible teams shall be at the discretion of the county.  

COUNTY CONTESTS

Contact your local UNL Extension Office to determine if a county contest will be held.

STATE CONTEST

County teams of two 4-H members will have the opportunity to advance to the 4-H Culinary Challenge Contest, which will be held the first weekend of the Nebraska State Fair. Teams will be determined by the oldest 4-H’ers age and will be placed as follows: F500097 - Intermediate – ages 10 - 13; and F500098 - Senior – ages 14 - 18. (Age divisions will be determined by their 4-H age, the age of the youth before January 1 of the current year.) 

ADVANCE ENTRY

Must be submitted to the State 4-H Office with all other advance entries. Check the master schedule for complete schedule of contest.

CONTEST ENTRY FEES

A nonrefundable entry fee of $5.00 per person is required.

CONTEST SCHEDULE

Judging will occur on the first weekend of the Nebraska State Fair. Groups will be determined following the advance entry deadline. Specific competition times may be requested, but cannot be guaranteed. 

AWARDS

Team members will receive purple, blue, red, or white Nebraska State Fair ribbons. Medals will be awarded to first and second place teams in each age division.  Results will be posted following the completion of the contest.

CHALLENGE INGREDIENT/ITEM

A challenge ingredient will be selected each year, highlighting a Nebraska commodity food product.  The 2017 challenge ingredient is dried beans, peas and lentils. These may be used in any form, including dry-packaged or canned.  More information about the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission may be found at http://nebraskadrybean.com/ . Each team must incorporate the challenge ingredient into their food item they will be presenting during the contest.  This may require altering a recipe or creatively incorporating an item into their overall table theme. (For example: hummus, bean salads, soups, baked beans, or any other recipe using dried beans, peas or lentils in a creative way. The challenge ingredient must also be included in the interview presentation, demonstrating youth knowledge of the ingredient, such as nutritional value, a farm-to-fork concept, or how to adapt a recipe to include the ingredient.

JUDGES INTERVIEW

The team should view themselves as the hosts, welcoming the judge, cooperatively presenting the table to the judge, incorporating multi-media resources, and answering any questions from the judge. Teams must be prepared to present to the judge utilizing technology. (PowerPoint, picture story, or other multi-media resource. Presentations may include photos, clip art, animation, video or audio sound.) The 4-H members should cooperatively present a verbal presentation to the judge that is highlighted by their multi-media presentation via computer or iPad. Participants must provide their own computer or other equipment needed for their 4-H Foods Event judging interview. Presentations will occur at participants’ tables. Please do not bring projectors or other equipment which will require extra space.

Considerations should be given to creatively include the following items through the multi-media presentation:

  • nutritional facts of their menu 
  • food safety 
  • time management 
  • choice of menu 
  • food preparation 
  • cost of item/per serving 
  • food handling techniques
  • recipe of the food item shared with the judge 
  • challenge ingredient (nutritional value, farm-to-fork, recipe revision, etc.)

GENERAL RULES/GUIDELINES

  1. A team will consist of two members to be eligible to compete. 4-H members must all be at least 10 years of age by January 1 of the current calendar year.
  2. All team members must be enrolled in a 4-H foods and nutrition project during the current 4-H year.
  3. Judging interviews will be approximately 12 to 15 minutes for F500097 - Intermediate and F500098 - Senior Divisions. This time includes a short presentation by the teams, as well as questions from the judge.
  4. Teams should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your assigned time to set up their table.
  5. Team members must provide their own card table for the display.
  6. Upon arriving, check-in at the registration table. Teams will be assigned a specific area to set up.
  7.  Check-in area will contain a refrigerator, a microwave and *limited* temporary storage for table settings.
  8. Only contestants will be allowed to set up or arrange table settings.  
  9. Participants must have their table setting ready by the assigned time. Once tables are set, contestants should stay with their tables, as they are responsible for items placed on tables. Chairs will be available for contestants.
  10. During judging, 4-H members may choose to dress in appropriate clothing, costume, or accessories relevant to the theme. A 4-H chevron or 4-H emblem must be visible on clothing.
  11. All tables will be removed following a designated time. Tables will available for judging and public viewing for a maximum of 2 hours.

CONTEST RESOURCES

AWARDS

Team members will receive purple, blue, red, or white Nebraska State Fair ribbons. Medals will be awarded to first and second, place teams in each age division. Results will be posted following the completion of the contest.