4-H teams compete to show who can prepare the healthiest food! Each team may include a mentor -- youth or adult volunteer, parent, chef or food industry worker. This is a Minnesota State Fair event.
This event is for 4-H'ers who have won a trip to the state fair and want a fun additional activity during their encampment. Sign up when you arrive at the 4-H Building and participate during your county's scheduled cook-off time.
- Increase interest in and knowledge of meal planning, food preparation and safety.
- Understand meat production, preparation and the importance of protein in your diet.
- Develop leadership abilities and self-confidence, while improving healthy food choices/decision making.
- Compete with other 4-H'ers from your county or tribe. Each team can have 3-5 members or join with another county-tribe to make a team of 3-5. Each team may include a mentor (youth or adult volunteer, parent, chef or food industry worker) who coaches the team through the preparation period.
- Prepare the selected recipe enough times before the contest to be familiar with it. But don't bring it along - it must be prepared on-site.
- Follow proper food safety procedures as you prepare the dish.
- You will prepare your dishes, transfer them to serving plates we provide and add any garnish, then place it on the judging table.
- We'll provide basic cooking equipment: grill, skillet, spoons, spatulas, measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, cutting boards, knives, vegetable peeler, vegetable brush, can opener, power cords and hot pad holders.
- Accessories such as place mats, napkins, flowers or figurines are not allowed.
- Display a copy of your recipe in an 8½ x 11” document holder. We'll provide paper and markers. The recipe should include ingredients, preparation and serving size. We'll collect it at the end of the event.
- Teams give a 3-5 minute oral presentation on their final food product. Judges may ask questions about the process, nutritional information or facts and estimated cost.
- Dress for the occasion! You must be well groomed. Tie your hair so it doesn't fall into the food.
- Check in with your team on the second floor of the 4-H building 5-10 minutes before your time slot. Wash your hands!
- Attend a one-hour skill-a-thon to learn about food safety and preparation skills.
- Bring everything you need -- recipe, special preparation equipment and secret ingredients.
- Teams will have their own stations and about 40 minutes to prepare their dishes.
- Gather supplies from a common pantry/display table and bring up to three secret food ingredients to include in your dish.
- Display your menu item on the serving plates. (We'll provide the plates.)
- Judges call each team to present their dish and give a 3-5 minute presentation.
- Judges interview team members and evaluate each team based on guidelines we'll provide when you arrive.
- Know how your recipe fits into MyPlate.
- Know the food preparation techniques you used.
- Know the safety and sanitation procedures you used.