Statewide throughout Vermont — Registration is now open for Vermont schools and organizations to sign up a youth team for the upcoming Jr Iron Chef VT competition, taking place on March 16, 2019, at the Champlain Valley Exposition. Up to 70 teams will be accepted. Last year, all team spots filled before the registration deadline, so registrants are encouraged to act soon! Early Bird rates ($130) are available until December 12, and registration closes (regular rate = $150) January 18, 2019.
Jr Iron Chef VT challenges teams of middle and high school students to create nutritious, local dishes to inspire school meal programs. Teams of 3-5 students are coached by local educators, chefs, farmers, school nutrition staff, and parents to successfully prepare their dishes in under 90 minutes. Teams practice for months to hone their recipes, with their dedication and skill evident during the spring competition.
“Jr Iron Chef VT brought out the culinary geniuses in my students!” says 2018 Edmunds Middle Team Coach Alissa Church Smith. “It exposed them to new careers and passions they didn’t know were possible. My students are more familiar with local agriculture and think critically about the food system and how it affects their families and communities. Throughout practices, I saw a change in their confidence: in decision-making, group discussions, and culinary skills. Their joy and focus are the hallmarks of the true learning that happens during this program.”
Every dish is judged by a panel of food system professionals and advocates with winners determined in three categories: best use of local ingredients, teamwork and professionalism, and best overall dish.
Since 2008, over 3,500 Vermont kids have participated in Jr Iron Chef VT. Through the program, students get involved with their community, learn how to work in a group, commit themselves to a team, and hone their culinary skills all while proudly representing their school. What’s more, they experience the power of food — how it affects their health, the health of their school, and the health of their community. Participating students truly are our future chefs and food system changemakers.
To register, visit: jrironchefvt.org/register
Jr Iron Chef VT is a statewide culinary competition organized by Vermont FEED (Food Education Every Day), a project of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) and Shelburne Farms.
Video Link: https://vimeo.com/294219616
Media Contact: Sarah Webb, Vermont FEED & Shelburne Farms, 802.985.0304 or firstname.lastname@example.org