Extension > Youth Development > Minnesota 4-H > State Fair > Chef for a Day
Chef for a Day
- To increase interest in and knowledge of meal planning and food preparation.
- To gain knowledge of food safety and preparation.
- To gain understanding of meat product production and preparation as well as importance of protein in the diet.
- To develop leadership abilities and self-confidence, while improving healthy food choices/decision making.
- Participants will compete as a county team. Each team can have three to five members. Small teams may be merged with other small counties. Each team may include a mentor (youth or adult volunteer, parent, chef or food industry worker) who can coach the team through the preparation period.
- The 4-H’ers should prepare the selected recipe enough times before the contest to be familiar with it. Don’t bring the dish already prepared to the contest.
- 2017 contest teams will prepare a Minnesota grown healthy plate featuring Minnesota products in a salad of the team’s choice. Team will only prepare the main entree following MyPlate recommendations as appropriate. Teams are encouraged to bring up to three additional special ingredients (no home processed products) to make their dish original. No refrigeration will be provided. This means you can bring unopened items in original packaging or containers, cans, bottles, bag.
- Participants will follow proper food safety procedures during preparation of the dish.
- Participants will prepare their recipes, transfer to the provided serving plate and add any garnish before it is placed on the judges table.
- Basic cooking equipment will be provided: 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 to use in preparation of dishes.
- Accessories such as place mats, napkins, flowers or figurines are not allowed.
- Each team must display a copy of recipe in an 8½ x 11” document holder, paper & markers will be provided. The recipe should include ingredients, preparation, & serving size. This will be collected at the end of the cook-off.
- Participants will give a brief 3-5 minute team oral presentation on their final food product and may be asked questions from a judge’s panels as well as discuss the preparation process, nutritional information or facts, and estimated cost.
- 4-H’ers should be dressed appropriately and well groomed. The 4-H’ers hair should be secured so that loose hair cannot fall into the salad being prepared.
- Teams will check in on the second floor of the 4-H building 5-10 minutes prior to their assigned educational experience. This allows time for the team to wash their hands prior to the start.
- Participants will individually participate in the one hour skill-a-thon to ensure an understanding of food safety and preparation skills for successful cook-off.
- Participants will come into the competition area with all materials needed for the cook off. (recipe, special preparation equipment, & secret ingredients)
- Teams will have their own station and approximately 40 minutes to prepare their dish.
- Participants will gather supplies from a common pantry/display table and bring up to three secret food ingredients to include in their menu item.
- Participants will display their menu item on the provided serving plates.
- Participants will be called upon by team, present their item and give their 3-5 minute presentation.
- Teams will be interviewed and evaluated on team basis. Guidelines for evaluation will be provided for the judges.
Common pantry items
- The following items will be available from a common food pantry: Boneless chicken breasts, beef sirloin, lamb chop, pork loin, hard boiled eggs, lettuce, assorted peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, celery, onions, broccoli, salt, pepper, soy sauce, Worchester sauce, vinegar, oil, garlic, cornstarch, thyme, oregano, cilantro, individual salad dressing packets (French, Italian, & Ranch), water, and orange & pineapple juice.
- Choose a grilled salad recipe and know about the recipe.
- Know how recipe fits into MyPlate.
- Know the food preparation techniques used.
- Know safety and sanitation procedures used.
- Review youth cooking ideas and food preparation tips.
- Curriculum options include 4-H Fantastic Foods, 4-H Nebraska Fast Foods, Cooking with Kids Resource Library.
For more information please contact Chef-for-a-Day Sub-Committee members Carrie Olson or Kimberly Asche.
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