Registration Open for Youth Cooking Challenge at 2012 Iowa State Fair

AMES, Iowa – Teams of fifth through 12th grade youth can register now for the third annual Cook This! 4-H Culinary Challenge at the 2012 Iowa State Fair. During the challenge, youth have the opportunity to demonstrate their creativity in food preparation and knowledge of kitchen equipment, menu preparation and identification of various food Items.

Cook This! Culinary ChallengeThe competition will take place Aug. 12-14 in the 4-H Exhibit Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Eight teams will participate at each of three age levels, said Steph Ferguson, 4-H State Fair event coordinator and a senior in culinary science at Iowa State University. Only one member on each team is required to be a member of 4-H. Youth can join 4-H at their county Iowa State University Extension and Outreach officeApplications will be accepted until June 1. Teams will be selected and announced by July 1.

“Interested youth may apply in three-member teams, in pairs or individually, in which case we will match you with other youth,” Ferguson said.

The junior level competition, grades 5-6, takes place Sunday, Aug. 12; the intermediate level, grades 7-8, on Monday, Aug. 13; and the senior level, grades 9-12, on Tuesday, Aug. 14.

This year the competitors at each level each will be given a theme, provided with recipes and given a basket containing all the required ingredients needed to execute their challenge. Teams in each age group will be required to present their dish and be judged on skill sets specific to their age group, as outlined before the competition.

Junior level competitors will have a Mexican themed dish, intermediate level teams will prepare an Italian cuisine and the senior level will create an Oriental stir-fry.

“This is a great opportunity for Iowa youth to learn about where their food comes from, demonstrate their knowledge of food preparation and safety, work in teams and experience a fast-paced cooking environment,” shared Ferguson. "We’re excited to add a few new twists to the challenge this year and look forward to announcing more details and educational resources throughout the summer.”

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Register online for Cook This:


Contact: Steph Ferguson, 4-H State Fair Event Coordinator,