Teams Gear up for an Iowa State Fair Culinary Challenge

cook this challengeAMES, Iowa – It’s going to heat up at the Iowa State Fair this summer and it’s not only the weather. Twenty-two teams of Iowa teens will compete in the 2012 “Cook This!” 4-H Culinary Challenge Aug. 12-14.

Each team consists of three youth and at least one member must be in 4-H. The teams will compete in three age brackets. The junior level competition takes place Aug. 12 beginning at 10:30 a.m., the intermediate level Aug. 13 and the senior level competition Aug. 14. The intermediate and senior competitions begin at 10 a.m. All events will occur in the 4-H Exhibits Building.

Teams will demonstrate their knowledge of various kitchen items, from food to equipment, and show off their creativity in food preparation. The College of Human Sciences and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will provide $500 Iowa State University scholarships to the members of the winning senior team. Sponsors for the challenge include the Iowa Beef Industry Council, the Iowa Pork Producers Association and the Iowa Turkey Federation. Dahl’s Foods is an in-kind sponsor, providing all produce for the challenges.

First place winners of all levels will receive a VIP tour of Meredith Corporation’s test kitchen in Des Moines. First place senior level teams will participate in a photo shoot and have their recipe in Successful Farming magazine.

Youth ages 9-18 from all across the state will compete including the following teams.

Junior Teams (5th and 6th graders)

  • Sizzling Sisters: Zoe Runyon and Breeana Runyon, Henry County
  • Caitlyn Ballard, Emily Smith and Raquel Gonzalez, Dallas County
  • Anna Plathe, Jessica Kratz and Lauren Sobaski, Henry and Woodbury Counties
  • Mitchell Clark, Chase Pibal and Anna McChesney, Calhoun County
  • The Early Achievers, Sac County
  • Allison Devereaux, Jesse Coon and Vonnie Pratt, Pocahontas County
  • The Funky Chickens: Chloe Whitehead, Alyssa Sirdoreus and Rosemary Thompson, Marshall County
  • The Kitchen Kiddos: Lydia Denniston, Lizzy DeJong and Sydney Katko, Mahaska County
  • Jackson Polk, Matthew Beltran and Riley Flint, Franklin County
  • Jenna White, Keturah Sauke and Abby Castillo, Franklin County

Intermediate Teams (7th and 8th graders)

  • Kitchen Heat: Hannah McCoy, Leonora James and Lucas Henkelman, Warren County
  • Cookin’ CATs: Tanner Halleran, Collin Svenby and Audra Weber, Keokuk County
  • The Three Anaheims: Landra Reece, Matthew Kordick and Jonathon Hauglund, Boone and Woodbury Counties
  • The Baking Bunch: Ellen Sattler, Mariah Mann and Libby Hansen, Polk County
  • The Early Achievers, Sac County
  • Classy Cooks: Claire Sattler, Carlyn Mann and Mattea Miller, Polk County
  • Emma Sackville, Meg Chrisitiansen and Talynn Craig, Franklin County

Senior Teams (9th through 12th graders)

  • Hailey Frazier, Taylor Knowles and Tyler Schneidmiller, Pocahontas County
  • Gourmet Rednecks: Marcus Foltz, Dalton Rhum and Brianna Barnett, Decatur County
  • David Runneals, Shelby VanSteenwyk and Marissa Kephart, Story and Marion Counties
  • The Grand Kids: Sandra Blom and Lexi Randau, Mahaska County
  • Kickin Kountry Kooks: Rachel Haugland, Kenton Reece and Rebecca Haugland, Johnson County

The public is encouraged to watch and cheer on the competing teams.