Winning Teams Announced for 2014 Cook This! 4-H Final Culinary Challenge

Cook This! 2014, Team Wolf PackAMES, Iowa  – The sights, smells and sounds of youth competing in the 2014 4-H Cook This! Final Culinary Challenge wafted throughout the 4-H Building Aug. 7 at the Iowa State Fair.

Thirteen teams of youth in grades 5-12 competed in the final Cook This! competition, which included culinary, communications and nutritional challenges. They were the top-placing junior, intermediate and senior age divisions teams from the preliminary 4-H Cook This! event at Iowa State University earlier this summer. Eighty-five youth competed in the preliminary event.

Teams for the final competition were given a basic recipe — grilled cheese, skillet pizza or Pad Thai — to make for the culinary challenge. Participants then could request any additional ingredients to include or experiment with to “spice up” their dishes, said Cayla Taylor, a 4-H program specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. The teams were judged on the creativity of their dishes, taste, alignment with the USDA MyPlate food guidelines, presentation, food safety, communication and teamwork.  

Teams also presented research-based information on a variety of food and nutrition related topics in the communications challenge in addition to testing their knowledge of portion sizes, cost effective grocery shopping and food safety through a variety of quizzes during the nutritional challenge, Taylor said.

Winning teams for the 4-H Cook This! Final Competition from each age division are listed below. 

Junior Level (Grade 5-6)

  • First Place: Lucky Lassies and Lads, Woodbury County; Natalie Verschoor, Annie Lord, Kiana Fjeldheim
  • Second Place: The Three Amigos, Warren County; Ann Lent, Sarah Mumm, Ally Olson
  • Third Place: M.E.N. Can Cook, Polk County; Molly Wilkerson, Elena Downs, Nadia Grimaldi

Intermediate Level (Grade 7-8)

  • First Place: Cooking Crusaders, Woodbury County; Jessica Kratz, Anna Plathe, Lauren Sobaski
  • Second Place: The Three Ls, Boone and Marshall County; Landra Reece, Lauren Mosher, Leah Mosher
  • Third Place: Team Tasty, Polk County; Evalina Grimaldi, Freedom Clark, Noelle Wagner

Senior Level (Grade 9-12)

  • First Place: Wolf Pack, Polk County; Dehkontee Dassin, Alexis Morris, Laura Garcia
  • Second Place: Team J.A.K.’d Up, Appanoose County; Alienna Boecker, John Davis, Katlynn Leer
  • Third Place: Jumping Jalapeños, Polk County; Anna Clark, Roman Grimaldi, Riley Moore

Teams received a prize package sponsored by the Iowa Beef Industry Council, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Fareway, Iowa Egg Council, Successful Farming Magazine, Iowa 4-H Foundation, Iowa State University College of Human Sciences and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and C&H Sugar. The members of Wolf Pack, the first place senior-level team, will have their recipes tested in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen and featured in Successful Farming magazine. In addition, each winning team member who enrolls in an academic program in Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences or College of Human Sciences will receive a $500 scholarship.


[PHOTO] Team Wolf Pack
Team Wolf Pack (left to right, Dehkontee Dassin, Laura Garcia and Alexis Morris) of Polk County take home top honors in the senior division of the 4-H Cook This! Culinary Challenge with their Pad Thai dish.