Applications Now Open for 4-H Cook This! Culinary Challenge

youth participating in Cook ThisAMES, Iowa – Youth in grades 5-12 are invited to compete in the fifth annual 4-H “Cook This!” culinary challenge. Participants will compete in a preliminary competition on Wednesday, June 18 in the College of Human Sciences on the Iowa State University campus. Top teams will advance to the Cook This finale to be held on Thursday, Aug. 7 at the Iowa State Fair.

Cook This is offered by the 4-H Youth Development program of ISU Extension and Outreach.

“Cook This is a great learning opportunity for youth to develop culinary skills, learn how to work in teams to create meals and discover how food and nutrition can be exciting,” said Paige Halsted, 4-H intern working with the Cook This challenge.

The Cook This culinary challenge will test youth participants’ skills in equipment and food product identification, knife cuts, meal completion, creativity, communication and teamwork as teams compete in culinary, nutritional and communication challenges. Throughout the event youth will participate in hands-on educational workshops that are designed to enhance their nutrition and food production knowledge while providing techniques on how to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Youth also will have the opportunity to learn more about food and nutrition-focused academic majors and careers available within the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University.

Youth will compete in three age divisions: junior (grades 5-6), intermediate (7-8) and senior (9-12) to create quesadillas and a fruit or vegetable salsa, pasta or stir fry dish, and fruit-based mystery dessert. Participants will have 60 minutes to work as a team to create an eye and mouth-pleasing meal and show that they can Cook This.

“Participants will get to cook in the Iowa State University cooking labs using a variety of ingredients and to create creative and flavorful dishes,” said Halsted.

Online applications to participate in the 2014 Cook This event will be accepted until May 31. Youth may apply in teams, pairs or individually; individual applicants will be matched with other youth. At least one person from each team is required to be a member of 4-H. More information regarding the culinary and nutritional challenges can be found in the 2014 4-H Cook This Challenge Packet on the 4-H Cook This website,

The Cook This 4-H Culinary Challenge began in 2010 as part of a healthy living initiative in collaboration with the Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program and the Iowa State University College of Human Sciences.


[PHOTO] Sarah Mumm, Warren County 4-H’er, participated in the 2013 4-H Cook This! Culinary Challenge. Sarah was a member of The Three Amigos team competing in the junior division.