The Michigan Junior Chef Competition is made up of two parts, a Recipe Contest and a Cook-off Competition. Here’s how it works:

Recipe Contest: Teams of 3-4 students in grades 7-12 will work with an adult coach to make one tasty, healthy school lunch meal featuring Michigan-grown and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) foods (federal commodity foods). A list of these foods and rules for participating are available under the Rules page. Recipes should be practical for school food service to use and must meet nutrition guidelines for school lunch. To enter, students must be from Michigan schools and enrolled in grades 7-12. Teams must submit a Team Application  and  Recipe Entry Form  for their meal by March 26th, 2013. Recipes will be judged on nutritional quality, use of local ingredients, and school food service replicability (time and labor to prepare meal and use of USDA foods). Up to eight teams will be selected to bring their winning recipes to life in the cook-off competition. Top recipes will be shared with schools throughout the state in a Michigan Junior Chef Cookbook.

Cook-off Competition: Finalists from the Recipe Contest will be eligible to prepare their meals on-site at the Michigan Junior Chef Cook-off Competition at Michigan State University on May 9th, 2013. Teams will also create a Marketing Flyer to present with their meals at the cook-off event. Meals will be judged by an expert panel on nutritional quality, use of local ingredients, school food service replicability, taste, presentation, and creativity. Prizes will be awarded to all participants, with special prizes for the top three winning teams and their school’s food service program. Teams that compete in the Cook-off Competition will be eligible for travel reimbursement and up to $50 per team for practice ingredients.

The Cook-off Competition will include a healthy lunch and other fun activities. Local farmers that provide ingredients for the event will also be invited to attend.

The last Michigan Junior Chef Competition was held on May 11, 2011