Waite Park closed on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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Junior Iron Chef
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Junior Iron Chef

Junior Iron Chef


MPS Culinary & Wellness Services hosts an annual Junior Iron Chef Competition to raise awareness for our district's commitment to healthy, fresh, scratch-cooked meals and excite students about good food and cooking. Since 2015, this event has brought together esteemed local chefs and MPS middle school students for an exciting, top-chef style cooking competition! 


Junior Iron Chef Competition: At-Home Edition

May 18 - June 1, 2020

This year, since we can't gather in person for the event, MPS Culinary & Wellness Services hosted our first-ever Junior Iron Chef: At Home Edition! All Junior Chefs - children 18 years and younger - were invited to compete ina recipe contest from their kitchens at home. Congratulations to Chef Iris, from Seward Montessori, who won this year's title of Junior Iron Chef Champion!

The Cooking Challenge: create a recipe at home inspired by items from MPS food boxes, which are free and available for pickup through at least July 24 (learn more here). 

  • Recipes needed to include at least TWO ingredients from MPS food box.  Junior chefs were also encouraged to use ingredients from the Sheridan Story bags, which are available at all MPS food pick-up locations. Additional ingredients from home could also be used. 
  • Recipes were judged on:
    • Presentation – Does the finished dish appear to be beautiful, appealing, well-balanced?
    • Creativity – How does the recipe use ingredients or techniques in unique ways?  How did the Junior Chef think outside the box when developing their recipe?
    • Flavor – Does the recipe sound appetizing? How do the ingredients in the recipe complement one another?

Download Competition Information and Instructions

Jr Iron Chef Finalists: 

  • Chef Iris, Seward Montessori, 6th grade - Egg Bake Strata (recipe)
  • Chef Danniella, Olson Middle, 6th grade - Apple Pear Crisp (recipe)
  • Chef Reagen, Anthony Middle 8th grade - 5 Layer Dip with Homemade Tortilla Chips (recipe)

Watch MPS Chef Rebecca test out the finalists' recipes:

Egg Bake Strata
Apple Pear Crisp
5 Layer Dip with Homemade Tortilla Chips

Chef Iris's egg bake strata was selected as the winning recipe! Cher Iris' strata used a variety of MPS food box items – including sandwiches, dinner rolls, and fresh broccoli. The recipe was innovative, well-written, and downright delicious. Congratulations Chef Iris!

MPS Junior Iron Chef Highlights

Enjoy these highlights from previous Junior Iron Chef Competitions!