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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 MPS students, chefs, and the local community for an exciting, top-chef style cooking competition! 

Junior Iron Chef Competition: At Home Edition

Recipes due May 24!

MPS Culinary & Wellness Services is hosting a recipe competition and all Junior Chefs (children 18 years and younger) are invited to participate! This “At Home Edition” competition is in place of the in-person Junior Iron Chef Competition that the district typically hosts each spring. To compete, Junior Chefs will put their culinary skills to test in their kitchens at home and submit their best, original recipes. Three finalists will have their recipes tested by MPS Culinary & Wellness Services’ chefs, and one will win the title of JUNIOR IRON CHEF!  

Who Can Submit a Recipe? 

  • ALL Junior Chefs! This means any child, 18 years or younger.
  • Children do NOT need to be enrolled in MPS to participate in this competition.
  • Junior Chefs with varying levels of cooking experience are encouraged to participate.

Recipe Requirements

  • One recipe submission per Junior Chef.
  • Recipes can be for any type of entrée or side dish. Healthy ingredients and food preparation are encouraged.
  • Recipes MUST include:
    • ONE fresh vegetable or fruit, AND
    • ONE item off the Pantry List:
      • Milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, beans, lentils, flour, oats, rice, quinoa, farro 
  • Recipes can include items from MPS’ free food and snack boxes for youth, but it is NOT required.
  • Recipe should be inspired and developed by the Junior Chef, but family participation is welcomed. 

Competition Details

MPS Culinary & Wellness Services will review all recipe submissions and select three finalists, whose recipes will be tested by MPS chefs! One finalist will be named this year’s Junior Iron Chef Champion! The champion will win a prize and have their recipe shared on MPS social media.
Recipes will be judged on:
  • PresentationDoes the finished dish appear to be beautiful, appealing, well-balanced?
  • CreativityHow 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?

How to Submit a Recipe

  • Recipe submissions are due Monday, May 24, 2021.
  • To submit your recipe, please send an email to Kate.Seybold@mpls.k12.mn.us with:
    • Junior Chef’s first and last name, school, and grade level
    • Written recipe with:
    • 1-2 photos of the finished dish. If willing, please include at least one photo of the Junior Chef with their finished dish.
    • OPTIONAL: video (no longer than 4 minutes) showing how dish was prepared

MPS Junior Iron Chef Highlights

Enjoy these highlights from previous Junior Iron Chef Competitions!