Jr Iron Chef

Check back to find out when next years competition is!

Jr Iron Chef 2013
Image by Vicki Fleming, CCE Suffolk County

Triple Edge!

Jr Iron Chef 2013
Image by Vicki Fleming, CCE Suffolk County

Aren't these trophies great!

Jr Iron Chef 2013
Image by Vicki Fleming, CCE Suffolk County

Working hard!

Junior Iron Chef

May 3, 2024. 9am start.

at Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts & Hospitality Center in Riverhead

Information and Registration

Registration Due by Friday, April 5th
Recipes Due by Friday, April 19th

$100 registration fee per team to cover supplies, equipment and support

Calling all aspiring young chefs! 2024 will be the eighth annual Junior Iron Chef on Long Island. This event will be coordinated by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts & Hospitality Center and is inspired by the amazing Junior Iron Chef events taking place in Vermont and Upstate NY. High school student teams will create recipes and compete in a one-day cooking challenge to be the Junior Iron Chefs Champion team of Long Island. This educational event hopes to:

  • Encourage youth to learn new skills in cooking to lead a healthier lifestyle.
  • Promote the use of local food to support our local farmers and environment.
  • Encourage discussions within the teams about where foods come from and learn food systems.
  • Create new healthy vegetarian or vegan based recipes that use local ingredients and can be easily implemented into school cafeteria menus.


*New for 2024*

  • The competition will be held at Suffolk Community College Culinary Arts & Hospitality Center in Riverhead, NY.
  • Teams will consist of 2-3 students.
  • We are only able to accommodate High School students this year.
  • The competition will take place on a Friday instead of a Saturday.
  • Teams are to bring all their own supplies and ingredients.

Why Participate?

  • Be a part of an exciting event with other students throughout Long Island.
  • Gain first-hand experience and knowledge in sustainable food systems and cooking.
  • Help your school cafeteria to offer more local healthy food options

Team Information:

  • Teams consist of 2-3 members
  • High School teams are any combination of 9 th-12th graders.
  • Team members can be in school groups or outside school groups, as long as all members are in the same age group.
  • Teams are allowed one (optional) alternate. This alternate must be listed on registration form and must fill out the required paperwork even if they do not end up competing.
  • Teams are required to have an adult team supervisor.
  • Teams will be required to confirm that they've reviewed all orientation materials prior to the competition.
  • Teams will be required to have a risk waiver form signed by a parent in order to compete.
  • Please send your Cornell risk waiver forms for all team members to:

Nicole Fiorentino
Suffolk County Farm and Education Center
350 Yaphank Ave
Yaphank NY 11980

  • Failure to turn in required paperwork in a timely manner MAY result in your team being disqualified.

Adult Team Supervisor Information:

  • Adult supervisor can be any parent, teacher, or other member of community.
  • Adult supervisor must be present at competition, but will not be allowed in cooking area during the competition. The team should be well prepared and should not need their supervisor in the cooking area.
  • Supervisors must stand in the spectator area and are NOT allowed to shout directions to their teams. Failure to follow this rule may result in your team being disqualified.

Recipe Info:

  • Teams will have to submit their recipes using the recipe submission forms on the website and in the team info packet. Recipes must be submitted electronically as an MS Word document or PDF to Nicole Fiorentino (nf76@cornell.edu) by April 19th. Failure to submit your recipe MAY result in your disqualification. Google Docs should not be used.
  • Your recipe will be limited to 5 main ingredients. These 5 DO NOT include spices, oils, water, or vinegar and other basic ingredients. There is a separate list of ingredients provided in the ‘pantry’ included with your team packet.
  • This year's challenge will include a mystery ingredient to be revealed the day of the competition and will be a lunch dish.
  • Teams are encouraged to include local ingredients in their recipes. There is a statement attached to your recipe form. Recipes are to be prepared year-round so seasonal/local may not always be seasonal/local. Please have students fill out the statement indicating when their ingredients might be seasonal and local. During the presentation of your dish to the judges, one member of your team will be required to give a verbal presentation about the dish, including what ingredients are/can be local and when they are in season.
  • Teams will have to include at least two USDA ingredients that are used in school cafeterias. The list of UDSA ingredients will be posted on the website and teams will be guided towards appropriate foods during their orientation.
  • Recipes can not be desserts or include meat, fish or nuts.
  • Remember you are preparing one recipe and will need two servings. The recipe is a single dish, no main and side combinations (dips/dressings not included in this rule). You will plate two plates; One for presentation and a second one for tasting. 
  • NO foods can be prepared before the event. All veggies provided will be prewashed, but nothing can be prepped (chopped, peeled, etc.) before your competition time.
  • Cooking stations will have 4 burners.
  • Cooking utensils and containers such as pots, spoons, measuring cups, pot holders, etc. are to be brought by the team.
  • Recipes will be reviewed and tasted by our qualified judges and winners will be chosen using the following criteria:
    • Taste - How yummy is it?
    • Presentation - Does it look appetizing?
    • Creativity - Is the recipe original?
    • Use of USDA Ingredients - Do USDA foods play a large role in dish?
    • Use of Local Ingredients - Do local foods star in this dish?
    • Healthy Choices - What is the calorie count of the recipe and are the ingredients healthy?
    • Cafeteria Ready - Is the recipe easily implemented into school cafeterias considering price of ingredients, difficulty of preparation and availability of ingredients?

Registration Information:

  • The last day to register your team will be Friday, April 5th. Once you are ready to register, you will go to Cornell Cooperative Extension Event Registration and from the 'Filter By Host' dropdown menu, select Suffolk. 
  • Payment will go to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. Payments must be submitted no later than Friday, April 19th. We can accept Visa, MasterCard, or checks made payable to CCE Suffolk.

Orientation Information:

  • An orientation packet will be sent to team supervisors to be reviewed and shared with team members. This must be reviewed, signed once completed, and sent back to the Cornell Cooperative Extension office no later than Friday, April 19th.
  • Risk waivers for Cornell Cooperative Extension and Suffolk County Community College are included in this packet. Each team member and team supervisor are required to sign these waivers and return to the Cornell Cooperative Extension office. 

Competition Day:

  • There will be two rounds of cooking; the first will begin promptly at 9am and finish at 10am. Teams in this heat may start setting up at 8:45am. The second will begin at 10:30am and finish at 11:30am. Teams in this heat may start setting up at 10:15am. Awards will be presented to teams at 12pm.
  • As part of food safety long hair needs to be tied back, aprons must be worn and will be provided to the teams the day of the event, shoes must be closed toe, no rings or bracelets, no nail polish or false/acrylic nails. No gum chewing.
  • Show your team spirit and create a poster to label your team on the day of the event.
  • There is NO outside electrical equipment allowed. You are responsible for bringing all cooking tools, pan/pots, and utensils. If your recipe requires some type of electrical equipment (blender, food processor, etc.) consider the mechanical options (hand mashers, graders, mandolin slicer). Due to power limitations, this rule is strictly enforced.
  • Dry beans, rice, and pasta will be provided PRECOOKED.
  • You have one hour to cook your dish. However, we understand that it may not take a full hour to cook. Therefore, teams may finish and hand in dishes for judging after 45 minutes of competition.
  • One judge will be on the floor while you are cooking. They will be looking for proper cooking and sanitation skills. 


  • Mise en Place (everything in its place) --This award goes to the team that shows exemplary teamwork, order and professionalism, both during the competition and in the registration process.
  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards will be presented


Nicole Fiorentino
4-H Club Educator / Weekend Family Program Educator

Last updated February 8, 2024