Jr Iron Chef

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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

March 7, 2020. 10am start.

at Whole Foods Market in Lake Grove

Information and Registration

Registration Due by February 7th
Recipes Due by February 21st

$100 registration fee per team to cover supplies, equipment and support
(Scholarships may be available please contact us for more information.)

Calling all aspiring young chefs!2020 will be the eighth annual Junior Iron Chef on Long Island.This event will be coordinated by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and Lake Grove Whole Foods Market and is inspired by the amazing Junior Iron Chef events taking place in Vermont and Upstate NY.Middle and High school age student teams will create recipes and compete in a one-day cooking challenge to be the Junior Iron Chefs Champion team of Long Island and win amazing prizes.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
  • Create new healthy vegetarian or vegan based recipes that use local ingredients and can be easily implemented into school cafeteria menus.

Got an elementary student or two who are interested?Contact us!We have an opportunity for our younger chefs.


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.
  • Receive a tour and cooking class from Whole Foods Market.
  • Help your school cafeteria to offer more local healthy food options

Team Information:

  • Teams consist of 3-5 members
  • Middle School teams are any combination of 6 th-8th graders.
  • 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 attend an orientation at Whole Foods Market (in person or via the phone).
  • 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 February 21 st.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.
  • Your 5 ingredients indicated in your recipe will be purchased by Whole Foods Market and on the day of competition teams will be provided those ingredients in bags labeled with team name.
  • Teams are encouraged to include local ingredients in their recipes.There is a statement attached to your recipe form.Recipes are 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 to provide six tasting portions.The recipe is a single dish, no main and side combinations (dips/dressings not included in this rule). You will plate two plates for presentation.
  • 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 equipment will be supplied by Long Island Junior Iron Chef; it will consist of a Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler, a single gas burner, and serving dishes.
  • Cooking utensils and containers such as pots, spoons, measuring cups 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

Middle School Competition

  • This year’s challenge is to create a breakfast dish.

High School Competition

  • This year’s challenge will include a mystery ingredient to be revealed the day of the competition and will be a lunch dish.

Orientation Information:

  • Have an idea for your recipe.It would be best to experiment before orientation to create your idea.We hope your team will be able to complete your recipe submission form with the guidance of Whole Foods by the end of orientation.
  • Orientations with Whole Foods Market must be done by February 28th. If you are from out of town, please contact Gary Graybosch to setup a phone orientation.
  • Orientation will take 1½ hours and scheduling will be set up between teams and Whole Foods Market representative.To setup this orientation, please contact Gary Graybosch at Gary.Graybosch@WholeFoods.com or (631) 588-1466.
  • A risk waiver for Whole Foods Market is attached, please sign and bring with you to your orientation.

Competition Day:

  • There will be two rounds of cooking the first will begin promptly at 10am and finish at 11am.Teams in this heat may start setting up at 9:30.The second will begin at 12pm and finish 1pm.Teams in this heat may start setting up at 11:30.Please be prepared to have at least one team member remain at the event until completion at 2pm to receive awards.
  • 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
  • You are NOT allowed to use the microwave in the Whole Foods Market café area.
  • 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.
  • All items needed for plating will be provided.NO outside plating items allowed. Please let us know if you require a bowl for plating.
  • One judge will be on the floor while you are cooking, they will be looking for proper cooking and sanitation skills.


  • Public Presentation —This award goes to the team with the best poster/informational display and judge presentation.
  • 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 5, 2023