Including a professional chef on your team can help in a lot of ways. First, your chef probably has some great ideas for recipes using local ingredients, plus s/he can help you make sure your dishes come out just like you hope. Also, getting to know a chef can be a fun way to connect with a local restaurant. So, where can you find a chef to join your team?
Think about what your favorite restaurants are; do they have a chef who could help? If you don’t have a favorite restaurant, you might find a restaurant that is a member of the Vermont Fresh Network (VFN). To be part of the VFN, chefs promise to buy ingredients from local farmers. That is a bonus to your team since these are chefs already committed to using local ingredients. You can also consider asking one of the cooks from your school cafeteria if they could help you. They know a lot about cooking food that kids love and might have some secret recipes that are sure to win the competition. Once you have found chefs that you are interested in, you should write them a letter or call them on the phone to explain what Jr Iron Chef VT is and why you want their help. If you are calling, avoid calling right at lunch or dinner time when the chefs are super busy.