Who can participate?

Any Vermont student in grades 6-12 is eligible. Teams are broken down into Middle School (grades 6-8) and High School (9-12) categories. Due to k-6 schools, some middle schools may ask for some, but not all 5th grade team members. Each team must have between 3 and 5 members from any grade level in the appropriate category. Teams may have an alternate student, but the total number of team members on the day of the competition may not exceed 5.

How are the dishes judged?

All entries will be judged by the following criteria:
EXECUTION — clean and presentable uniforms including hard-soled shoes, hats, aprons, and safe food handling practices
TEAMWORK — evenly distributed workload, team cohesiveness, and communication
TASTE — a subjective category based on judge’s expertise
CREATIVITY — ingenuity of the ingredients used, creative use of ingredients
LOCAL — recipe highlights local, seasonal products (only for the Lively Local Award)
COMPLIANCE — meets all Jr Iron Chef VT Guidelines and Rules

What are the registration fees used for?

The registration fee offsets the costs associated with running Jr Iron Chef VT, including event rentals, printing, and staff time to coordinate the event. Teams fund their registration and practice expenses in a variety of creative ways. Sponsorships from small businesses, incorporation into after school programs, healthy bake sales, and PTO donations help teams across the state raise their Jr Iron Chef VT expenses. Please be in touch if you need help or ideas to fund your team!

What if there are too many applications?

On November 16, 2021, registrations will be accepted on a first come first serve basis until 70 teams are reached. Additional applications will be put on a waiting list in the order they were received.

How do I find a chef to work with?

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 Vermont Fresh Network, 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 that explains 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.

Can our adult/chaperone help us cook?

No, Team Coaches are allowed to provide hands-off guidance and advice only.

How are the recipes reviewed?

Recipes are reviewed by members of the Jr Iron Chef VT Planning Committee to ensure they comply with Jr Iron Chef VT guidelines. Feedback and suggestions are given freely.