Jr Iron Chef VT


To ensure that Jr Iron Chef VT remains accessible to all Vermont students through team scholarships and registration fees lowered to one-third the true cost of the event, Vermont Afterschool relies on the generous support of our sponsors as well as a suggested admissions fee of $3 per person and $5 per family

If you have any questions about the event, please contact Jr Iron Chef VT Coordinator Kerrie Mathes.

2023 Event Info

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The 2023 Jr Iron Chef VT competition will be held March 11, 2023 at the Champlain Valley Exposition Blue Pavilion, at 105 Pearl Street in Essex Junction.

  • 11-15-22: Early Bird registration opens.
  • 12-15-22: Regular registration opens, early bird closes
  • 01-31-23: Regular registration closes
  • 02-16-23: Recipe, Team Members, Parent Permission submission deadline
  • 03-03-23: Lively Local (if applicable) submission deadline
  • 03-11-23: Jr Iron Chef VT competition!
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The Champlain Valley Exposition
105 Pearl Street
Essex Junction, Vermont 05452

Event Schedule
8:45 AM: Team set up begins
9:00 AM: Doors open to public
9:30–11:00 AM: 
Morning heat competition
11:45–12:15PM: Morning heat awards
12:15 PM: Team set up begins
1:00–2:30 PM: 
Afternoon heat competition
3:15–3:45 PM: Afternoon heat awards

Concession Stand
Watching a cooking competition is bound to make you hungry! Visit the concession stand to purchase breakfast, lunch, and snack items. Concessions will be by long-time Jr Iron Chef VT collaborator Chef Jim McCarthy, co-owner of The Mill Market and Deli.


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We continue to work with the Vermont Department of Health concerning COVID-19 in our community as we get close to our in-person event.

  • Masks are optional and we respect those who choose to wear a mask. We encourage you to wear a mask if you are immuno-compromised, have a high-risk loved one, or if you just like how you look in a mask. We also reserve the right to change this policy as needed as we approach the event.
  • We will provide all team members with non-latex gloves to prepare food.
  • Following CDC guidelines, people may not attend if they are feeling ill, have currently tested positive for COVID-19, are waiting for COVID-19 test results, have COVID-19 symptoms, or have had close contact with a person who has tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19. If you have recently had COVID, we ask that you have two negative antigen tests 24 hours apart, prior to the event.
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The following honors will be given in the Morning and Afternoon Award Ceremonies for each age category:

  • CROWD-PLEASER — This award goes to the team that best incorporates color, texture, and taste for a true crowd-pleaser.
  • LIVELY LOCAL — This award goes to the team that best highlights Vermont foods.
  • MISE EN PLACE — (“Everything in its place”) This award goes to the team that shows exemplary teamwork, order, and professionalism.

Judging Criteria

  • EXECUTION — Clean and presentable uniforms including hard-soled shoes, hats, aprons, and safe food handling practices.
  • TEAMWORK — Evenly distributed workload, team cohesiveness & communication.
  • TASTE — 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.

Each year, we are fortunate to have volunteer judges from around Vermont that have a wide range of culinary and food expertise.

2023’s Judges

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During the event weekend of the event, dozens of volunteers help with set-up, team registration, activities, and clean-up. Volunteers receive free admission to the Jr Iron Chef VT competition.

If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact Jr Iron Chef VT Coordinator Kerrie Mathes.

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2023 Jr Iron Chef VT was Made Possible by Generous Support from:

executive Chefs ($5000+)

Sous Chefs ($1000+)

Commis Chefs ($500+)

Iron Chefs ($100+)

Past Events

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