Jr Iron Chef VT is a statewide culinary competition organized by Vermont Afterschool and Vermont FEED (Food Education Everyday) challenging teams of middle and high school students to engage in improving their own health and the health of their community by creating nutritious, local dishes to inspire school meal programs.

Although the Jr Iron Chef VT competition is held once a year, its influence and impact extends well beyond the event. In a typical year, teams from 70 schools and organizations begin to gather in September. They develop recipes, learn basic cooking techniques, and explore new foods, like local rutabaga. Once a recipe is chosen, students practice an average of six to ten times, with increasing accuracy and confidence at every meeting. 

April 11, 2008 marked the launch of the very first Jr Iron Chef VT event. The project began as a collaborative effort between two leaders in the Farm to School movement: the Burlington School Food Project and Vermont FEED.  Over the past thirteen years, nearly 5,000 Vermont students have crafted original recipes that highlight local and seasonal ingredients and inspire school meal programs.  

School food change takes many players—students, food service, parents, and the community. Jr Iron Chef VT involves all of these players to create a vibrant, fun, and wildly popular event! 

Contact jrironchefvt@nullvermontafterschool.org for more information.