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Junior Chef Competition

Rules and Regulations

SPS 5th SemiAnnual Junior Chef Competition

Saturday, May 6th 2023




Details & Agenda


Saturday, May 6th 2023

Hillcrest High School (parking located behind the school)

7:30 am – 12:00 pm


7:30 am – 8:00 a.m.

Jr. Chef Teams Check-in

All teams will check-in for the competition.


Teams may unload supplies during this time, but will not be able to set-up until 9:30.


8:00 am – 8:30 a.m.

Travel to Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks

Student participants and team coaches load the buses and travel to Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks to purchase local ingredients.


8:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Shopping at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks

Students will have 30 minutes to shop at Farmers Market of the Ozarks.  Listen for the 5 and 1 minute warnings over the intercom!


9:00-9:30 a.m.

Travel back to Hillcrest

Student participants and team coaches travel back to Hillcrest for the competition.


9:30-10:00 a.m.

Jr. Chef Set-up

Teams will be escorted to their tables when the cooking area opens at 9:30 a.m.


Teams will arrange ingredients, tools, and decorations during this time as well as wash produce purchased from the market.


All parent supervisors and coaches may help Jr. Chefs during setup and cleanup.


10:00-11:15 a.m.

Jr. Chef Competition Begins!

Teams will be identified as either in group one or group two for start and end time. Staggered start times are: group one starts at 10:00 a.m. and group two starts at 10:15 a.m. All teams have one hour to complete meal.  Teams must be completely finished promptly at 11:00 or 11:15 a.m. according to start time. There will be time reminders throughout the competition.


Each team will provide two plates.  Plate #1 will be a ‘show plate’ and should demonstrate how the dish would appear at a restaurant.  Plate #2 will have 3 sample portions of your dish for the judges to test and score. Both plates will be brought to the judge’s table. You are encouraged to bring your own presentation plates. Think about the colors of your dish and how they will stand out on the plate you choose.


All teams must stop at 11:00  or 11:15 a.m. sharp. If your team finishes before the 1 hour time limit, you may take your plate directly to the judges.  Judges will evaluate each dish once it is complete, even if it is ready before 11:15 a.m.


Parents & friends are encouraged to cheer on their teams and watch the competition live. Show your team spirit, listen to music, and enjoy the show.


11:00 -11:45 a.m.

Clean-up, Breakdown, and Judging

Each team will clean their workstations and pack away supplies. Do not forget the importance of leaving a tidy kitchen/work space.


Judges will be finalizing their decisions for awards.


11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Award Ceremony and Celebration!

Winning teams will be called to accept their rewards and be celebrated!

The event concludes after the Awards Ceremony.  Teams should remember to take anything that they brought for set-up, decorations, and cooking back home with them.




3rd-5th – A “coach” (parent or teacher adviser) is required for each team.  This coach can provide verbal assistance and direction during the entire competition and limited direct assistance when competitors are using heated implements or sharp tools.  These coaches will also be able to provide assistance during purchasing at Farmers Market of the Ozarks.


6th-8th – A “coach” (parent or teacher adviser) is suggested but optional.  Coaches cannot provide direct or indirect assistance during the meal preparation portion of the competition, but will be able to provide assistance during purchasing at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks.




Teams are comprised of two to four students.  Students can be a mix of grade levels or classes, but they must be from the same school.


Due to space restrictions, the competition is limited to 16 teams.


If the team is from an elementary school, at least 1 “coach” (parent or teacher adviser) is required.  If the team is from a middle school, a “coach” (parent or teach adviser) is suggested, but optional .  See the Coaches and Assistance section for more information.


Teams may call upon professional food service workers and chefs to help them develop a recipe and practice for the event.  This individual will not be able to help the team in any way during the competition.




All teams must submit their Application  to participate in the Jr. Chef Competition by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28th .


Applications and Recipe Sheets  submitted directly via the online registration link.  


Recipes must be accurate and complete. Incomplete recipes will be returned for re submission.






No eggs, no milk, no seafood or shellfish, and no meat you bring yourself.  Items provided by Jr. Chef is as follows: Eggs, Butter, Beef Meatball, Italian Sausage Crumbles, Grilled Chicken Breast, Fettuccini, Spaghetti, Penne and Rotini Noodles.


Think Seasonal

You’ll be getting most of your ingredients at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks, so you’ll need to know what will be available on October 1st.  To get a better idea of what you’ll be able to find, you may want to talk to a farmer, a gardener, a market manager, SPS Farm to School Specialist or even a chef who works with local foods. Consider visiting a Farmer’s Market the weeks leading up to the competition.



Your recipe must be original and display your own creativity.  You may seek guidance from a chef or food service professional, but you must be a part of the creative process.



Think about your flavors and develop a recipe that is tasty – whether that is sweet, spicy, savory, or something totally different all together.  It should taste good to you.



Consider what the final product will look like.  One of the prizes is based on how appealing the dish is, so think about how to make it beautiful and well-presented on the plate.



Use healthy and nutritious ingredients.  Fresh is best! No pre-prepared ingredients are allowed (with just a few exceptions - See ‘Restrictions’ below).  


Able to Replicate

Recipes should be easy to recreate, especially by other students.  Ingredients should be easy to find at grocery stores and farmer’s markets and be affordable.  Keep in mind that you only have 1 hour to complete your dish and plate it for the judges. The winning team's recipe will be prepared (by SPS Food Company) and served at the next Board of Education Meeting.

Viva Italiano!

Consider a creating an authentic traditional Italian dish. Pasta and meat will be provided.



Family and Friends

Talk with your family, friends, school cooks, and local chefs to get ideas.  



Don’t forget to decorate your area.  Pick a theme or “feel” that you want to create and use your space to display interesting decorations.  Don’t forget that one award is Best Team Spirit!




Materials Supplied by Farm 2 School:

Jr. Chef Apron

Chef hats

Food service gloves

1 roll of paper towels

Trash cans

Hand washing stations

Two 6’ tables

Electric Skillet (11 inches) stations for cooking


Foreman Grills

Propane burners to use with your pans for sauces, pasta, soup etc.

$10 in tokens for Farmers Market of the Ozarks


Materials to be Supplied by Each Team (as applies):

Teams are only allowed to bring ten food items from home.  See Restrictions for further guidance on allowable food items.


All other ingredients will need to be purchased at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks for $10 or less, or will come from the ingredients provided by Farm 2 School (see above).

Remember food safety and keep perishable items in a cooler with ice packs

Remember that no milk, eggs, seafood, or meat you bring yourself is allowed in your recipe.


Each team must bring all equipment needed for example, knives, utensils, serving plate, cutting boards, blenders, food processors, waffle iron, sauté pan etc. (See above for cooking equipment provided).

Remember that pre-chopped or pre-prepared ingredients are not allowed (See Restrictions).


Team uniforms – Get Creative!


Team signage – Get Creative!




1) NO EGGS, NO MILK, NO SEAFOOD, AND NO MEAT YOU BRING YOURSELF - due to food safety concerns.  


3) NO PRE-PREPARED INGREDIENTS/COMPONENTS - everything must be prepared on site during the competition. This includes pasta sauces.

EXCEPTIONS –  Jellies, preserves, jams, syrups canned tomatoes. If you have any questions on allowable items – please email Kyle Huston-

4) ONLY 10 INGREDIENTS FROM HOME - The total cost of these ten items must not be over $10.00.  

 For more information contact Kim Keller at

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