(Pictured: Caleb Pratt & Gina Bailey from Team Son-Day, competing in last year’s Westbrook Regional Cook-off)
Registration is open for the annual Maine Department of Education, Child Nutrition Farm to School Cook-off! The event will be held in the Spring of 2023. The cook-off is a statewide culinary competition for teams of school nutrition professionals and students to promote local foods in school meals. This voluntary competition is made available to all school districts in Maine.
The cook-off involves three regional competitions that take place in locations across the state and a final competition in the Child Nutrition Culinary Classroom, where the top teams compete to determine the Farm to School Cook-off Champion. Each team, consisting of one student and one school nutrition employee, is tasked to prepare a breakfast and lunch meal using specific recipe guidelines and time restrictions and will present to a panel of judges.
At least three local ingredients and one USDA food must be used in each meal. Local oats and local carrots will be used as “challenge” ingredients in the competition this year. All recipes will later be shared in a Maine farm-to-school cookbook to be used in future school meal programs. To view the 2022 Cookbook and prior years please visit the Maine Child Nutrition website.
TIMELINE AT A GLANCE
- January 13, 2022 – Team Registration Due (click here for registration link)
- Date TBD- Mandatory Team Meeting
- February 17, 2023 – Recipes Due to Child Nutrition State Office
- March 27- April 7, 2023- Regional competitions take place (location TBD)
- April 7, 2023 – Finalists Announced
- April 25, 2023 – Cook-Off Finals at the Child Nutrition DOE Culinary Classroom!
Interested school districts can find more information and the link to register on the Maine Child Nutrition website. The registration deadline is January 13, 2023. For more information on Maine’s Farm and Sea to School program, visit https://www.maine.gov/doe/farmtoschool.
For questions about the Farm-to-School Cook-off, contact Maine DOE Child Nutrition Supervisor, Stephanie Stambach at firstname.lastname@example.org.