(Pictured: Caleb Pratt & Gina Bailey from Team Son-Day- competing in last year’s Westbrook Regional Cook-off)
The Maine Department of Education, Child Nutrition team is kicking off their annual Farm to School Cook-off this month! 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.
This year, two regional competitions will be held:
- March 27th – Teams representing RSU 54 and RSU 21 will compete.
- April 5th – Teams representing Lewiston Public Schools and RSU 17 will compete.
Both competitions will take place in the Child Nutrition Culinary Classroom in Augusta. The top team from each regional competition will face off at the final’s competition, also in Augusta, to determine the 2023 Farm to School Cook-off State 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 rolled oats donated by Maine Grains and local carrots donated by Emery Farm will be used as “challenge” ingredients in the competition. All recipes will later be shared in a Maine farm-to-school cookbook to be used in future school meals programs.
For questions about the Farm-to-School Cook-off, contact Maine DOE Child Nutrition Supervisor, Stephanie Stambach at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Maine’s Farm and Sea to School program, visit https://www.maine.gov/doe/farmtoschool.