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Junior Iron Chef Competition

Iron Chef


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Submit Recipes by February 10th

Finalist Cook Off: Wednesday, March 15th, 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Where: Arapahoe Ridge High School
Theme: “Colorado Favorites”

Teams should consist of 2-4 BVSD middle school students. Each team must have at least 1 adult coach to help practice, and to chaperone the team to the cook-off if the team is chosen as one of the 6 finalists. The adult can be a school food service team member, a teacher, other school employee, or a parent/guardian. Adults are not allowed to cook with the students during the cooking competition, but can provide guidance in cooking and food safety.
Teams must submit (1) a Team Application and (2) a Recipe Entry Form (linked below) for the recipe contest by Friday, February 10th, 2022 at 5 pm. From these recipes, 6 teams will be picked to advance to the live cooking competition at Arapahoe Ridge High School on Wednesday, March 15th from 4:00pm-6:00pm. The list of finalists will be emailed out by Friday, February 24th.
Click below to fill out the Team Application Form and submit it.
For the Recipe Entry Form, please make a copy of the Google Doc, fill it out, and share it (by clicking the blue Share button and sharing with
Both forms must be returned by February 10th.

Adults are encouraged to work with their student team members on their recipe development. You are planning a meal that must be kid-friendly, meet our costing allocations of $2.25 per meal, and must also meet all additional nutritional requirements. After receiving your entries and selecting the finalists, Evan Nelson Senie, Food Services Program and Grants Coordinator, will communicate any alterations that should take place to meet nutritional or cost requirements. Any questions during the recipe formulation process should be directed to Miriam at
  • A team application and recipe entry form must be completed and submitted via email by Friday, February 10th.
  • Recipes must be scaled up to serve 12 people.
  • Teams are encouraged to use original, family and kid-friendly recipes.
  • Teams must supply their own ingredients if they are chosen for the actual cooking competition. We will provide gift cards from a sponsor to help with this cost.
  • Creative license: Recipes can be adapted from, inspired by, or patterned after recipes found in cookbooks or on the internet, but should not be replicas.
  • Recipes must meet our costing allocations, which is only $2.25 per meal. As you are calculating costs, you can use a Wholesale Food cost of 60% of what you see at a retail grocery store.
  • The recipe must include a protein, grain, and fruit or vegetable component, and must follow the USDA National School Lunch Guidelines. Evan will help with the interpretation of these guidelines.
  • Recipes cannot contain any peanuts, tree nuts, or sesame, as our school lunch menu is peanut, tree nut, and sesame free due to allergy concerns.
Nutrition Requirement Checklist
Complete meals must contain required amounts of at least the 5 following requirements to be considered:
1. At least two servings of protein (meat, cheese, beans, tempeh, or tofu items). 
Options include:
  • 1 oz of cooked beef, chicken, pork or deli meat, or
  • 1 oz of cheese (preferably lowfat), or
  • 2.2 oz uncooked tofu
  • 2 oz tempeh
  • 1/4 cup cooked beans
To reach the protein requirement, you can use a combination of the above protein options. 
2. Two servings of grains/breads (must be 51% or more whole grain).
Two servings of grains are represented by:
  • Two 1 oz slices of whole wheat bread, or an equivalent serving of whole
    wheat pita bread, whole wheat burger bun, whole wheat hot dog bun, roll, etc.
  • One 9” whole wheat or whole grain corn tortilla
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice, whole grain noodles, or other whole grain item could be included on the plate as a side dish, if you want to use less grain in your item, and this credits as 1 serving of grain.
3. One serving or more of vegetables – ½ cup or more. This could be part of the entrée , or a separate side dish.
4. One serving or more of fruit – ½ cup of more fresh fruit, or ¼ cup of dried fruit.
Note – if you do not include a fruit item in your dish, we will provide an apple to go on the tray for the competition.
5. One serving of milk - will be provided for your team the night of the competition as a separate component. $.25 should be calculated into your food costs for this milk component as part of the $2.25 total meal cost.

The cooking competition will be scored and judged based on the following criteria:
  • Nutrition Requirements - Meal contains the basic 5 food requirements.
  • Presentation/Motivation - At least one member of your team should be chosen to present briefly to the judges on the inspiration and process behind the dish.
  • Pricing Allocation - Meal must meet or come in below the $2.25 cost allocation (this is for the full meal, not just the entrée).
  • Appearance - Is the meal plated well, variety of colors, does the meal look appetizing?
  • Taste - Is the dish pleasing to the taste buds, seasoned properly, do the ingredients compliment one another, was any component over or under cooked?
  • Food Safety - Teams must follow basic food safety procedures, work cleanly, dress clean and professionally, food must be properly handled, and proper temperatures must be followed.
  • Replicability - Could this dish be replicated in our district, given time and labor constraints for large batch cooking?
The judging panel will include Director of Food Services, the entire team of District Managers from the Food Services Department, and several local chefs and BVSD students will also be invited to participate as judges on the panel.
Questions? Email Miriam Holleb at