Stuart Farmers’ Market holds 4-H Food Challenge

The first 4-H Food Challenge competition was held on Friday morning September 9 at the Farmers’ Market in Stuart.
The Cougar Cafe and the Cheetah Cookers were in competition with mystery ingredients along with items that they purchased from the Farmers’ Market.
Cougar Café members Breanna Cox, Brianna Knight, and Emma Pendleton chose to make a quesadilla with a salad and a cheese ball. Cheetah Cooker members Kali Craig, Maggie Easter, Shyann Kerce, and Journey Moore chose to plate a flour tortilla topped with a cooked spinach vegetable mixture and sautéed chicken.
Mystery ingredients for the day included raw chicken tenders, spinach, a flour tortilla, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Teams were allowed to use a maximum of five items from the pantry. Pantry items included fresh okra, slivered almonds, bacon crumbles, Greek yogurt, milk, water, red wine vinegar, canola oil, and Italian seasoning.
Teams were also required to use at least two items that they purchased from the farmers’ market. Farmers’ market purchases included shiitake mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers among others. Teams are required to use some of every ingredient in the mystery bag plus their farmers’ market items.
The team has 40 minutes to prepare a dish, clean up, and prepare their presentation for the judges. Every member of the team must speak at some point during the presentation to the judges. Teams must present the dish to the judge, telling step by step how the dish was prepared, the food safety practices used, where the dish fits on My Plate, and if there are possible healthier substitutions.
Judges observe during the cooking process, scoring members on food safety practices and teamwork skills. Judges also score team members for the presentation and ask questions following the presentation. Judges for the Farmers’ Market Competition were Glenda Cobbler, Gwendolyn Nergart, and Vicki Wasoski.
These teams have been practicing all summer and this was the very first county competition. The Cougar Café won first place by a very narrow margin with the Cheetah Cookers coming in second place.
The two teams will compete again on Wednesday night, September 21 in front of the livestock barn at the Patrick County Fair. Competition is set to get underway at 7:30 p.m.
Leaders will open the 4-H Food Challenge project up to new members during the month of October. Practices will be held once a month during the months of November and December. Teams will practice every two weeks beginning in January (weather permitting) in preparation for district competition to be held on Saturday, March 11 at the WE Skelton 4-H Center at Smith Mountain Lake. This competition is open to all 20 counties of the Central District in Virginia.
The 4-H Food Challenge is a relatively new 4-H National Competition designed by Texas A&M University. The final competition for 4-H juniors ages 9-13 is the District Competition at Smith Mountain Lake. However, senior members of ages 14-19 move on to the state competition at Virginia Tech. The senior team winning at the state level moves on to compete at the national competition held in Texas.
The 4-H Food Challenge is open to any student in third through 12th grade. Anyone who is interested in joining the 4-H Food Challenge project in October should call Carol Byrd at the Patrick County Extension Office (276) 694-3341.

Pictured (left to right): Maggie Easter, Journey Moore, Kali Craig, Shyann Kerce present their dish to the judges.
Pictured (left to right): Maggie Easter, Journey Moore, Kali Craig, Shyann Kerce present their dish to the judges.
Pictured (left to right): Emma Pendleton, Breanna Cox, and Brianna Knight buy a bell pepper for their dish from Wayne Kirkpatrick at the farmers’ market.
Pictured (left to right): Emma Pendleton, Breanna Cox, and Brianna Knight buy a bell pepper for their dish from Wayne Kirkpatrick at the farmers’ market.
Subscribe

more recommended stories