“It’s similar to the TV show Chopped, but it’s much more intense.” That’s how Liberty County 4-H Agent Kasey Bozeman described the 4-H Food Challenge Contest. This is a relatively new contest in Georgia 4-H, and the first time Liberty County has had teams participate.
Youth work in teams to prepare a dish using mystery ingredients. A pantry of common food items is provided, but all of the mystery ingredients must be incorporated into the dish. While they preparing the dish, teams are being evaluated on safety, food handling practices, and teamwork. After the 40-minute preparation component, teams must then share their dish with a set of judges. During the oral presentation, team members take turns sharing how they made the dish, nutritional content of each of the ingredients, suggestions for ingredient substitutions, safe food handling practices and techniques, and a cost analysis of the dish.
“It takes a lot of teamwork, communication, and cooperation skills,” says Bozeman. “Plus the youth have to learn so much about food, nutrition, serving sizes, and cooking safety. While the contest is a lot of fun, this information can really impact their lives.” Bozeman says all of the food nutrition and content is taught from resources developed by the United States Department of Agriculture and the University of Georgia Extension “so we are teaching them accurate, research-based information.”
In preparation for the State Food Challenge Contest held at Rock Eagle 4-H Center on October 28, teams practiced at the Liberty County Extension Office after school and on the weekends. Liberty County 4-H’s Junior team (6th-8thgrade students) were Zoey Dates, Tatayana Dates, and Makayla Nash. The Senior Team (9th-12thgrade students) earned third place honors. Senior team members were Talia Gross, Kelly Lachowsky, Ayesha McFadden, Hazel Quarterman, and Jonathan Woolf.
To learn more about the 4-H programming in Liberty County, you can contact Kasey Bozeman at 876-2133 or email@example.com.