Kentucky’s top teen cooks will converge on the Kentucky Exposition Center for the second annual Kentucky Farm to School Junior Chef State Tournament during the Kentucky State Fair.
“The Farm to School Junior Chef program teaches basic food preparation to Kentucky high school students,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. “It also raises awareness of the variety and quality of Kentucky Proud products. The teams in the state tournament endured rigorous district and regional competitions to get here. I’m proud of all these students for what they have achieved.”
The tournament will begin on opening day of the fair and conclude with the championship match-up at 10 a.m., August 22. All cook offs will take place at the Gourmet Garden Stage in the lobby of South Wing A.
The teams will compete for more than 70 thousand dollars in scholarship money from Louisville-based Sullivan University. Sullivan will offer a six thousand dollar scholarship to each member of the champion team; a four thousand dollar scholarship to each member of the runner-up team; and a two thousand dollar scholarship to each member of the other two semi-finalist teams. Sullivan also will present a knife set to the winning team. John Wiley & Sons will award six hundred dollars to the winning team and will present a copy of “The Visual Food Lover’s Guide” to every contestant. An “All Junior Chef Team” and a “Top Chef” will be named at the championship cook off.
The Junior Chef competition is part of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program. Junior Chef encourages high school students to learn how to cook by using local ingredients to prepare healthy meals while at the same time teaching students about agriculture, marketing, organization, teamwork, and community involvement.
The Department’s Farm to School Program connects local farmers to school districts to make fresh Kentucky Proud foods available to Kentucky children. Participating Kentucky school districts spent an estimated 468 thousand dollars on local foods during the 2012-2013 school year. A total of 84 school districts are members of the Kentucky Proud program, which helps Kentucky farmers market their products to their local communities.