About Jr Iron Chef

Jr Iron Chef VT is a statewide culinary competition organized by Vermont FEED challenging teams of middle and high school students to engage in improving their own health and the health of their community by creating nutritious, local dishes to inspire school meal programs.

This year, Vermont FEED will create a virtual experience: the Jr Iron Chef VT Cooking Club! The club is a monthly cooking challenge that safely brings our community together while honoring the core values of Jr Iron Chef VT. Each month from December 2020 to April 2021, students will cook a past winning Jr Iron Chef VT team recipe that we announce at home. Then, we’ll all share our creations with our virtual community.

Although the Jr Iron Chef VT competition is held once a year, its influence and impact extends well beyond the event. In a typical year, teams from 70 schools begin to gather in September. They develop recipes, learn basic cooking techniques, and explore new foods, like local rutabaga. Once a recipe is chosen, students practice an average of six times, with increasing accuracy and confidence at every meeting. 

April 11, 2008 marked the launch of the very first Jr Iron Chef VT event. The project began as a collaborative effort between two leaders in the Farm to School movement: the Burlington School Food Project (BSFP) and Vermont Food Education Every Day (VT-FEED).  Over the past twelve years, nearly 4,500 Vermont students have crafted original recipes that highlight local and seasonal ingredients and inspire school meal programs.  

School food change takes many players—students, food service, parents, and the community. Jr Iron Chef involves all of these players to create a vibrant, fun, and wildly popular event! 

Look through photos from past competitions here and find team recipes from past years here.

Jr Iron Chef VT is a program of Vermont FEED, a Farm to School partnership project of Shelburne Farms and NOFA-VT.