Making A Difference Newsletter, Issue 1, Volume 19 (Spring, Mar 2019) Issue 1, Volume 19 (March) - Page 10

November 10, 2018, was the 4th annual Harris County Food Wrangler Challenge held at Grace Family Baptist Fellowship Hall.

The Food Challenge event is one of the most dynamic food and nutrition contests offered to engage teams of youth in a process of creating a recipe from a “mystery” bag of ingredients in just 40 minutes.

The “Chopped Jr. Chef” which is similar to the "Food Wrangler Challenge" is a demonstration of culinary skills with an emphasis on knowledge of food safety, food preparation, and nutrition.

Here many youths learn to manage time and resources, work in teams to accomplish the recipe preparation, and prepare a presentation for the judges which includes: sharing information on the nutrients, the function of ingredients, and the benefits of the nutrients to promoting healthy development.

The presentation is then followed

by impromptu responses by the team members to judges questions regarding the recipe and nutrients.

In conclusion, the program outcome was a huge success. A total of nine teams competed including 4 Junior,4 Intermediate, and 1 Senior team assisted by nine adult coaches. Altogether, there were 79 participants who attended this event.

The Intermediate and Senior teams gained experience using hot plates and electric skillets to prepare a “Main Dish” recipe using Turkey Burger and fresh vegetables, whereas, the Junior teams prepared a “No Cook” recipe demonstrating knife skills with ingredients that included an assortment of fresh vegetables.

All teams gained experience in food preparation, presentation, communication, presenting recipes to the judges, and responding to the judge's questions. As a result, the judges based their scores on stage preparation, verbally prepared presentations, and responses to their questions. In the end, the teams were ranked 1st to 3rd place. The top 3 teams in each age division were recognized with a trophy. Runners-up received special gift bags and coaches were recognized with special gift baskets.

Overall, this was an educational and fun event all enjoyed. The judges were impressed with how well the teams were prepared, how well they worked together, and how well they demonstrated good knowledge of My Plate, nutrients and function, and food safety preparing the dish.

The parents, too, expressed their enthusiasm, their great satisfaction, and gratitude for the educational event and the opportunity to practice in preparation for the Houston Livestock Show and the Harris County Food Challenge in February.

4-H Foods & Nutrition Project


Agents: Sheryl Nolen & CEA 4-H