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2021 North Carolina Junior Chef Competition

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The North Carolina Junior Chef Competition (NCJCC) was created to inspire the next generation of culinary professionals, stimulate interest in locally produced agriculture, increase participation in School Nutrition Programs, and encourage healthy eating habits.  The competition seeks student created and approved recipes for school meals. Additionally, this competition will recognize students for their ability to work as members of a team to demonstrate valuable skills in recipe development, food preparation, marketing, public presentation, organization, and local food systems.

The NCJCC consists of two parts; the recipe contest and the recipe cook-off.  Details for each part are as follows:

1.  Recipe Contest

Student teams must develop a recipe for a school lunch entrée (that meets the guidelines) to submit for the NCJCC recipe contest. 

Student teams are encouraged to work with their FCS teachers/FCCLA advisers and local School Nutrition Programs to develop creative entrée recipes for school lunch that:
2.  Recipe Cook-off

  • meet the National School Lunch Program meal pattern and nutrition standards
  • include at least one (1) USDA Foods item and two (2) North Carolina grown products, and are replicable by School Nutrition professionals.  

During the NCJCC cook-off, finalist teams must prepare, cook and plate their recipe and present two (2) plates of their prepared recipe to judges.

How to participate in the competition?  Who is eligible?
Teams of 2-4 high school students (grades 9-12) currently enrolled in NC Career and Technical Education Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Arts courses can participate in the NCJCC.