Dinah Gore 4-H Healthy Food Challenge Showcases Young Culinary Talent During Got to Be NC Festival

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Dinah Gore Photo Collage 2024The recent Dinah Gore 4-H Healthy Food Challenge, held amidst the vibrant atmosphere of the Got to Be NC Festival, brought together teams of young culinary enthusiasts to showcase their skills and creativity. This exciting contest, organized by 4-H, challenged teams of three to four members to craft a nutritious dish for three individuals, using a predetermined ingredient and items from a locally sourced grocery store and pantry.

With only 40 minutes on the clock, participants raced against time to prepare their culinary creations, ensuring not only delicious flavors but also adherence to safe food handling practices. The competition emphasized the importance of food safety, instilling in the young chefs valuable skills that are crucial in any kitchen environment.

The heart of the challenge lay not just in cooking, but also in demonstrating resourcefulness and mindfulness towards food. Teams were tasked with managing food resources efficiently, showcasing their ability to budget effectively and minimize waste. Furthermore, by incorporating seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients, participants learned the significance of supporting local agriculture and embracing sustainable food practices.

As the dishes took shape, teams not only exhibited their culinary prowess but also engaged in critical thinking and teamwork. Collaborating seamlessly, they navigated through challenges, demonstrating the power of collective effort and strategic decision-making.

Once the dishes were ready, participants presented their creations to a panel of judges, highlighting not only the flavors but also the nutritional benefits and the importance of making wise food choices according to MyPlate guidelines. This aspect of the challenge underscored the importance of promoting healthy eating habits and informed dietary choices among young individuals.

The Dinah Gore 4-H Healthy Food Challenge not only celebrated culinary talent but also fostered essential life skills among participants. From honing food preparation techniques to mastering presentation skills, this competition served as a platform for young chefs to unleash their creativity and passion for healthy cooking.

As the festival buzzed with energy and excitement, the Dinah Gore 4-H Healthy Food Challenge stood out as a testament to the ingenuity and dedication of the next generation of culinary leaders. With each dish prepared and presented, these young chefs left a lasting impression, inspiring others to embark on their own culinary journeys while promoting the values of nutrition, sustainability, and teamwork.

In addition to the exhilarating atmosphere and skillful culinary displays, the Dinah Gore 4-H Healthy Food Challenge held special significance for the top-performing team in the 14-18 Age Category. Not only did the challenge crown champions within the state, but it also opened doors to broader horizons. The Gold winner in the 14-18 age category earned the esteemed opportunity to represent North Carolina 4-H at the National 4-H Food Challenge, set to take place in Texas this October. This prestigious event will gather the finest young culinary talents from across the nation, offering participants a platform to showcase their skills on a national stage and forge connections with fellow enthusiasts. The Edgecombe Top Chefs will carry the pride of North Carolina 4-H and compete for top honors.

Winners are:

8-10 Age Category

Bronze – Coastal Cooking Crew – Onslow County

Silver – Currituck Slicers – Currituck County

Gold – 4-H JEM’s – Moore County

11-13 Age Category

Bronze – Alexander County Flavor Fanatics – Alexander County

Silver – Lee County Pepper Pros – Lee County

Gold – Currituck Dicers – Currituck County

14-18 Age Category

Bronze – Catawba County Cooking Clovers – Catawba County

Silver – Lee County 4-H Flavor Fighters – Lee County

Gold – Edgecombe Top Chefs – Edgecombe County