Press Releases

State ag department is taking applications for 2015 Farm to School Junior Chef competition


For Immediate Release
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
For more information contact:
Ted Sloan
(502) 564-1138

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Students, sharpen those knives: The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Junior Chef competition will launch its third season this spring, and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer encourages high school cooking teams to apply this month.

Junior Chef logo

“The Junior Chef competition is a great way for kids to learn basic cooking skills and gain an appreciation for local foods,” Commissioner Comer said. “At the same time, contestants learn to work on a team, manage time and money, and many other skills that they can use in their everyday lives.”

Forms, guidelines, and answers to frequently asked questions are available at the Farm to School Junior Chef website, All required forms, recipes, and the $150 team entry fee must be mailed to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and postmarked no later than Feb. 24.

Kentucky students in grades 9-12 are eligible to participate. Each team must have three to five members and may have one substitute. Each team’s recipe must include at least five local products and must conform to National School Lunch Program guidelines. Dishes will be judged on taste, appearance, creativity, best and most use of local products, and appropriateness for school food service personnel.

District competitions will open in April, and regional competitions will take place in May. The 16 regional champions will meet to determine the state champion at the Kentucky State Fair in August in Louisville.

Owen County High School won the Junior Chef championship in 2014. Mayfield High School earned the inaugural Junior Chef crown in 2013.

The Farm to School Junior Chef competition is made possible with the cooperation of Sullivan University, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, the Kentucky Department of Education, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

For more information, go to the Junior Chef website,, or contact Tina Garland, the KDA’s farm to school program coordinator, at (502) 382-7505 or