Minneapolis Public Schools will be hosting its fourth annual Junior Iron Chef competition as a way to continue to promote cooking from scratch.

Sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders at Minneapolis Public Schools can apply by April 13 to take part in the competition by writing an essay about why they want to participate. The students don’t need to have prior cooking experience. A committee will choose eight to 12 students to compete. The students will be split into teams of two and paired with an accomplished chef from the Twin Cities.

Many of the chefs who participate are part of the True Food Chef Council, which works with the schools to promote cooking local, nutritious food.

“The food at the event is the same as the food at our school’s pantry,” said Kate Seybold, the farm-to-school coordinator.

The competition will be held on May 10 at Solar Arts by Chowgirls, where the teams will have an hour to cook.

The dishes will then judged by a group of school officials, local politicians, chefs from the area and the previous year’s winners. The team that wins will have its dish added to the Minneapolis schools menu.

The Junior Iron Chef competition is free and open to the public. There will be food from previous winners and a DJ providing music. While this year’s professional chefs have not been confirmed, previous winning chefs have included Lucas Rosenbrook from Alma Cafe, Erick Harcey from Upton 43, and Anna Kim from Pizzeria Lola and Young Joni.


Jeyca Maldonado-Medina is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.