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Oklahoma 4-H Food Showdown is a youth culinary challenge where three member teams compete to create a dish while demonstrating their knowledge in foods and nutrition, kitchen safety, equipment and creativity in food preparation. 4-H Food Showdown teams will create their dish using only a clue, provided secret ingredients and items from the common pantry. From the secret ingredients, 4-H members must identify, prepare and then present information related to the serving size, nutritional value and cost of the dish.  Grab your apron, chef’s hat and sharpen your knowledge in foods and nutrition for the exciting new 4-H Food Showdown!


4-H Food Showdown Manual:


Contest Details

Project Description:

The Oklahoma 4-H and Youth Development Program is pleased to announce the 4-H Food Showdown as a Roundup contest. The 4-H Food Showdown was developed by county Extension educators and state Extension specialist to address the need for a new, 4-H foods and nutrition experience. This contest, modeled after such competitions as the Food Network's "Iron Chef", challenges teams of three 4-H members to create a dish, from only a clue, predetermined ingredients, and a common pantry. From these ingredients, team members must use their food and nutrition knowledge, creativity and leadership skills to prepare the dish and then make a presentation about it to the judges. The presentation will include information about the serving size, nutritional value, and cost of the dish. The 4-H Food Showdown allows 4-H members to demonstrate their culinary and food safety skills to judges and observers.



  • Provide opportunities for participants to exhibit their food and nutrition knowledge, skill, and creativity when preparing and presenting food.
  • Provide opportunities for participants to learn from other team members, while promoting teamwork.
  • Give participants opportunities for public speaking and leadership.
  • Give 4-H members the opportunity to participate in a competitive event

Participation Rules:

  1. Participation: Participants must be 4-H members currently enrolled in Oklahoma 4-H.
  2. Age: Age divisions are determined by a participant's age as of January 1 of the current 4-H year.
  3. Teams per District: Each District may enter a maximum of two senior teams for state competition at Roundup. Participants in the Roundup 4-H Food Showdown must be Roundup delegates.
  4. Members per Team: Each team will have a maximum of three members and all team members must be from the same county.
  5. Substitution of Team Members: Substitution of team members should be made only if necessary and must be from the same county and a Roundup delegate. Only the same number of 4-H members qualifying at the prior competing level will be eligible to participate at the Roundup 4-H Food Showdown. No more than one team member may be substituted, up to the day, of the event. The substitute 4-H member must be a Roundup delegate and have competed in a prior 4-H Food Showdown event to be eligible.
  6. Entry Fee: Each team may be required to pay a registration fee to cover the cost of ingredients for the contest. If a registration fee is required, participants will be notified prior to the event.
  7. Food Categories: There will be four possible food categories: Main Dish, Fruits and Vegetables, Breads and Cereal, and Nutritious Snacks. All teams will be assigned the same category and given the same ingredients. Category, secret ingredients and the clue will not be announced until the start of the contest.
  8. Attire: Clean aprons, lab coats or chef's coats; closed toed shoes; long pants and hair coverings are required for all team members. Appropriate clean hair coverings include: caps, bandannas, skullcaps and hairnets. Long hair must be tied back. Each team will have the option of wearing coordinated clothing.
  9. Resource Materials Provided at Contest: Resource materials will be provided for each team at the contest. These include MyPyramid for Kids, FightBac, Cooking Food Safely is a Matter of Degrees, Nutrient Needs at a Glance, Altering recipes for Good Health, Kitchen Safety, 4-H Food Showdown Worksheet and copies of grocery receipts. No other resource materials will be allowed. Cell phones or other electronic devices will not be permitted in the contest area. Teams may not use their personal copies of the resources during the contest.
  10. Supply Box: Each team must supply their own equipment for the showdown. Two supply boxes are available in each district for use; however, teams may choose to bring their own equipment from home as long as the items appear on the supply box list. Any extra equipment will be confiscated and the team may be disqualified.
  11. Judges: Judges reserve the right to disqualify teams demonstrating unsafe food safety practices or dangerous use of the equipment.
  12. Participants with Disabilities: Any competitor who requires auxiliary aids, special accommodations or has food allergies must contact the State 4-H Office at least two weeks prior to the competition.


Educational Resources


Coordinator and Educator

Tools for Preparing a 4-H Food Showdown

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