Orange County 4-H Youth Compete in Dinah Gore 4-H Healthy Food Challenge

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Dinah Gore 4-H Healthy Food Challenge Showcases Young Culinary Talent During Got to Be NC Festival
Author: North Carolina 4-H with addition from Orange County 4-H

Orange County was well represented at this year’s Dinah Gore 4-H Healthy Food Challenge, held amidst the vibrant atmosphere of the Got to Be NC Festival. The Challenge 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.

Eno River Academy 4-H Club Members Presenting Their Dish at the 2024 Challenge

Eno River Academy 4-H Club Members Presenting Their Dish at the 2024 Challenge. Photo Credit: Morgana Hover

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.

Orange County’s team from Eno River Academy 4-H Club placed 4th in the 8-10 age division. Members included Easton Hollowell, Annelise Nagel, and Kyleigh Phillips. The team was coached by Morgana Hover with support from Orange County Familiy & Consumer Sciences Agent Ivelisse Colón. Congratulations!