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'Iron Chef' competition for teens on Long Island

The Junior Iron Chef of Long Island

The Junior Iron Chef of Long Island competition will take place at Whole Foods in Lake Grove on Saturday, March 12, 2016. Credit: Alexis Stein

If your tween or teen is an aspiring chef and would rather help you in the kitchen than play video games, you may be interested in a unique competition coming to Long Island.

The Junior Iron Chef of Long Island competition hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County is taking place on March 12 at 10 a.m. for middle school and high school students at Whole Foods Market in Lake Grove (120 New Moriches Rd.). Students will work as teams (with three to five members) to create recipes and compete in a one-day cooking challenge for a chance to win prizes and claim the Junior Iron Chef of Long Island title.

Students will be asked to create new, healthy vegetarian or vegan-based recipes that use local ingredients and can be implemented in school cafeterias. The teams will have to include at least two USDA ingredients that are used in school cafeterias and recipes can't be a dessert or include meat, fish or nuts.

Recipes will be reviewed and tasted by qualified judges and the winning dish will be chosen based on taste, presentation, creativity, use of local ingredients and healthy choices, and if it's cafeteria-ready. New this year, the challenge during the middle school competition is to create a breakfast dish. The high school challenge will include a mystery ingredient to be revealed the day of the competition.

The event hopes to encourage budding chefs to learn new cooking skills and lead a healthier lifestyle while promoting the use of local food to support farmers and the environment.

There is a $100 registration fee per team to cover supplies, equipment and support. Registration is due by Feb. 12; recipes must be submitted to Vicki Fleming by March 1 (vjf4@cornell.edu). To register or for more information, call 631-852-4602 or visit ccesuffolk.org.

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