Dutch Oven Cook-off!
Camp Chef had the opportunity to judge the 22nd annual dutch oven cook-off in Murray, Utah. This is one of our favorite cooking events and we look forward to it every year. This cook-off takes place on the 2nd Friday in May at Riverview Junior High in Murray, Utah.
Ninth grade students get the opportunity to plan and prepare a meal using only dutch ovens and charcoal as the heat source. The students are paired up into teams, where they come up with a theme, costume, cooking station design, and menu.
Each team chooses how many recipes to take on prior to the cook-off. Most team’s menu consisted of a main course, and a dessert.
Next, they practice preparing their recipes beforehand to master them for the cook-off where they will be judged.
The judge’s critique the teams on cleanliness/sanitation, dutch oven cooking techniques, overall station design, theme, costume, amount of parent participation, and our favorite part— the taste and quality of the food.
We were amazed how well these ninth graders performed. The dishes they made were very tasty and executed very well with appropriate technique. Some teams took on some hard recipes that turned out fantastic. The dishes included meatball flower, porcupine meatballs, caramelized bacon doughnuts, barbeque ribs, Mexican lasagna, orange chicken, fried ice cream, and much more.
After the judges tasted these wonderful and extremely delicious meals the students got the opportunity to sell their food to other students and the public.
With the assistance from the Local Health Department, students were rewarded for their hard work and skill that went into preparing these tasty dishes. Our favorite part was the lines of people eagerly waiting to purchase their meal from these talented ninth graders.
Russ Oliver, a fellow judge and contributor to the cook off, asked a crowd of people how many had participated in previous cook-off’s at Murray Jr. High, and almost everyone raised their hand.
Main Dish and Side Dishes: Chicken Littles, The Sky is Falling Potatoes, Ooey Goey Turtle Cake
2nd place – Beth Renz & Sage Bales, Team 34
Main Dish and Side Dishes: Festive Island Back, “Loco”-Coco-Nut Rice, Big Kahuna Cookie
Theme: The girls wore hula skirts and leis.
Their booth was decorated in tikis, Hawaiian flowers, and grass skirts.
3rd place – Masha Benson & Jackson Porter, Team 40
Main Dish and Side Dishes: Meatloaf Flower Dinner, Porcupine Balls, Carmel Apple Pie
Best Complete Dutch:
Main Dish and Side Dishes: BBQ Pork Spare Ribs, Baked Beans, Cheesy Potatoes
Theme: The team wore matching Spartan jerseys
Main Dish: Teriyaki Chicken with Rice, and made from scratch Raspberry Ganache Fudge Cake
Main Dish: Mountain Man Breakfast, Scones
Theme: The team dressed up as Cat in the Hat characters. Their booth was decorated with Cat and the Hat books and stuffed animals.
ALL the students did an AMAZING job! This is such a wonderful program and I’m so impressed with the amount of dedication and commitment the school administration has put into this event to ensure this tradition takes place every year. There were roughly 125 students that participated. Dutch Oven cooking is a lost art and I think it’s great that this has been going on for 22 years! The community needs to see that there are still wholesome, fun activities, and great kids, out there. This event would not be possible without the founder of the program, Janet Wayman, the home-economics teacher and winner of the Utah Education Associations Excellence in Teaching award. Janet organizes, teaches, prepares, and works with the students all year to prepare them for this cook-off.
This wonderful, inspiring event is possible because of the support and investment ofJanet Wayman and Amy Roberds.