It’s time again for the Annual Riverview Jr. High Dutch Oven Cook-off. Camp Chef anxiously waits for this event every year to judge and taste the outstanding Dutch Oven dishes made by ninth grade students. This fantastic cook-off takes place on the 2nd Friday in May at Riverview Junior High in Murray, Utah. This event goes off flawlessly every year because of the support and mentoring of Janet Wayman. Janet Wayman is the home-economics teacher at Riverview, and the winner of the Utah Education Associations Excellence in Teaching award. Wayman organizes and coordinates this cooking event every year. She provides students with the opportunity to learn the art of Dutch Oven cooking, as well as, gain a thorough understanding of food preparation guidelines.
Prior to this event, ninth grade students form teams, where they decide on a theme, costume, cooking station design, and a menu. The items on the menu must be made in a Dutch Oven with charcoal as the heat source. The team can get together as many times as possible prior to the event to practice their menu items. On the day of the cook-off, the students arrive early to prep and execute their menu items. The judges’ critique the teams on the cleanliness of their station, Dutch Oven cooking techniques, the station design and theme, lack of parent participation, and the best part-the taste and quality of the food.
The students that participated in the cook-off this year did an amazing job. They prepared and executed some amazing mouth-watering dishes that left the judges wanting more. Some of the menu items included enchiladas, jambalaya, polenta pie, pulled pork, cheesy potatoes, deep fried Oreos, cheesecake, and monkey bread.
One of our favorite parts of this cook-off is buying our favorite dishes post judging. Each team sells their menu items at pre-determined prices, until each team runs out of food. This event is such a big hit in the community that tons of people line up to purchase a delicious handmade meal. To ensure that each student’s food is prepared to the proper guidelines, the local health department is involved. The local health department regulates hand washing stations, proper garbage disposal areas, clearly marked waste/clean water bins, and the food preparation areas.