Enter the K12 National Cook-Off

Is your 6–12th grader a budding chef who loves to cook? Encourage them to enter the K12 National Cook-Off for a chance to win a trip to an in-person cook-off in Arlington, Virginia—and a shot at the $1,000 grand prize!

Competition Details

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The K12 National Cook-Off is open to all students in grades 6–12. This is an opportunity for students enrolled at K12-powered schools or any other school in the U.S. to showcase their culinary skills.

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Entry Deadline

Students interested in participating should submit their recipe, photos, and supporting information by 5 PM (ET) on May 31, 2024. Parents or guardians must enter on behalf of students aged 13 or under.

Competition Overview

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Round 1: Submit an original recipe

Create a dish that includes all of the following:

An ingredient that starts with the letter “c”

A green ingredient

A source of protein

An ingredient from the freezer

At least three spices that are not salt or pepper

And any other ingredients of your choice

Each submission must include:

  • The recipe with step-by-step directions and a comprehensive list of all ingredients, specifying which ones meet the requirements outlined above.
  • A description of why you chose to make the dish 
  • Preparation time, from set up to plating
  • Three (3) photos of the dish:
    1. Mise en place (a photo of the ingredients and utensils that will be used to prepare the recipe)
    2. In process (a photo of the dish as it is being prepared)
    3. Completed dish (a photo of the dish plated and ready to serve)
  • Students will also have the option to submit a video of their completed dish.


Five finalists will be determined by a panel of judges featuring Chef David Ho, winner of Food Network’s Chopped. Entries will be judged on presentation, dish criteria, and creativity. One additional finalist will be chosen by public voting during the judging period.

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Round 2: In-person national cook-off

The six finalists (plus one chaperone each) will receive a paid trip to compete at the K12 National Cook-Off in Arlington, Virginia, on July 13, 2024.



1st place


2nd place


3rd place

Gift baskets valued at $300

4th, 5th, and 6th place

All entries must be received by 5 PM (ET) on May 31, 2024

Competition Schedule

May 31

Entry deadline

June 4-10

Judging period and People’s Choice voting

June 11

Finalists notified

July 13

In-Person National Cook-Off

Please review the rules and regulations related to the K12 National Cook-Off. These terms and conditions must be agreed to when registering.

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K12 National Cook-Off