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5th Annual Harvest Challenge this weekend at Viroqua High School

| November 1, 2013 | 0 Comments
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The Harvest Challenge is a student cooking competition that highlights the need for more nutritious and locally grown school lunches, both to better nourish our youth and create stronger and healthier local rural economies.

Chef Monique Hooker has instrumental in the Farm to School initiative and the Harvest Challenge

Chef Monique Hooker has instrumental in the Farm to School initiative and the Harvest Challenge

The contest is open to high school students Vernon County.  The contest challenges each team of students to develop a creative, appetizing and visually appealing school lunch entrée and side dish while incorporating locally grown foods.  At the same time the entrée and side dish must comply with national nutritional guidelines and meet a budget of $0.90 per person per serving (entrée and side dish combined).

This year teams from Viroqua, Westby, De Soto, Kickapoo and La Farge will compete in the Harvest Challenge. Each team has a chef mentor, from a local restaurant or kitchen, who will provide culinary lessons and inspiration for the students.  Each team also has a team mentor from their high school, who will provide support and guidance throughout the entire Harvest Challenge process. Each team’s entrée and side dish must also be approved by their Food Service Director.

Harvets Challenge 2Participating teams will serve their healthy school lunches to a panel of judges, their peers and the public during the 5th Annual Award-winning Harvest Challenge Tasting Event.  The winner of the competition will be announced at the event.

The Harvest Challenge opens at 5:30 p.m. Saturday night when the public will have an opportunity to start bidding on silent auction items. Food tasting begins at 6 p.m. and will wrap up around 8 p.m.

The event is a fundraiser for Vernon County Farm to School. General admission is $10 for adults and $3 for students.


Event Sponsors

VIroqua High School            Viroqua Food Co-op      Vernon Memorial Healthcare        Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

Americorps        Valley Stewardship   Organic Valley


2012 Winners

1ST PLACE –   De Soto High School (Pirate Pasty, Apple Compote, Green Beans with Almonds)
2ND PLACE – La Farge High School (Autumn Pasta, Apple Raspberry Crisp)
3RD PLACE –  Viroqua High School (Spaghetti Bake, Fall Spinach Salad)
4TH PLACE –  Youth Initiative High School (Greens and Roots Salad, Honey Mustard Chicken, Quinoa with Carrots and Peas, Cinnamon Baked Apple Half)

STUDENT CHOICE (all elementary and middle school students attending the event cast their votes for):
1ST PLACE:    A TIE between De Soto and Youth Initiative High Schools
2ND PLACE:  Viroqua High School
3RD PLACE:   La Farge High School

COMMUNITY CHOICE (all adults attending the event cast their votes for):
1ST PLACE:    Viroqua High School
2ND PLACE:  De Soto High School
3RD PLACE:   Youth Initiative High School
4TH PLACE:    La Farge High School



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