Updated 1/2022

Contest will take place during Montana 4-H Congress event and interview times will take place on Wednesday July 12, 2023. 


To prepare an appealing, nutritious meal that can be prepared easily by using common ingredients available in many homes. Meal should be prepared using food safety techniques and reflect creative use of ingredients. The presentation should exhibit knowledge of the foods prepared, excellent public speaking and use of visual aid skills.


Each year the stir‐ups contest will have a recipe theme. Recipes range from the simplest to more complicated combinations of ingredients which showcase healthy nutritious meals with the advantage of ease of preparation. Creativity is the key to unique presentation– there is no reason to stick to traditional ingredients.


Individuals or teams of two. Team members should divide work and interview responses equally. An uneven distribution of work will impact the evaluation. Both individuals and teams will receive one score per judge.


Meal preparation and cleanup: 60 minutes

Presentation: 15 minutes

One point/per minute will be deducted from total score for going over 60 minutes preparation time.


  • Provided Ingredients: ingredients provided by contest for members to keep in mind that this contest follows a loose “Chopped” format. Ingredients will be provided but they may not be exactly what your recipe calls for. For instance, you might need green peppers but red peppers are provided. You might hope for chicken but pork is provided. Ultimately, your cooking and adaptation skills will be put to the test as you work to prepare your dish.
  • Contestants must use at least five provided ingredients in their dish. County contests may choose to have members provide their own ingredients from the list to simplify planning. Ingredients will be provided for the contest at the Congress Stirrups Contest. Congress contestants should not bring their own ingredients from the provided ingredients list. (You are responsible for your mystery ingredients).
  • Pantry Ingredients: Staple ingredients that will be provided by contest and may be utilized by Pantry will include chicken or beef stock, canned tomatoes, flour, yeast, vegetable oil, spray oil, salt, pepper, baking soda, baking power, cornstarch and sugar. Onions and garlic are also included in the pantry. Refrigerated pantry items include butter, milk and eggs. County contests may choose to have members provide their own pantry ingredients to simplify planning.
  • Mystery Ingredient: Ingredient provided to contestant to augment other flavors. Contestant must use at least one mystery ingredient and may use up to three.
  • Spices/herbs: Contestants may provide their own spices/herbs. Spices/herbs (fresh or dried) do not count as a mystery ingredient.

Contestants will prepare a dish utilizing at least five of the provided ingredients (listed below) and at least one and up to three mystery ingredients. Additionally, contestants may use any number of pantry ingredients and spices. The dish should be visually appealing, nutritious and show creativity. Contestants will prepare two competitive plates for the food judges and one plate to use as a visual in their educational presentation. Please adapt your recipe to 2 servings to avoid waste.

Contestants will be evaluated on using effective work habits and sanitary food preparation practices. Following the preparation of the meal, the contestant(s) will present an oral presentation to judges.

Please take note, oral presentation should address selection of dish; preparation process; nutritional value of dish, potential alteration; overall learning. This presentation should be designed following the illustrated talk format with visual aids and include a sample of the dish prepared. The place setting will also be evaluated.


Suggested County Contest 2023

Montana 4‐H Contest 2023

Prepare any type of Pasta dish variation utilizing at least five of the following provided ingredients.

Prepare any type of SALAD variation utilizing at least five of the following provided ingredients.

  • Sausage
  • Chicken
  • Mushrooms
  • Snow Peas
  • Squash
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes (in any form - our choice)
  • Tortellini
  • Cavatappi
  • Linguine
  • Cheese (any type – our choice)
  • Beef
  • Shrimp
  • Italian sausage
  • Arugula
  • Cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Edamame
  • Avocado
  • Peppers
  • Nuts
  • Blue Cheese
  • Smoked Gouda
  • Apples
  • Oranges


Two (2) individuals or two pairs with the highest numerical scores from the finals will be awarded a trip to National 4‐H Congress. Delegates who previously received a trip to National 4‐H Congress may participate in the contest but will not receive a second award trip.

Montana 4‐H Congress Participants that are 13 years of age are permitted to compete in the state contest at the discretion of the County. However, they may not be eligible for an award trip due to age requirements set by the national/regional event. They do not lose their eligibility and can compete in future years to again earn eligibility for a national award trip.



Name:                                                                           County:                                                       Name:                                                                           County:                    
Dish Being Prepared:                                                                     Start Time:                    End Time:                     


Points  Possible




Can this recipe be easily made by a busy person with “average” cooking skills?

Use of foods provided

Used at least five ingredients from list; Used at least one mystery ingredient








Has appetizing appearance, aroma, and flavor

Includes variety or contrast in color, texture, flavor, etc. Does the dish show creativity in blending the concepts of being quick to prepare and also nutritious?







Uses effective time management techniques

Uses correct food preparation skills

Uses proper safety and sanitation skills

Leaves kitchen clean

Coordinate efforts and work as a team, if applicable








Is the portion appropriate?

Dish does not contribute excessive amount of fat, sugar, or salt?

Is the dish an overall healthy dish?








‐selection of dish

‐preparation process

‐nutritional value of dish

‐potential alterations

‐overall learning

Both team members participate in presentation if applicable








Subtract any points for going over time








Name of Evaluator: