Pottawatomie County 4-H held its 3rd annual Food Showdown contest recently at Lakeview Church of Christ.

Pottawatomie County 4-H held its 3rd annual Food Showdown contest recently at Lakeview Church of Christ. This event had almost double the number of 4-H teams entered compared to last year's contest. The contest is modeled after the popular Food Network shows Iron Chef and Chopped. Teams of two and three competed against each other to see who could come up with the most creative, best tasting dish using mystery ingredients, in only 40 minutes.

This year's contest had junior teams using a whole wheat tortilla, fresh spinach leaves and pineapple tidbits for a tasty dish. The senior teams created a main dish using canned artichoke hearts, low-fat plain yogurt and a plum tomato. As with any great contest there was a panel of judges. This year's judges included Leslye Owen, County OHCE President; Kay Lynn Brown, OSU Extension Educator; and local celebrity judge Brian Davis, owner/chef for Grangeville Tea Room.

The 4-H Food Showdown was sponsored by Pottawatomie County OHCE. This group sponsored all of the prizes for winning teams, purchased contest groceries, determined the mystery ingredients and other contest details, as well as acted as contest volunteers. "It is one of the funniest events to volunteer for. The kids are so creative and it is fun to watch them learn and come up with their creations" said Francie Royal, OHCE volunteer "I enjoyed it last year and couldn't wait to do it again". OHCE members who volunteered for the contest were: Gloria Crosby, Darline Ruyle, Sue Wyssman of Dale OHCE; Donna Bennett, MOMS OHCE; Francie Royal and Trish Hobbs of STARS OHCE; and Winona Morgan, Hagar OHCE.

This year the OSU Extension Service provided some training workshops for team wishing to increase their knowledge in the core contest areas. "We could really tell a difference in the teams this year! They all added a lot more fruits and vegetables into their dishes and were more aware of kitchen and food safety practices" said Sonya McDaniel, FCS Extension Educator. With the increased participation for training and the contest, OHCE volunteers were critical to the hands-on learning environment for the Fantastic Foods workshops, as well as the contest.

The competition had 15 teams competing for the prize! The Senior Fry Guys team of McLoud 4-H took 1st place and will go on to compete at a district level Food Showdown the end of May. If they are successful at the district event they will compete at the state level the end of July during 4-H State Round-Up. The team consists of Jacob Bernier, Gavin Perkins and Andrew McClain. The second place senior team the Food Commanders were DaLacy Dockrey and Rachael Dockrey of Dale 4-H and Annie Blassingame of Shawnee 4-H.

The year's winning Junior Team include:

1st place American Idols from McLoud 4-H - Avery Nowakowski, Kaleb Nowakowski and Abby McClain

2nd place Cooking Cowgirls from Dale 4-H - Brenlee Sheppard, Rylie Premo and Sydney Griggs

3rd place Wild Two from Dale 4-H - Katlyn Powell and Destiny Daugherty

For more information about Pottawatomie County 4-H clubs or Pottawatomie County OHCE groups contact the OSU Extension Office at 273-7683.