Kids Cooking Challenge Entries

Thank you to all of our young chefs and the grown-ups who helped them explore cooking with fresh ingredients. 

It was not easy choosing just four contestants to win the
5th GROW Kids Cooking Challenge. 

The four prize winners are:

The winners are:

Advanced 12 and under:  Brooks Cooks, Fancy Fall Feast
Honorable Mention:
Lingonberry Bakery
Chef Aimsleigh

Beginner 12 and under: Chef Ellis, Tasty steak roll-ups with oh so yummy cooked squash and apples
Honorable Mention:
Chef Charlotte
Chef Addy
Isaiah's Inventions

Advanced teen: Kate's Kreations, Parmesan wrapped pork with apple berry chutney and savory squash cups
Honorable Mention:
Chef David
Master Chef on Duty

Beginner teen: Ellie's Eats, Autumn Kale Salad with Cream Cheese Stuffed Meatballs

Congratulations to our winners, honorable mentions and all of the young chefs who took on this challenge with amazing results!

Advanced 12 & under Winner fall22 (1)
Advanced 12&under Winner Recipe fall 22
Beginner 12 & under Winner fall22
Fall22 Beginner 12&under Winner Recipe
Advanced teen Winner fall22
Advanced 12&under Winner Recipe fall 22 (1)
Beginner teen Winner fall22
Beginner Teen Winner Fall22 (1)


A note from the judges:

Let me start off with a WOW! Our students love looking at what awesome ideas your students come up with! It was a difficult decision in many of the categories because there was some REALLY cool stuff!

I cannot even tell you how many runner-ups we could have had in these categories.  The advanced 12 and under category was nearly IMPOSSIBLE! They all looked so good! The creativity with the ingredients was outstanding across the board.  The advanced teen category was SUPER close! Both dishes sounded and looked amazing. In the end it came down to presentation and creativity.

We are honored every time we are asked to do this. Thank you for this opportunity to see what this next generation can do when they play with their food!


Margaret Ninneman and Western Technical College Students



Alexis & Paige Monroe and Becker & Graceyn Lang

We are twin sisters who love to cook together. This was a fun and different challenge for us using ingredients that we had never heard of before. - Farmhouse Chefs


We love spending time in the kitchen with our mom and being creative trying new foods! - B & G's Kitchen Kreations

Ariela Messick & Kiera Messick

I had fun cooking. These were weird things I don't normally cook with. - Chef Ari


I enjoyed getting everything cut up and mixing it together. then getting to eat the delicious food. - Chef Kiera

Ava and Sophia DeLong & Lincoln Benton-Guberud

We loved creating a new recipe including a type of squash we have not tried before. It surprised us how tasty it was. The kale chips from the sheet pan bake were our favorite. The apple crumble was the perfect dessert. What a delicious meal! - Grumble Grumble Kitchen

We had lots of fun together thinking of how to use these ingredients. Lincoln enjoyed tasting each of the ingredients as we were using them! - Chef Lincoln

Delaney Jane & Madelyn Kletzien

Chef Delaney had a great time experimenting with new recipes and loved her creations! - Chef Delaney


Chef Madelyn had a blast cooking new items for her family! - Chef Madelyn

Ellie Gillitzer & Trent Duchrow

It was fun trying to figure out a recipe to incorporate all the ingredients since there was such a variety! - Ellie's Eats


Trent had great ideas and was proud while working in the kitchen. He was excited when our family devoured his breakfast creation! - Baker Trent

Kate Henderson & Brooks Duchrow

There were two ingredients in this challenge that were new to me - aronia berries and amaranth. I had fun tasting and learning about them. I even experimented with 'puffing' the amaranth and will make it again as a snack! The parmesan wrap technique was new too and I will definitely use it again. I really enjoyed the challenge this fall and plan to make this dish again for my family over the holidays. - Kate's Kreations


I tried the advanced basket this time. It was fun to challenge myself. My mom and I worked together to plan and make the meal. We cooked for a LONG time! I ate it all, but my brother and sister didn't like it. - Brooks Cooks

Layne Marshik & Ellis Williamson

Apple pies were the bomb! The salad was also good (and my mom is going to make it again for Thanksgiving)! - Team Cook


It was great. I was a little nervous at first when we picked up the ingredients because I just wasn’t sure what I was going to make but once I wrote out a recipe the rest was really fun! I liked cutting up all the stuff and then cooking it, using the stove is my favorite. My little brothers told me 1 million times how delicious my cooking was when I served them my very own cooking that night! - Chef Ellis

Lily Nichols & Ady Ward and Dontavia Milton-Taylor & Gianna Schubert

It was fun! The apples were huge! - Ady


It was so fun to do it at the BGC! - Dontavia & Gianna's Creations

Miley Pfaff & Elliot Kamrowski

It was so much fun creating my own recipe and putting it all together. Tasting my recipe at the end and liking it was great! - Miley's Muffins 


I got to use ingredients that I have never cooked with before. I could cook and create my own dishes and I got to be creative. - Master Chef Elliot

Grayson Kamrowski & Adelyn Hegland-Tarr

Grayson enjoyed this experience very much. He learned how to safely cut food with a knife, roast squash, and learned a lot about healthy ingredients and how they can be flavored to make them very yummy. - Chef Grayson


It was great to watch Addy brainstorm her recipes, ensuring to serve a well balanced and healthy plate. She was able to make an exciting meal that was loved by our whole family of 6. Her siblings gave her dishes rave reviews, including her little brother telling her she should open a cafe. It was a great first experience and we look forward to future challenges. - Chef Addy

Piper Cottrell & Lucas Marshik

It was fun because I like cutting apples. Adding the drizzle at the end was exciting and tasted sooooo good! - Piper's Good Food


It was good! The pancakes were my favorite part! But my mom and brother LOVED the soup! - Expert Man

Lingon Mandel & Lucy Kohlstedt

We had a blast! We learned how flour is made and what an "ancient grain" is. We also had fun experimenting with turning something traditional (pancakes) into something very different but still delicious. We also had fun figuring out how to take something that wasn't very good raw (Aronia berries) and turn them into something delicious (syrup) by using heat and other ingredients to bring out flavor while still keeping the healthy parts of the fruit! - Lingonberry Bakery


I enjoyed the challenge because at first it was hard to decide what to make but I found a pattern of sweet and veggies that just started to roll together. - Party Planner

Vicenza Valencia & Charlotte Fellenz

I really like blending the ingredients, rolling out the gnocchi, and making the salad dressing. I had a lot of fun learning how to substitute different ingredients when I could only use the eleven ingredients. I am also glad that we still had chives in the garden for the salad dressing! - Vicenza's Cooking Club


I loved cooking and creating this recipe! - Chef Charlotte

Evalyn Monroe & Gabby Deml

I really enjoyed learning about new ingredients and trying to figure out how to use them all to make this meal for my family. - Master Chef on Duty


I loved looking at the included ingredients and thinking of how they can be used. - Chef Deml

Rosie Elsen & Summer Rozman

It was definitely a challenge finding a recipe that used my ingredients, but I definitely had fun with the challenge! - Chef Rosie


I really like to cook, so this was fun. I never knew that squash could taste so yummy. It was interesting to try to come up with a recipe that used all the ingredients in one because they aren't ingredients I would usually think to use together. - Summer's Sparkle Kitchen

Ivan Tierney & Savannah Swift

It was fun and challenging, but mostly fun. The apple bar was really good! - Ivan's Food


Fun, challenging and time consuming! - Chef SAS!

Micah Rozman & Isaiah Rozman

This was a pretty fun challenge to cook. I learned how to use a pastry blender for the first time, and it was kind of hard to get the butter to mix into the other ingredients. I liked using the mixer and coming up with a way to use the kale in the crust. My bars were really yummy! - Micah's Masterpieces


This was so fun because I got to do all my favorite things-- dumping, scooping, mixing, cutting and eating! I love to help mom in the kitchen and even though I don't like squash or kale by themselves, I liked making them into a yummy cake! The cooking challenge was good practice for me to use measuring cups, learning about how to test when a cake is done with a toothpick, and learning that even though I think some foods are yucky, I can always make them taste good! - Isaiah's Inventions

Reagan O'Neill & David Elsen

I saw the poster at the YMCA and right away I wanted enter the contest. I have my own garden and I love to cook. It was a really fun experience and I was able to use ingredients I have never used before. My family loved my recipe. - Chef Reagan


I Always have a fun time. Ps sorry about the poor recipe directions. I tried to keep it short. - Chef David

Jaylee Young & Rosalynn May

It was a mix of fun, hard, and delicious! I like being a chef for my family! - Heart's Foods


It was fun! - Chef Rosalynn

Esme Valencia & Marcella Schoh

I liked doing the Cooking Challenge because I liked using the blender, making the pizza dough, and making the pesto. I think I would try this again! - Super Pizza


When I received my bag of ingredients and started to think on what to make, several ideas came to mind. The more I thought about it, it was clear this needed to be something sweet. I liked the idea of making a dessert dip and candied oats to give it a crunch. This recipe was fun to make but I’m glad I have experience making other things because this wasn’t easy. It was delicious to eat. – Ella's Eats

June Ramaker & Aimsleigh Powell

We loved popping the amaranth - what a fun addition to our salad. June and her brother finished off the extra popped grains with a spoon! The smoothies were a family favorite and we'll be making them again! - Chef June Joelle


I loved being able to create my own menu with ingredients I have seen in my school garden. Trying the ingredients on their own, weren't so tasty, so it was hard to think of my five outside ingredients. Overall, I really liked designing my own meal for my family. - Chef Aimsleigh

Mariel Foley and Josie Swing

I love the feel of the bread dough. It is fun to play with and move around. I like the baked apples. I prefer the crisp topping raw rather than baked 🙂 I love kale chips. I ate them all and want them every day! The food processor was a good help so I just had to peel the apples. - Mariel's Marvels


It was fun realizing how much we could make with just 5 key ingredients - dinner and desert for the whole family. We had fun harvesting leeks and beets from our neighbors garden to incorporate into our meal, Josie even spotted a dear and got it on camera while walking out to the garden. Josie loves to cook, this was a great event for her to participate in. - Chef Josie

Emmett Webber and Nolan Foley

Emmett enjoyed working with some new challenging ingredients. There was some trial and error but he was happy with the end results! - Cooking with Emmett


I used the food processor to shred the apples and chop the basil and spinach. It helps make the chopping easier and safer. I also used it to puree the aronia berry jam and blend to make the dressing. Once i saw the red color, i thought to call it Christmas Salad. I like working with the bread dough. It is almost like magic how it all riser. It is fun to do the shaping and folding. - Nolan's Nosh

Sam Dloniak and Gavin DeNault

My Kids Cooking Challenge was fun. I liked being creative and trying different foods/ingredients. I was surprised how much I liked the Kale. I'm excited to do more cooking and experiment with more recipes. - Chef Sam

It was very fun. I like chopping the ingredients, and finding a way to make the recipe my own. I like combining ingredients to see how it will turn out, and what I can make that is new. I love cooking and having people try what I have made. - Chef Gavin


Ella Miller and Kira Miller

It was fun! I like cooking and I like being in charge. It all turned out super good! I did everything by myself except mom helped me cut the squash because that was really really hard. I made a lot of lists and notes to decide what to make. I washed, cut, and measured everything. Lots of stirring on the stove. Then I ate until I couldn’t eat anymore! I feel really proud. - Ella's Deli


I loved it. My favorite part was eating everything because it was really really good! My other favorite part was brainstorming. I had a lot of ideas. I’m really proud. My mom helped me chop up the super strong squash but I did everything else myself. I was careful with the knives and hot stove. I liked giving everything a bath before chopping it up. Everything I made was yummy but everyone really loved my apples and dip! I could eat just that forever. I want to do this again. - Kiar's Kitchen

Ethan Davey and Gavin Davey

What a fantastic idea! So fun! - Chef Ethan

This is fun! - Gavin

Kanishk & Gus

My inspiration for my dish is Dal-Chawal (Basmati Rice with Lentil soup), This dish is a household staple for many from Indian sub-continent.. While we never cooked at home with Squash. I added Squash to make it unique. My Meal is a full course meal with Appetizer that is KKale Chips.. (Notice the double KK those are my initials), Main course that is the Dal-Chawal and finally the Dessert, Kreamy Delight. Dal Chawal is served with Papad.. so I served with KKale Chips for a twist. This is a wholesome meal as Lentils are the proteins in the meal, Kale for the greens, Rice/Oats for grains, two serving of vegetables and Dairy and fruits are in the dessert. - Kanishk K


I felt amazing and proud while doing the cooking challenge.  My favorite part is sharing my recipes! - Good Eats by Gus


Everyone wins when young chefs explore fresh, healthy ingredients.
Thank you to all of our participants for sharing your smiles and talents!



Special Thanks to the Western Technical College students led by chef and educator Margaret Ninneman for sharing their expertise and time as the
judges for this event.


Thank You to our Event Sponsors: