Do you have a child that likes to cook? Highlands County 4-H offers several events that allow youth to get in the kitchen to practice their culinary skills. We even have a special event for parents/guardians to participate in with their youth. Learning to cook is a basic necessity. Not only can cooking be fun, but if perfected can lead to successful career in the food service industry.
The 4-H Holiday Bakeoff
The Holiday Bakeoff event is a competition where we encourage adults to get in the kitchen with their family and teach them a favorite family recipe. Youth can enter one item into each of the following categories; brownies/ bars, breads, minis, candy, cookies, or healthy/ healthier recipe. This is also the only event that we allow adults to compete in. This event takes place in December each year.
Food Preparation / Cooking Demonstrations
A cooking demonstration is where you show us how to prepare a food. We have several opportunities for you to do a cooking demonstration. Many clubs require you to complete a demonstration at a club meeting and a cooking demonstration is a fun and easy way to meet that requirement.
County, District, & State Events-
You can use that same demonstration you used for your club demonstration to compete in County Events. This program allows you to compete against other youth in your county for a chance to move on to the district level. If successful at the district contest, senior members then have a chance to move on to the state competition.
HYCP Illustrated Talks-
Members of the Highlands Youth Citrus Project (HYCP) club, are required to do a illustrated talk. A cooking demonstration that incorporates the use of citrus and explains the history of citrus meets this requirement. Consider making one of your favorite citrus flavored foods; such as, orange chicken or lemon bars.
4-H Exhibit Booth
The 4-H Exhibit Booth is a place to show off your 4-H creations during the Highlands County Fair. Many people do not know that there are not one, but two different cooking classes that you can enter for this event. The first category is food and nutrition, where you can submit a food of your choice. I encourage you to think beyond traditional baked goals and challenge yourself to come up with the ultimate culinary creation. The second category is food preservation. In this category, you can submit jellies, salsa, meats, fruits, and vegetables that have been properly preserved.
4-H Soda-licious Showdown
This event takes place the weekend of the Sebring Soda Festival in April. Youth may submit one item in each of the following categories; protein, side dish, or dessert. The stipulation is that the recipe must incorporates the use of soda. Be as creative as you like with your recipes, they are sure to be “soda” lightful.
Regional & State 4-H Tailgating Contest
Youth have the opportunity to grill pork, poultry, beef, or seafood at the regional contest. Winners from the regional contest will then move on to the state competition which takes place on campus at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Visit https://florida4h.ifas.ufl.edu/events/healthy-living-events/tailgate-contest/ for more information.
4-H Culinary Camp
We offer both in-person and online culinary arts day camps during the summer. Our culinary camps are very hands-on and cover a various of cooking methods. From cake decorating, to slow cooking, our youth learn to use a variety of kitchen appliances and tools. Be on the lookout for registration for these camps coming late March / early April.
Project Books & Recipes
There are several 4-H projects books that focus on culinary skills, food preparation, food and nutrition, and healthy lifestyle choices. Project books can be obtained from our office or purchased from Shop 4-H. Many of these books have recipes that can easily be completed by youth with adult supervision. Click on the image below for a quick and easy recipe to make donuts at home.
Be sure to check the Highlands County 4-H Calendar for a complete list of upcoming events. You can also follow us on Facebook, and join our Remind 101 group for the latest information. Please call our office at 863-402-6540 if you need help finding a club, registering for an event, or want more information.