Virtual cooking contest accepting submissions

A virtual cooking contest will bring youth in Hawaii another creative outlet while they remain quarantined under Gov. David Ige’s stay-at-home order.

Youth in Hawaii ages 12-18 are invited to participate in a statewide virtual cooking contest this month. The goal is for participants to create a video featuring a local commodity that demonstrates the successful completion of a healthy recipe.


Hawaii State 4-5 Program Coordinator Nancy Ooki spearheaded the first video-cooking contest in Maui County in 2018. After a successful run, Ooki wanted to work to expand the challenge to the state.

“I think this is a perfect time to launch this challenge,” Ooki said. “This can give students a way to be creative while they are stuck inside.”

Participants must cook a recipe that features a local ingredient, which can be a plant or animal, while demonstrating safe cooking habits. Ideas for ingredients and videos from the first contest are provided at

After picking a recipe, participants will make a 5-7 minute video that demonstrates their skills as a chef while they give an entertaining, educational presentation. The first round will be a competition within each county.

County finalists will present a photograph of their dish that will be judged in the statewide second round. Awards for the contest will be provided by support from The Ardis Tanaka Foods and Nutrition Project Support Award.

“The challenge gives students the chance to showcase several different interests,” Ooki said. “They have a chance to exhibit their media, presentation and cooking expertise while potentially learning a new skill.”

Ooki hopes this challenge helps students open up to new hobbies that they can continue in the future. Participants can have help from family and can reach out with any questions.


First submissions are due by April 30. Participants will need to be registered in order to compete. The registration page can be found at

“The contest isn’t meant to have high stakes,” Ooki said. “We want them to just have fun with it and challenge themselves.”

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