Calling All IFFS Culinary Volunteers!


a Cooking Matters Recipe Contest

Hello Inter-Faith Food Shuttle volunteers!  We are excited to share with you a new opportunity to use your creative talents to help more families eat well on a limited budget.  As part of our Nutrition Education Program's effort to ensure the Cooking Matters recipes are healthy, affordable, delicious, and reflect the diversity of the families we serve, Share Our Strength will be holding a Cooking Matters Recipe Contest in 2011-2012!  Read on for all the details.

 How will the contest work? 

Culinary volunteers are welcome to submit as many recipes as they like for the specific categories of food called for in that submission period (see schedule below).

 Submit recipes by October 17th, 2011

For Asian dishes

Soul food dishes

"Fall vegetable"-based dishes

Winter holiday dishes

February 2012 (exact date TBA)

Packaged food alternatives

Convenience dishes

Italian dishes

Spring holiday dishes

May 2012 (exact date TBA)

Traditional American dishes


Middle Eastern dishes

Latino dishes


How will recipes be judged? 

Recipes will be judged by members of the Cooking Matters National Staff and an independent recipe consultant.  Winning recipes will:

  •  Be credited to a Cooking Matters culinary volunteer
  • Adhere as closely as possible to the Cooking Matters Recipe Guidelines (see attached)
  • Be classroom-tested and approved by Cooking Matters participants
  • Fill a gap in our existing set of recipes (so think about recipes for foods that don't already appear in our books!)

 Do I get anything for entering?  What about if I win?

All culinary volunteers who submit at least one recipe will receive:

  • A special Cooking Matters thank-you gift
  • Entry into a raffle for the GRAND PRIZE:  Ticket and travel to one of our Share Our Strength VIP culinary events

In addition, contest winners for each category will receive: 

  • Two additional entries into the raffle for the GRAND PRIZE
  • A top-of-the-line culinary gift
  • Your winning recipe included in Cooking Matters participant books and promoted through social media

More specific details on the prizes will be announced at a later date - stay tuned and get excited for your chance to win!

 What do I have to do to enter? 

As you prepare to submit your recipes, keep the following steps in mind:

  1. Credit the recipe to a Cooking Matters culinary volunteer.  That's you!  Your name will be included on the recipe in our books and anywhere else the recipe is distributed (for example, on Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry blog).
  2. Test the recipe at least once in a Cooking Matters course.  You'll have at least a couple of months from the time the categories are announced until the time recipes must be submitted.  If you haven't already tried the recipe out with participants, talk to your Cooking Matters coordinator about opportunities to test it in an upcoming course.
  3. Be sure the recipe is appropriate for Cooking Matters participants.  Due to the financial constraints of our participants, we want to make sure all recipe ingredients and materials are affordable and accessible!  We also want to ensure the recipes follow the healthy eating principles taught in our courses.  Use the Cooking Matters Recipe Guidelines (attached) as you plan out recipes.
  4.  Complete the Cooking Matters Recipe Contest Submission Form (Email Jill below for this form).  This form collects some basic information about the recipe you are submitting.  Be sure to complete a separate form for each recipe submitted.

 This sounds great!  Can I start submitting now? 

Yes!   The first deadline for submission is October 17th, 2011.  Categories for this submission period only will include:

  • Asian dishes.  Have some tasty Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, Thai, or other Asian-themed recipes to add to our collection?  Send them in!  Think about the recipes participants request in class most often, or traditional Asian dishes that may be missing from our books.
    • Soul food dishes.  Help us celebrate African American culture by submitting traditional soul food recipes with a healthy twist.  Ask your participants for their favorite dishes, then get creative!
    • "Fall vegetable"-based dishes.  Have some great recipes for using fall's bounty of squashes, Brussels sprouts, root veggies, and more?  Help participants get creative with fall's best by sharing your delicious recipes.
    • Winter holiday dishes.  Winter may seem light years away, but it's time to start thinking about all the delicious Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and other winter holiday meals your participants enjoy!  Winning recipes will be rolled out just in time for the holidays - let your recipes fill the holiday tables of Cooking Matters participants everywhere!

Now it's time to get cooking!

All recipe submissions, plus completed submission forms, should be emailed to Jill Panichelli at  Questions may be addressed to Jill as well.

As always, thank you for all you do to support Cooking Matters.  We look forward to receiving your creative and delicious recipe ideas!