4-H Creative Cooks contest winner is Grand Champion at State Fair


Courtesy photos Kix Rizzi and Kyra Griffin were two of the three 4-H Creative Cooks to advance to the Colorado State Fair this fall for the 4-H Creative Cook Contest. Griffin was the overall Grande Champion.

MONTE VISTA — When Aubrey Pargin was younger, one of her favorite past times with the local 4-H was the Creative Cooks Contest and after working with 4-H members, Pargin thought it was time to bring the contest back and the results were nothing short of delicious.

This year the Creative Cooks Contest took place during the San Luis Valley Fair at the end of August and there were several participants.

The contest was open to any 4-H members wanting to try their talents at creating worldly dishes and table displays for the judges.

Each participant was asked to create a menu that needs to include flavor, color, texture, shape and nutrition details. After the menu was complete, participants created one dish off of their menu and set the table with intricate displays that highlighted their dish.

“What really inspired me to start this contest again was that I realized the power of bringing people together around a table of great food and the fun and creativity possible when you prepare dishes to gather people together. It was a wonderful way to inspire hospitality in the next generation,” Pargin said.

Each menu needed to be balanced and include the essential food groups as a way to educate people on the benefits of healthy eating. 4-H members were judged on a list of requirements and the winners advanced to test their skill at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, Colo.

Participants were also required to learn about food safety, including cooking temperatures and how to display their meals in unique table settings. 

This year featured dishes from country café cooking to one student who chose to do a Thanksgiving theme.

Each youth that participated enjoyed the contest and was looking forward to next year, according to Pargin.

Three SLV 4-H members moved on to the state fair, including Kix Rizzi who did a safari theme and made a pineapple cheesecake for the contest.

Kyra Griffin was a Grand Champion and Cooks Choice award winner at the Colorado State Fair.

Rorie Tillman qualified for the state fair and exhibited in the Creative Cooks Contest at the State Fair.