Kitchen Humanities: Iron Chef

Iron Chef


In this 7th grade life skills assessment, groups compete against each other to plan and prepare a menu with a set of secret ingredients.


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Move on to the 8th grade Edible Schoolyard In the Kitchen program confident that they have mastered the skills learned in the 6th and 7th grades


During this lesson, students will:

  • Demonstrate mastery of the Edible Schoolyard in the Kitchen standards for the 6th and 7th grades


Visual aid

Iron Chef rules

Iron Chef ballot


  • A mix of ingredients that students have used throughout the 7th grade lessons


  • All tools in the toolbox and cooking stations that students have used throughout the 7th grade lessons


  • Blender or immersion blender
  • Stove
  • Oven

Before You Begin

  • Create the visual aid
  • Print out the Iron Chef rules
  • Prepare the Iron Chef Ballot
  • Recruit judges and review the Iron Chef ballot
  • Collect all the ingredients and distribute them to the tables
  • Cover the ingredients with a table cloth so they are hidden
  • Set up the Wild Card table with common pantry ingredients (butter, eggs, yogurt, potatoes, bread, soy sauce, milk, tortillas, rice, cheese, etc.)


At the Chef Meeting

  1. Meet the students outside of the kitchen classroom and inform them that instead of meeting around the middle table for the Chef Meeting, students will wash their hands and go straight to their table.
  2. Welcome students to the grand finale of their 7th grade experience in the kitchen – the Iron Chef competition!
  3. Share the Iron Chef rules and answer questions from students.
  4. Introduce the three judges and explain the scoring system. Each judge is responsible for judging one table on cooperation, cleanliness, and the combined category of safety and hygiene (note that cooperation is weighted the heaviest). All three judges will evaluate all three tables on taste, originality, presentation and knowledge of food.
  5. Explain that after the food is prepared and the table is set, judges will visit each table, and that the students will eat when the third and final judge visits their group. The judges will tally up the scores while the class busses their dishes and finishes cleaning.
  6. Answer students’ questions.
  7. Tell students they have 45 minutes remaining, unveil the ingredients and begin.

At the Table

  1. Students work with their table groups to brainstorm menu options. Judges observe and take notes.
  2. Students divide cooking jobs and prepare their dish(es). Students are expected to clean as they go.
  3. Every ten minutes call out the remaining time.
  4. When the time is up, have judges rotate through the tables to taste the food. Students introduce, explain and list the ingredients of each dish to all of the judges.
  5. Students serve themselves and eat with the last judge to visit their group.
  6. Students bus their dishes and finish cleaning while the judges tally their scores. Students return to their table to hear the results.

At the Closing Circle

Students remain with their teams while the judges announce the winners.

Download: Iron Chef Visual Aid

Download: Iron Chef Rules

Download: Iron Chef Ballot

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