December 13, 2018 – Utica NY – Do you have a budding chef in your family between the ages of 10–14? If your answer is yes, United Way is looking for them to participate in its Youth Cooking Challenge Presented by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.


To be considered for participation, a child’s parent or guardian must complete an online application. The online application process began Wednesday, November 21st and will be accepted through Wednesday, January 2nd until 11:59 pm.


To complete an application, visit All applications from children between the ages of 10–14 will be considered. A minimum culinary skill level is suggested.


Children will be selected and paired with a local chef. Each team will be professionally filmed preparing a “signature” dish. The public will be invited to vote for their favorite team using an online voting platform – stay tuned for further details.


The two teams with the most votes will advance to a live finale “cook-off” event scheduled for Monday, April 15. This event will be held at Restaurant Equipment Equipment Corporation’s test kitchen located at 53 New Hartford Shopping Center, New Hartford.


All contestants will receive this year’s selected cookbook, the runner-up will receive a cooking themed prize basket valued at $150, and the United Way Youth Cooking Challenge Presented by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield grand prize winner will receive a cooking themed prize basket valued at $250, donated by Boscov’s.


This cooking challenge is a component of United Way’s health initiative with a focus on childhood obesity prevention. It will not only highlight the culinary abilities of the youth in our area but more importantly will demonstrate the benefits of healthy cooking and eating habits.


A special thank you to Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, our health and wellness partner for this inaugural event.


This event is also made possible thanks to sponsors Capitol Arts Complex and Restaurant Equipment Equipment Corp., CNY Labor Council, Utica First Insurance Co., and Mohawk Valley Community College Professional Association.

For more visit, or follow along on Twitter @unitedwayutica, on Instagram @unitedwayvgu, and UnitedWayVGU on Facebook.


About United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area

Since 1921, United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area has been a human service leader in the Valley and Greater Utica area, encouraging all community members to give, advocate and volunteer. Its mission is to mobilize the caring power of the Valley and Greater Utica area by connecting people, resources and ideas to create a thriving community. United Way provides funding for area programs and initiatives addressing crucial community issues in the impact areas of health, education, financial stability, and basic needs. For information about United Way, or to donate to the annual campaign, visit, or call 315–733-4691.



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