Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Spicy Kid Chef Competition!

September 24, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


Sunday, September 24, 2017, 3-4:30 pm
Located at the Great Meadow, Briar Chapel, Chapel Hill.
For directions, click here.


Ever wanted to be a top chef? Now’s your chance!

The 10th Annual Pepper Festival, one of the largest chef competitions in North Carolina, celebrates local food and southern culture in a hot new way. The Festival challenges approximately 50 of North Carolina’s top chefs to create one-of-a-kind recipes, from pepper donuts to pepper drinks, using one secret ingredient: the locally bred and grown North Carolina pepper.

This year, the Pepper Festival is hosting a kid chef competition for children grades 4–7 who love to cook, bake or play in the kitchen! Each child will have the chance to craft his or her own favorite peppery creation to be showcased at the Pepper Festival.



Kid chefs will be challenged to prepare their best pepper-inspired dish featuring a North Carolina pepper. Children and families will be given five examples of simple recipes for inspiration, such as salsa, pepper pimento cheese and tacos. However, children may choose any recipe they wish to enter. They may use existing recipes but must add at least one element that makes this recipe distinct, different and their own.



  • August 1: Challenge packet is issued to the community.
  • September 11: FEES AND REGISTRATION DUE.  Register Here!
  • September 12: Mentor chef contact information will be shared with contestants and call for peppers extended.
  • September 15: Final details, such as parking map and directions, will be provided.
  • September 24: 10th Annual Pepper Festival



Categories: Children from any location or area can enter into the appropriate age group:

  • Category 1: Grades 4-5
  • Category 2: Grates 6-7

Fee and Participant Cap: Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The registration fee is $20, and each category will be capped at 10 participants. So claim your spot quickly!


Mentor Chefs

Two professional chefs will be available throughout the process for questions via phone or email from contestants. Contact information will be shared when registration closes.






  • Portions: Kid chefs will be asked to prepare approximately 30 small, bite-sized portions for judges and select VIPs.
  • Ingredients: Kid chefs will be asked to provide their own ingredients. If they so choose, they can pick up $25 worth of peppers from Abundance at a predetermined pick-up date.
  • Preparation: Contestants will be responsible for preparing food off-site, transporting it to the festival, setting it up at the booth and plating/serving at the event. Contestants may recruit friends and family to assist with any and all of this process.
  • Equipment: Contestants will be provided serving items, including compostable small square plates, napkins and plastic forks. Two contestants will share an eight-foot table under a 10×10 tent.
  • Tickets: Each kid chef contestant will be provided two complementary adult tickets for assistants. Contestants may purchase additional tickets HERE!


At the Festival

  • Layout at Festival: Kid chefs should be in an area sectioned off by ropes. Two contestants will share an eight-foot table under a 10×10 tent. Contestants will be provided with a map and directions prior to the festival. Upon arrival, contestants need to check in at the VIP/Kid Chef Tent (next to the ticket tent) to collect their serving items and be directed to their tent and table.
  • Timing: The competition will be held from 3-3:30 p.m. Kid chefs must be set up and ready to serve starting at 3 p.m. At 3:45 p.m., the kid chefs will be asked to pack up any personal items, dispose of trash, clean up their sites and enjoy the festival. Winners will be announced at 4:30 p.m.
  • Judges: Judges will taste each sample and rank them from 1-10 based on three main qualities: yumminess, presentation and creativity.
  • Winners/Prizes:There will be a grand prize winner and runner-up winner for both Category 1 and Category 2.
    • o   Grand prize: A gift card for $50, an on-air live radio interview held at 5 p.m. the day of the festival and professional chef experience. Grand prize winners will be paired with a professional chef in the Triangle to co-create a dish and enjoy a complementary dinner at the restaurant with his or her family.
    • o   Runner-Up: A gift card for $50


about the organizer

Cherith Andes is a key collaborator in Pepperfest – she is the woman behind the curtains, making magic through marketing, media, creating connections, and inspiring people to get excited about local food!  If you’ve ever read an article about Pepperfest in a food blog, chances are that Cherith was the catalyst in making that happen!

There’s never a day when Cherith isn’t smiling (and dressed to the nines).  Her positive attitude and genuine excitement for life are contagious.  This is her second year coordinating the Spicy Kid Chef Competition and Abundance is so blessed to have her!


Cherith Andes



September 24, 2017
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm