Real Food Hackathon

hackathon_(1).pngWhat's a Real Food Hackathon?

A Real Food Hackathon consists of several teams competing to prepare a real food meal in 30 minutes or less. Think Iron Chef with real food in 30 minutes. We’re “hacking" real food to demonstrate it can be prepared quickly and easily!

Each team is provided with core ingredients (real food), including an array of fresh, seasonal vegetables, and a variety of protein and whole grain options. Each team brings their own spices, oils, herbs, and their own equipment.

Each team prepares and plates samples for six judges, preferably utilizing several three protein options provided to accommodate dietary preferences. The dishes are judged and the award is given on the spot - within minutes after the food is made. The winning team will win The Golden Fork, an award that will need to be defended at the next Hackathon event. Defend the Fork!

During the excitement, we like to have other fun activities going on - folks noshing on real food plates and beverages. Media coverage and photo ops, such as a visit from Dr. Sweetstuff, the fashionable wearer of the "Sugar Coat," a coat that displays the annual consumption of sugar by one person in the U.S. - a whopping 70 pounds! We also like to throw in a good film, like Sugar Coated or Sweet Revenge.

More Details 

  • Teams should consist of at least 3 people
  • We may assign a youth ambassador to assist - they will know how to cook!

We Provide

  • seasonal vegetables
  • protein options
  • whole grains
  • cooking stations (just the work stations, no cooking equipment provided)
  • 2 power outlets
  • behind-the-scenes prep space

Teams Bring

  • spices
  • cooking oils
  • sauces / spreads / dairy like yogurt, sour cream, peanut butter, mustard, etc
  • herbs
  • equipment 
  • plates for the judges’ samples (6)
  • extension cords (unfortunately, the cooking stations are not equal distance from the power outlets)


Any ingredients brought should be real food. No sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no trans fats, no MSG and no foods stripped of their fiber allowed!

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