Cooking Challenge

So you think you’re a master chef? Well prove it! The Northern NSW Local Health District Health Promotion unit is holding a Healthy Local Food Cooking Challenge for Northern Rivers residents.

  • $100 prize vouchers will be awarded for the most appealing, healthy and creative meals.
  • Use only fresh ingredients from the local farmers markets, farm gate, or food you’ve grown yourself.
  • Get a friend or family member to film you preparing or cooking a meal using these ingredients.
  • The meal could be simple, such as a new take on a sandwich; a homemade hummus dip & vegetable sticks; or a more complex meal that you’d see in a restaurant.
  • Full details of the competition are below.

Happy cooking!


Northern Rivers residents in the local government areas of Lismore, Richmond Valley, Clarence Valley, Ballina, Byron Bay, Kyogle and Tweed are eligible to take part in the challenge.

School students, community gardens, neighbourhood centres, farmers markets etc are particularly encouraged to participate.

Instructions / Rules

Use local ingredients – Use only ingredients purchased from the local farmers’ / produce markets, farm gate, grown yourself or grown by a friend. (To be honest, we’re not going to know where you got your fresh produce from, but we’re particularly keen to see local produce used because it supports local farmers and increases food security.) You won’t be able to source everything locally, but the main ingredients – particularly fruit and vegetables – should be.

The meal could be simple, such as a simple twist on a sandwich, or hummus dip & bread; or a more complex meal that you’d see in a restaurant.

Integrate fruit, vegetables and whole foods in your meal, which generally have higher nutrient content, especially fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Refer to the Australian Dietary Guidelines if you need more information on what makes a healthy diet.

Film your cooking – Have a friend or family member film you preparing / cooking a meal using these ingredients. There are free film editing programs available, and most computers come with MovieMaker. Even smartphones have their own editing software.

The filming and editing does not have to be highly skilled. Basic clips using a mobile phone are encouraged. Videos should be 2-5 minutes in length.

Edit your video – The raw footage captured by your camera, phone or video recording device needs to be edited to make it a watchable and seamless video file. If editing your video is a bit daunting, Vimeo has tutorials on how to go about it. Other video content sites like YouTube offer similar tutorial basics.

Many smart phones, tablets and computers have built in video editing software and there’s lots of tutorials on the web to help. It’s much easier than you think so don’t let this dissuade you from showing off your cooking skills! Also, a tech savvy teenager you know may help because they’re often keen to show off their tech skills.

If your video recording device doesn’t have the best sound quality, you’re welcome to submit a silent clip, or consider adding a copyright free sound track to it. There’s lots of ‘royalty free’ sound clip sites on the internet, such as:

A $100 prize voucher will be awarded for the best film clip in each of the following categories:

  • best salad – salads can be ‘traditional’ using leafy greens etc or more ‘hearty’ such as a pumpkin/beetroot/roast vege salad. Some examples here.
  • best meal for children and adolescents – a healthy meal that would appeal to kids, particularly to encourage them to eat their greens and vegetables! Sesame flavoured wok fried broccoli or an open topped sourdough grill come to mind as possibilities…Examples here.
  • best meal under $5 – total cost of ingredients should be less than $5 for one adult serve, with an outline of costings shown in the clip (eg. screen shot of costings on paper or a frame in video that shows the cost of ingredients). Check out these but remember they’re in US dollars!
  • open category – anything prepared/cooked by you that fits within the general terms of the competition

You can submit one clip for into more than one or all of the categories, so long as it fits within the terms above.

Prizes – Prizes will be $100 in value to be spent on:

  • Restaurant/dinner
  • Cooking course
  • Hamper of local goods
  • Video editing course contribution
  • Farmers’ markets voucher

Bonus points! – Greater consideration will be given to clips that integrate answers to the following questions:

  • What’s your favourite market ingredient and how do you use it?
  • How do you encourage your kids to eat their vegetables?
  • What’s your favourite vegetable and how do you use it in a meal?

Submit your clip – Once you’ve created your clip, upload it to Vimeo (you’ll need to register which is free) and email the link to your clip to Adam Guise specifying which categories you’re submitting in:

Adam Guise
Health Promotion Officer

Deadline –  The deadline for submitting your clip is Monday, 19 June, 2017.  Prize winners will be determined by the Northern NSW Local Health District Health Promotion team and be awarded at the end of June.

By taking part in this competition you agree for your clip to be uploaded on the Northern NSW LHD Health Promotion website (or a hosting site such as Vimeo or YouTube) and promoted via social media. So please be aware that anything in your clip will be public!

Some inspiration

Health Promotion officer Adam cooks hipster eggs on toast using farmers’ market and homegrown ingredients:

Adam’s recipe is available from:

Our very own Health Promotion Manager Jillian makes Warrigal Greens pie!

2017 Winners

Click here for video – Coffee Camp Public School – basil pesto potato salad
Click here for video – Anthony & Lily Neenan – vege pasta & yoghurt/mango dessert