Female culinary student plating fresh scallops.

JWU leads the culinary world

You Create It

Are you a prospective student with a passion for cooking? JWU’s College of Food Innovation & Technology (CFIT) is hosting a national recipe competition designed for high school seniors and transfer students enrolled in culinary, baking & pastry arts and other food-related programs or courses.

Select contestants in each competition will be awarded JWU academic scholarships, with finalists invited to a JWU campus (Charlotte or Providence) to compete in person for top scholarship prizes.

Competition Details

U.S. high school seniors and transfer students will be invited to submit formulas/recipes for fully composed savory or sweet dishes that address one or a number of critical food system challenges, including (but not limited to):

Carbon footprint and ecological damage

Relative to a particular geographical location, recipes should include ingredients that travel relatively short distances to the point of consumption (i.e., no imported ingredients); OR, should include ingredients whose production processes are not resource-intensive (e.g., foraged wild ingredients).

Food waste

Recipes should leave minimal waste OR utilize waste/byproducts created by other production/food manufacturing processes (e.g., “spent” brewer’s grains).

Poor nutritional outcomes, particularly among food-insecure households

Recipes should replace potentially harmful ingredients — like sugar — with substitutes that are cost-conscious, readily available and appealing/palatable to the masses. Contestants are encouraged to use ingredients that pack substantial nutritional “punches” at very little cost.

Contestants must also submit a short essay description of their recipe/formula and how it addresses the relevant food system challenge.

Annually, the contest will be announced in October, with entries/formulas due by January 15 of the following calendar year. 

Formulas/recipes will be reviewed and scored with respect to the contest parameters by JWU CFIT culinary and baking & pastry faculty and guest judges. 

plating vegetarian sustainability dish

Review the Official Rules for full contest eligibility guidelines, rules and procedures.

Future Food Scholarship Competition Official Rules (PDF)

Contestant Eligibility

U.S. high school seniors and transfer students who have applied, been accepted, or deposited to the following on-ground JWU undergraduate programs (Charlotte or Providence) before the January 15 recipe deadline are eligible to compete. Only one entry per student is permitted.

Eligible undergraduate programs:

  • Applied Food Science
  • Baking & Pastry Arts (A.S. or B.S.)
  • Culinary Arts (A.S. or B.S.)
  • Culinary Nutrition
  • Culinary Science & Product Development
  • Dietetics and Applied Nutrition
  • Food & Beverage Industry Management
  • Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainable Food Systems
Contest Rules

1. Contestants must complete the electronic application form (see How to Apply), which requests student name and contact information; high school name, location and contact information; and local press/newspaper contact information. The electronic application includes prompts for submitting (a) the contestant’s savory or sweet recipes/formulas; (b) up to two color photos of the finished plate; and (c) the accompanying essay.

2. Savory entries must include recipes for an entrée and any/all appropriate accompaniments, garnishes or sauces. Entrées can feature meat proteins, fish and seafood, vegan or vegetarian ingredients.

3. Sweet entries must include four components: an individual serving of the main item, one or multiple sauces, an edible garnish and a crunch component.

4. All submissions should be developed to conform to the time constraints that will be in place for the in-person finals competition.

For savory dishes:

  • 15 minutes for setup
  • 75 minutes for fabricating/cooking/baking FOUR portions of the finished plate
  • 10 minutes for plating (on a 12” round plate)

For sweet dishes:

  • 25 minutes for setup
  • 120 minutes for fabricating/cooking/baking FOUR portions of the finished plate
  • 10 minutes for plating (on a 12” round plate)
  • All recipes/formulas MUST be original and include 100% from-scratch ingredients (no pudding mixes, cake mixes, jarred sauces, dried pasta)

5. Recipes/formulas must conform to the instructions included in the application form.

6. Essays should be no more than 300 words and must clearly describe how the student’s original dish addresses a pressing food system concern, which could be, but is not limited to, ecological damage, carbon footprint, food waste and/or poor nutritional outcomes. Essays must be original work, composed entirely by the student competitor.


After the January 15 deadline, JWU faculty will conduct preliminary judging. Any entries not conforming to eligibility or application criteria will be disqualified, as will work deemed not the original work of the student competitor.

Preliminary scores will be based on:

  • Creativity, completeness and overall quality of recipe/formula
  • Plate presentation, as represented in submitted final plate photo
  • Essay content and writing quality
  • Effectiveness of submitted recipe/formula for addressing food system challenge(s)

Students with the top ten preliminary scores will be invited to JWU’s Providence or Charlotte campus for the final in-person competition, to be held in March. Each finalist will be granted time (as specified above) for producing 4 finished plates of their dish. Finished plates will be judged/scored by JWU faculty, JWU staff and guest judges according to taste and presentation.


Supported by RATIONAL 

Rational Logo

Each year, the top twenty accepted students will be awarded JWU academic scholarships. Specifically, third tier award winners (11th-20th place) will each receive $1,000 scholarships renewable for four years ($4,000 total value). The top ten competitors will be invited to travel to JWU’s Charlotte, North Carolina, or Providence, Rhode Island, campus in March of each year to produce their formulas for final judging (at JWU’s expense). Academic scholarships will be awarded as follows:

Top Tier Award

Full Tuition for four years

In addition, for the 2023/2024 competition year, the winning student’s high school will be awarded a RATIONAL i-Combi Pro oven, provided by competition supporter, RATIONAL.

Second Tier Award

$5,000 scholarship, renewable for four years ($20,000 total value)

This scholarship is awarded to students who have placed 2nd-10th.

How to Apply

1. Begin your application to JWU. You can apply via the Common App or the JWU Application. Both options have no fee and can be found at apply.jwu.edu. Make sure to select one of the following academic interests:

  • Applied Food Science
  • Baking & Pastry Arts (A.S. or B.S.)
  • Culinary Arts (A.S. or B.S.)
  • Culinary Nutrition
  • Culinary Science & Product Development
  • Dietetics and Applied Nutrition
  • Food & Beverage Industry Management
  • Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainable Food Systems

2. Access your admissions portal. Upon starting your application, you’ll receive access to a dedicated admissions portal with information on your application status, updates, and more.

3. Go to the Admissions Checklist section. The competition app should appear here — select “Future Food Scholarship Competition.” Information that you’ve already filled out on your admissions application will automatically populate in your Future Food Scholarship Competition application.

4. Have your photos and essay ready! You’ll upload them to the competition application.

5. Hit “submit.” Piece of cake (no wordplay intended).

State Outline of Rhode Island

JWU Providence

401-598-2310 or 800-342-5598

North Carolina State Outline

JWU Charlotte

866-598-2427 or 980-598-1100