The Iowa Waste Reduction Center is partnering with the Des Moines Public Schools’ Central Campus’ Culinary Arts & Restaurant Management program to host a cooking competition using food scraps.

Midwest Food Recovery SummitSaving Scraps: A Culinary Competition is taking place at the IWRC’s Midwest Food Recovery Summit held September 6-8 in Des Moines, IA. “Our students are very excited for the chance to show off their culinary skills working with food that would have otherwise gone to waste,” says John Andres, Culinary Arts Instructor at Central Campus. “The success of any food service operator is closely tied to thoughtful utilization of food product, so this is just a fantastic learning opportunity for the kids.”

“With an event entirely about how to not waste food, we wanted something fun to bring everyone together and truly showcase what can be done with scraps and leftovers,” says Joe Bolick, Communication and Public Relations Manager at the IWRC. “The Des Moines Marriott Downtown already collects all of their food scraps and waste for composting so they will be holding some extra back for us.”

Items like vegetable peels, herb stems, leftover sauces, or excess soup are all game for the competition and students won’t know what they’re cooking with until the ingredients are unveiled live at the event.

Once the students learn what they’re cooking with, they will have an hour and a half to plan, prep, cook and plate the dish for three judges who will taste and score.

To register for the summit or for more information, visit

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