How to participate in the 2020 Health Care Culinary Contest


2019 Health Care Culinary Contest photo collage_2020 promo

This year’s contest is streamlined for easier participation and will run from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30 2020. Please refer to the official rules and resources for participants for more details. 

The deadline has been extended to Dec. 7



  1. The entry must be plant-forward, a style of cooking and eating that emphasizes and celebrates, but is not limited to, foods from plant sources—fruits and vegetables (produce), whole grains, legumes (pulses), nuts and seeds, plant oils, and herbs and spices— and reflects evidence-based principles of health and sustainability. For this contest, animal proteins make up no more than 1.5 oz per serving.
  2. The entry must be replicable for other hospitals. 
  3. The entry must contain at least 1 qualifying legume, seed, or tree nut. See the full list. (Peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds may be included in the dish but are not a qualifying item.)
  4. The entry must be served in your facility at least once in the contest period.
  5. The entry must be submitted between Oct.1 and Nov. 30. The deadline has been extended to Dec. 7.

How to play:

The recipe can be for an entree, snack, grab-n-go, baked good, or any common food item sold in your cafes and cafeterias including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For example, a black bean brownie or a chickpea muffin would qualify as a plant-forward baked good. Your dish might be a new take on an old tradition. Perhaps a classic meatloaf is transformed into a savory, plant-forward loaf. A beefy bolognese could become a rich plant-forward sauce. One might also look to classic comfort foods from other cultures like China’s congee or shakshuka from the Middle East, or get inspired by what’s in season in your region!

Step #1 Submit the recipe

  1. The recipe can be for an entree, snack, grab-n-go, baked good, or any common food item sold in your cafes and cafeterias including breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  2. Recipe narrative. Tell us about the recipe. Use these questions for narrative ideas.
  3. What is the cost per serving?
  4. Recipe ingredients and procedure in institutional (50 servings) and home proportions (6 servings).
  5. Submit at least two photos: one of the dish/item and one with the chef or culinary team with the dish/item.

Step #2 Promote the dish

Promote your dish by holding an event, tasting, demonstration, or other promotion during the contest period (the week of World Food Day, October 16, would be a great time for this). Document the event with 2-3 photos and a description of the promotion in the contest entry form.


Generate social media posts for your dish (Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest). Post yourself and/or ask diners and colleagues to promote your dish with a photo and/or text. Our participant social media guide includes sample posts and images you may use. Document the promotion with a description in the contest entry form.

Submit your recipe to the Health Care Culinary Contest


One (1) grand prize winner will receive:

  1. Complementary registration for the Culinary Institute of America’s 2021 Menus of Change Summit and a person acknowledgement as winner of the contest at the Summit.
  2. The winner will be the central figure in Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth’s Nutrition Month “plant-forward future” promotion in March, 2021, where hospital chefs from across the country will be recreating the winning dish with their own twist.
  3. The winning meal and the chef will be honored, at Virtual CleanMed in 2021.
  4. The winner will receive a $200 gift certificate to a local farm to table restaurant.
  5. The winning entry and chef will be promoted through the Culinary Institute of America, Health Care Without Harm, and Practice Greenhealth’s media channels.

Four (4) finalists will receive dinner for 2 at a local farm to table restaurant

Scoring and selection process

Health Care Without Harm, in partnership with Practice Greenhealth, is teaming up with Menus of Change, an initiative of The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, to judge recipes submitted by applicants. The top five recipes will be tested by the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Culinary School. A winner will be announced in March 2021. Entries will be scored and points will be awarded in the following categories:

  1. Narrative (10 points)
  2. Recipe submission (5 points)
  3. Recipe novelty, creativity, taste, suitability for health care (10 points)
  4. Promotion (10 points)

Resources for participants

No purchase necessary, void where prohibited. U.S. residents only. Ends 11/30/20. This is not a game of chance; winners selected based on stated criteria. Official rules and judging criteria. Sponsored by Health Care Without Harm U.S., 12355 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 680, Reston, VA 20191.