How to participate in the Health Care Culinary Contest

Meet the 2019 and 2020 winners of the Health Care Culinary Contest: Chef Noriel San Pedro from Stanford Health Care & Chef Nina Curtis from Adventist Health. Check out their winning recipes and hear why they think chefs should compete.   

This year’s contest is streamlined for easier participation and will run from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30 2022. Please refer to the official rules and resources for participants for more details. 


  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. 

 Register for the Health Care Culinary ContestSubmit your recipe to the Health Care Culinary Contest

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 or Instagram). Post yourself and/or ask diners and colleagues to promote your dish with a photo and/or text using the hashtags #PlantForwardFuture and #CulinaryContest2022. Our participant social media guide includes sample posts and images you may use. Document the promotion with a description in the contest entry form. Please make sure to tag us in your posts. 

Twitter: @HCWithoutharm and/or @PracGreenhealth
Instagram: @HealthCareWithoutHarm


One (1) grand prize winner will receive:

  • One complimentary registration and acknowledgment at the 2023 Menus of Change Summit hosted by the Culinary Institute of America.
  • One complimentary registration and acknowledgment at the 2023 CleanMed conference hosted by Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth.
  • One travel stipend of $1,400 to be used for costs associated with attending either of the conferences.
  • The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to a local farm-to-table restaurant.
  • The winning entry and chef will be promoted through the Culinary Institute of America, Health Care Without Harm, and Practice Greenhealth’s media channels.

Approximate retail value (ARV) of the grand prize $4,220

 Four (4) finalists will receive:

  • Dinner for 2, a $100 gift certificate to 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 College of Food Innovation & Technology at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. Winners will be notified by email/phone by April 2023 and announced at CleanMed, May 25, 2023. 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 11/30/22. 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.