Foods and Food Presentation

Department 27 - Foods and Food Presentation

Foods and Food Presentation


  1. Senior exhibitors must do 100% of the food preparation. Junior exhibitors may have help preparing exhibits, but must do at least 75% of the work.  Under Age 9 exhibitors are not encouraged to enter FOODS because of kitchen safety considerations; however any Under Age 9 exhibits will be judged as Juniors.
  2. Half cakes and pies will be accepted.
  3. The Department Head reserves the right to dispose of any perishable item for food safety reasons, if deemed necessary.
  4. All FOODS exhibits must be presented on a STURDY 10” white PAPER PLATE and COVERED for safe handling. The plate may be inside a zip-loc bag, or covered with plastic wrap. Cakes may be presented on a cake plate with a clear cover.
  5. Exhibitor tags may be taped to or inserted inside the exhibit cover.
  6. Foods “FROM SCRATCH” must be accompanied by the RECIPE, including ingredients and specifics about how the item was prepared, handled, combined, mixed and baked. Recipes may be handwritten or computer generated on a 3 x 5 CARD or HALF SHEET of letter paper.
  7. “BAKED GOODS FROM A MIX” must be accompanied by the LABEL & INSTRUCTIONS cut from the mix package.
  8. Any food, undercooked, spoiled, or deemed unsafe for tasting will not be judged. 


  1. Decorated Cake: follow FOODS Guidelines above. 
  2. Lunch Box: 
    1. includes all age groups who must do 100% of the work. 
    2. must include a complete MENU handwritten or computer generated on a 3 x 5 card or HALF SHEET of letter papermust
    3. include food, beverage, napkins and  utensils

CAKES (WITHOUT FAT) FROM SCRATCH :  cakes with little or no fat and leavened mostly by air.
Judging criteria:  color, shape, density, flavor and texture

Junior Senior Class
27201 27301 Angel Food Cake (no icing)
27202 27202 Sponge Cake
27203 27303 Other Cake Without Fat unspecified

CAKES (CONTAINING FAT) FROM SCRATCH:  cakes with butter, oil, shortening, etc.
Judging criteria: color, shape, density, flavor, texture, icing & cupcake uniformity

Junior Senior Class
27204 27304 Bundt Cake
27205 27305 “Butter” Cake with any icing:  white, yellow, marble, chocolate, spice, ginger, coconut, red velvet, lemon-flavored, upside-down, etc.
27206 27306 Coffee Cake (streusel topping)
27207 27307 Cupcakes (4)
27208 27308 Fruit or Vegetable Cake (just enough batter to bind - apple, carrot, fruitcake,  banana, pumpkin, etc.)
27209 27309 Pound Cake
27210 27310 Other Cake Containing Fat unspecified

Judging criteria:  crust appearance, crust taste, filling appearance, filling taste & overall flavor.

Junior Senior Class
27212 27312 Cheesecake (included in “PIES” because:  it is a filling in a crust, does not contain flour & does not rise like cake)
27213 27313 Cream Pie
27214 27314 Fruit Pie
27215 27315 Meringue Pie
27216 27316 Other Pie unspecified

Judging criteria:  color, shape, uniformity, texture/ crumb, and flavor.

Junior Senior Class
27217 27317 Biscuits (4)
27218 27318 Muffins (4) (plain, fruit, nut, chocolate, corn, etc.)
27219 27219 Fruit & Nut Bread (zucchini, raisin, banana, etc.)  
27220 27320 Other Quick Bread unspecified

Judging criteria:  color, shape & uniformity, weight, texture, tenderness & flavor

Junior Senior Class
27221 27321 Loaf Bread:  white, wheat, other
27222 27322 Dinner Rolls (4):  white, wheat, other
27223 27323 Sweet Rolls or Buns (4)
27224 27324 Tea Ring
27225 27325 Other Yeast Breads unspecified

Judging criteria:  color, shape & uniformity, overall appearance, texture & flavor

Junior Senior Class
27226 27326 Cookies - Bar (6)
27227 27327 Cookies – Drop (6)
27228 27328 Cookies – Refrigerator:  chilled & sliced (6)
27229 27329 Cookies – Pressed or Spritz (6)
27230 27330 Cookies - Rolled (6)
27231 27331 Cookies – Sandwich (6)
27232 27332 Brownies (6 pieces)
27233 27333 Fudge (6 pieces)
27234 27334 Other Candy not specified (6 pieces)

BAKED GOODS FROM A MIX  -  Include label & instructions cut from the mix package
Judging criteria:  shape, color, density, flavor, texture, uniformity and icing.

Junior Senior Class
27235 27335 Start with a Biscuit Mix (4)
27236 27336 Start with a Brownie Mix (6)
27237 27337 Start with a Cookie Mix (6)
27238 27338 Start with a Cake Mix
27239 27339 Start with a Hot Roll (4) or Bread Mix
27240 27340 Start with a Muffin Mix (4)
27241 27241 Start with a Pastry Mix 

LUNCH BOX CONTAINER (Food Presentation)
Judging criteria:  menu planning, safe & creative packaging materials, food safety considerations, nutritional balance, overall appearance and appetite appeal.

Under 9     Junior Senior Class
27150 27250 27350 Lunch Box or Container

DECORATED CAKES (Food Presentation)
Judging criteria:  complexity of design, color:  selection, coordination and appeal, craftsmanship and overall appearance.  Judges will consider “taste” of cake only in case of a tie based on appearance.    

Junior Senior Class
27251 27351 Decorated Cake