House Cook-Off Recipe Competition

Your challenge is to create an easily shareable snack (sweet or salty) representing Nayland or your house, for 10 people with a budget of around $20.

Every entry will earn you a House Point. Entries which are bi-lingual and come in a second language (te reo, spanish, german etc) will earn 2 House Points!

The top 2 Recipes from each house will then go head to head in a Cook-Off in the third week of Term 3 where you and one chosen helper will make and serve your dish which will be judged by students and teachers.

You can take inspiration from other recipes, but you must write up the plan in your own words.

If you are unsure of ingredient prices, you can check these at – There is also a helpful bit of information on most products which tells you the price per 100g. You do not need to work out the exact price for items just keep an eye on your total costs.

Your Recipe must be written so that someone who knows less about food than you can make it at home. Therefore, you may decide to explain in more detail.

When creating your recipe remember the Challenge’s criteria which judges will be looking for. They are:

Nayland/House themed, Taste, Write-up


This is all about being proud of your school and your house. You could use food colouring, make small designs or include the SOAR values. The more creative the better although we do not expect you to be an artist!


This is all about making recipe that has a little bit of everything. The best way to do this is to mix and match ideas from different recipes to make something balanced.

  1. Crispy/Crunchy – Think chocolate chips, nuts, caramelized extras, etc…
  2. Soft/Moist – Ganache’s, icing or fondant are not just decorative!
  3. Structure/Chewy – This is what holds it all together
  4. Rich – This is all about big flavours! The yum-yum stuff! Flavour Country! Think comfort food on a rainy day.
  5. Fresh – Fresh is the balance to ‘Rich’. Big flavours are great but they need freshness. Think Fruit… !

The next 5 flavours are all about balance. Too much of any of them will ruin a dish aim for a little bit of each one!

  1. Salty – Salt is important for our bodies but also opens our taste buds up allowing other flavours to shine!
  2. Sweet – Too much sugar is unhealthy, but sweetness is there to balance Salt, Acidity & Bitterness. Think Honey, Brown Sugar, or Maple Syrup.
  3. Bitter – Bitterness should always be balanced with sweetness. Think about e.g. rhubarb cake with icing sugar…
  4. Sour/Acidic – Very important for digestion, but also flavour. Think Vinegar, Lemon or Lime Juice.
  5. Spicy – Chilli and Spice is best when balanced with yogurt, something Fresh or Sweet, or as a side option.


This is about making sure your Recipe is easy to follow, sounds amazing, and has all the information needed for anyone to make it at home. Some of the things we would like to see are a picture, nutritional information, and well written instructions. For info on where to find copyright-free pictures see the ‘Finding Images’ tab. For more info on how to make a healthy nutritional meal just click on the ‘Nutrition’ tab. You can also look at the recipes that were created under last years challenge of sustainability.

Helpful Hints

  1. Go see Matt in HOS2 with your draft Meal Plan for Three Free Tips!
  2. Use the Nutrition calculator on the ‘Nutrition’ tab.
  3. Use the ‘Staying Seasonal’ tab to make sure you are not spending money on expensive imported foods.
  4. If you can’t take your own photo then make your Recipe look great with a copy-right free Photo from the list on the ‘Finding Images’ tab.  
  5. If you can’t picture what we are looking for then check out the sweet examples under the ‘Recipe’ tab or the recipes that were created under last years challenge of sustainability!
  6. Last but NOT least! Keep it simple! It is one of the criteria and you may just end up having to cook it in the finals!

Go to the ‘Submissions’ tab for info on where to send your recipe.