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Best School Cook 2024 competition qualifying round kicks off in Kyrgyzstan


The Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic, the United Nations World Food Programme (UN WFP), and the Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute (SIFI) are pleased to announce the start of the qualifying round of the Best School Cook 2024 competition.

From April 15 to May 25, 2024, school cooks from all over the country registered to participate. This year, 194 participants submitted applications, each ready to surprise the jury with their culinary skills.

Qualifying round

The qualifying round will be held in school canteens nationwide from June 20 to July 17, 2024. The inaugural event took place at the Republican Competency Center in Bishkek. Participants, organized into groups of 15, were expected to prepare two dishes from the School Meals Recipe Book. The jury, chaired by the President of the Association of Chefs of Kyrgyzstan, assessed the dishes based on their adherence to school meals preparation standards. On June 21, the qualifying round continued at No. 12 school in the city of Kara-Balta. Lyudmila Stonogina from the Novonikolaevskaya Innovative Secondary School-Gymnasium advanced to the final to represent the Chui region.

The finals

The grand finale will take place in November 2024, when the winners of the qualifying rounds from each region will converge in Bishkek to compete for the title of the Best School Cook 2024. In this final showdown, the contestants will have to fulfill two tasks: creating an innovative recipe for a hot school dish and engaging in a culinary duel, where they must prepare a salad and a drink from the provided ingredients within 20 minutes. Based on results, the Best School Cook of the year will be selected.

Stay tuned for updates and cheer for your favorites. Who will win the title of the Best School Cook 2024? We will find it out soon!


The Best School Cook competition was first held in November 2019. After receiving numerous positive reviews from participants and the public, it has become an annual tradition, uniting the most professional school cooks from across Kyrgyzstan.

The event has become a milestone in the implementation of the WFP School Meals Optimization program, benefiting more than 250,000 primary school children in 888 schools nationwide. School cooks are offered the opportunity to enhance their skills in preparing safe and delicious school meals, significantly contributing to the improvement of children's nutrition.

Over the past three years, the competition has become a platform for school cooks to exchange experiences, forge valuable connections, and learn new techniques in school meal preparation.

This year, the competition will be held in a new format: the jury for the qualifying rounds will include the winners of the previous competitions, who will share their experiences and recommendations at every stage of the event.