Make some memories with the 2019 Hands-On Cook Off!

Are you ready to party? The Hands-On Cook-Off turns 10 this year, and we’re very excited to celebrate a decade of creating delicious memories together.

For the past 10 years, the Hands-On Cook-Off has been getting families into the kitchen to cook and share recipes - so here are 10 reasons to make this your year to enter the Hands On Cook Off!

1. Cooking together is terrific fun. Take a look at the great videos on our HOCO archive for proof! 

2. Family recipes help teach us about our heritage and our family celebrations

3. Family meals are important for your well being. Increasingly over the last decade, research has shown the value of family meals for everyone’s well being. In fact, a 2018 report suggests that even when families aren’t at their best, more frequent family meals still have real benefits for everyone’s diets and well being. 

4. Cooking gives you an advantage in every school subject

5. Preparing meals together helps anxious kids relax after a long school day -- and it boosts everyone’s happiness

6. Preparing food is an activity that the whole family can enjoy. No one is too young to get in the kitchen. (And we mean no one! Check out this entry to meet our youngest HOCO participant far.)

7. Preparing meals together (and rocking a meal plan) is easier on your budget and the environment

8. Cooking helps us feel better when we’re under the weather, and it helps our community

9. Eating meals together can be inspiring for everyone! Family dinner doesn’t have to be a stuffy affair: check out these meals your family can eat with their hands, or these Lego-inspired “build your own” meals

10. Cooking makes wonderful memories! That’s why this year’s HOCO theme is “Making Memories.”  To get inspired for your entry, try reading our posts on making a family recipe book, food heritage or food history - and then get set to enter the Hands-On Cook-Off! Pick a partner and prepare an old family recipe for us, or try a new recipe together -- you never know, it might just become a new family tradition

While you get ready to create a winning entry, get to know our distinguished panel of judges: 

  • Ned Bell, Ocean Wise Executive Chef and Culinary Director of the Vancouver Club
  • David Hawksworth, Chef/Owner of Hawksworth Restaurant Group
  • Claire Newell, travel expert and media personality
  • Susie Wall, style and entertainment expert
  • Samantha Gutmanis, food editor and blogger
  • Honourable Lana Popham, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture
  • Anna Brisco, chef, registered dietitian and nutrition educator

To learn more about the wonderful community work our judges do, click here

Here’s how to enter:

From today until noon of May 15th, any BC resident can enter the Hands-on Cook-off Contest. Just make a video of two or more people preparing a recipe together (and having a blast!) Make sure your video is no longer than three minutes. Then, upload your video to the Hands-On Cook-Off. It’s that easy!

There are two categories you can enter: Multigenerational and Youth. Learn more about making a video, judging criteria, contest rules and more at the contest website.


Several cash prizes of $1000 and $500 will be awarded in different categories. Full prizing details can be found here. That said, here are two prizes we’d like to highlight for you: the Random Draw Prize and the Alumni Draw! Participants who alongside their video submission also submit their Contest recipe with a photo to the Submit a Recipe section of Better Together BC will be entered in a random draw for a chance to win our Random Draw Prize: $500 cash! And - new this year - we’ve added the Alumni Draw! Entries that don't win any of the Multigenerational or Youth Category prizes but who feature a participant who entered an eligible video in a past Hands-on Cook-off Contest will be entered in the Alumni Draw for a chance to win $500 cash.

To get inspired, check out past video entries here - then get ready to make some delicious memories together!

Share the news on social!

Want to help spread the news about the 10th anniversary of our contest?

Follow us on our social accounts below (and don’t forget to tag us in your posts!):

Instagram: @bettertogetherbc

Facebook:  /bettertogetherbc

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