Kudos certainly must go to the organizers and the Twin Valley middle and high schools for developing and supporting the local program. But the reality is, it’s a total effort by hundreds of students, parents, volunteers, chefs, and countless others that allows the Twin Valley teams to consistently bring home the bacon. If ever there was an example of how well the community can come together on something, the Jr. Iron Chef is about as good as it gets.
Of course, it helps that the program is run through local schools, which creates a ready-made pool of participants. It also helps to have a statewide network to give the whole thing some added backbone. But there still has to be the energy and drive to be successful with the entire endeavor, and that’s where the Jr. Iron Chef really shines. To walk into the Twin Valley Middle School while the local qualifier is taking place it to walk into a gymnasium buzzing with energy, fun, and hope. But of course, it’s not just a single afternoon that makes the enterprise work. There are countless hours of practice, planning, and preparation for each and every team.
Which brings us around again to the basic premise: It’s not one person, one school, or one team that makes the Twin Valley Jr. Iron Chef program work. Rather, it’s the entire enterprise, working independently and collectively toward a common goal, which makes the program flourish.
Other groups looking to be successful would be wise to copy as best they can the qualities of the Jr. Iron Chef: community, involvement, goal setting, and fun.
Those are just a few of the keys to making a successful enterprise. They are characteristics we can all benefit from.