Iowa PBS searches for The Great Iowan Recipe

The Great Iowan Recipe text with wooden spoon and checker cloth

Iowa PBS is looking to identify the great Iowan recipe at the Iowa State Fair this year and Iowans are encouraged to enter their favorite dish! The contest is in honor of The Great American Recipe, a new series from PBS that celebrates the multiculturalism that makes American food unique and iconic. 

Recipes must be important to contestants’ family, heritage or legacy for The Great Iowan Recipe competition. To compete, contestants must prepare the recipe for tasting and judging and include a written statement about why the recipe is important. Entries will be judged on taste, presentation and the connection to the contestants’ meaningful stories.

The fee to enter a food competition at the Iowa State Fair is $10 and the deadline to participate is July 1. Contestants do not need to specify the division/class until the item is brought to the fair for judging, but they do need to purchase an entry tag before July 1 to participate.

Find a full list of rules and regulations on the Iowa State Fair’s website.

If Iowans would like to share their family’s culinary heritage with Iowa PBS in another way, the Great Iowan Recipe project will also be gathering recipes online all summer long to create a collection of recipes that represent Iowa’s diverse population.

The Great American Recipe premieres on Iowa PBS Friday, June 24. Hosted by Alejandra Ramos, and featuring judges Leah Cohen, Tiffany Derry and Graham Elliot, the series will give talented home cooks from different regions of the country the opportunity to showcase their beloved signature dishes and compete to win the national search for The Great American Recipe. New episodes will premiere throughout the summer weekly on Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on statewide Iowa PBS.

In addition to its statewide broadcast, Iowa PBS .1 is available to livestream on,, the PBS Video App and YouTube TV. Iowa PBS programs, behind-the-scenes extras and more can be enjoyed on, Facebook and YouTube. Viewers can also stream their favorite shows on demand using the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android and many streaming devices.