The Rules

2016 Competition Dining Series

  • The Number One Rule in Competition Dining is...HAVE FUN!
  • Tournament will be a Single Elimination Bracket Series
  • DREAM TEAMS allowed for 2016! Yes, that means a team may consist of chefs from different establishments. 
  • Teams must consist of 3 members who must be employed by foodservice establishments. 
  • Featured Ingredients will be revealed on the day of each competition (teams agree to confidentiality)
  • Each Team must create three dishes incorporating featured ingredients (may be any type of dish, appetizer, entree, dessert)
  • No written documentation may be used (i.e. recipes) other than basic ratios such as the ones referred to here  and the Ruhlman's Ratio book will be available on site for both teams to refer to. 
  • Teams may only use ingredients provided by Pate Dawson/Southern Foods. Proteins and high cost items will be allocated by Chef Ref. More ingredients will not be available due to ruining original product given
  • Teams should arrive at 10:30am to designated location. Day Preparations will take place from approximately 11:30am to 6:00pm (breakfast will be provided for Chef teams and teams are encouraged to bring protein bars and the like for energy throughout the day)
  • Each team may bring their own small equipment and is subject to review by Chef Ref and must be made available for competitor's use as well. Chef Ref reserves the right to restrict equipment for any reason
  • Guests will arrive at 6:00pm, dinner service will begin around 7:00pm and conclude around 9:30pm
  • Order of courses served will be determined by the Chef Ref and agreed to by competing Chefs as to best accommodate the guests
  • Voting will be done digitally by guests (Joes) along with a panel of selected culinary professional judges along with the Chef Ref (Pros). Limited loaner devices are available. 
  • Joes criteria will be based on a diner's point of view such as presentation, aroma & flavor.  Pros criteria will be based on a chefs point of view such as balance, degree of difficulty and technique. Chef Ref's criteria will be based on organization, sanitation, food prep, waste and the like. 
  • Guests will be instructed how to judge based on Competition Dining Series judging criteria
  • Winner of each competition will be determined at the end of the evening
  • The kitchen activities during all Competition Dining Events are held under the exclusive supervision of a referee known as the "Chef Ref" and will be executed in accordance with the following rules.


  • Good sportsmanship, sanitation and organization will be the prevailing attitude throughout the competition.
  • All cooks/teams will play by these rules and, where necessary, any supplemental rules stipulated by the Competition Dining Series Organizers.
  • The interpretation of these Competition Rules, in relation to a specific event, will rest with the Competition Organizers, whose decisions shall be final and binding. Protests after the fact will not be considered.
  • Any cook/team/judge who, during the course of any event, fails to comply with any of these Competition Rules, will be subject to disqualification from that event.
  • Gambling is neither permitted nor sanctioned.
  • Our voting system is designed to address any anomalies and errors.
  • Series' scores will be weighted 50% Diners (Joes) and 50% Culinary judges (Pros).
  • We reserve the rights to change the rules any time at our discretion.