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170 Wine & Spirit Purveyors • 70 of San Diego's Top Chefs
Celebrity Chefs • Cooking & Wine Tasting Classes
Big Bottle Auction • Continuous Food and Wine Tastings
Over 800 Wines • $50,000 Chef of The Fest Competition

Chef of the Fest Competition

The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival's "Chef of the Fest" competition is an action-packed culinary showdown involving 70 of San Diego's top restaurants and chefs. The sweet reward for the winning chef is a prize package worth upwards of $50,000 in cash and prizes including vacations, professional range, cash and some serious bragging rights! Read below for contest rules and regulations and details on how to get registered:

Chef of the Fest Rules & Regulations for 2011

san diego bay wine and food festival chef of fest logosan diego bay wine and food festival ACF logo

1. The "Chef of the Fest" competition will take place on Saturday, November 19 during the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival's Grand Tasting Event on the Embarcadero Park North.

2. An entry fee of $50.00 is required.  Checks to be made payable to the ACF/CCSD and mailed to: 1393 N. Cuyamaca, El Cajon, CA 92020

3. Chefs/Restaurant Owners must submit a complete Grand Event/Chef of the Fest application and recipe of the item that is to be judged by September 30, 2011. Submission of application and recipe will not be considered valid until reviewed by the judges panel; Chefs/Restaurant Owners will be notified of approval. Participation in the Grand Event is mandatory and chefs will need to prepare 1,500 - 2,000 samples of their dish for the wine and food enthusiasts in attendance. A chef headshot and bio must also be submitted along with the application. Applications, recipes, headshots, and bios should be emailed or faxed to Jessica Gago at 619-312-1212 or Registration Forms may be found online under the exhibit information link at and should be faxed to 619-312-1211 once completed.

4. The recipe must be original by the competing Chef or Restaurant entering the event. Submission of a copy of the recipe is mandatory with the completed application. It must be clear, concise, and complete including all ingredients and methods. All ingredients must be used in the final preparation.

5. Chefs must be set up for judging and in their booth by 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 19, 2011. The event begins promptly at 11:00 a.m. and judges will begin their rotations at that time. Late arrivals will result in immediate disqualification from the competition.

6. All judging takes place from the Chef's/Restaurant's Booth at the Grand Event.

7. One winner from each of the 5 categories will be determined by each category's highest score. Each of the 5 category winners, may or may not advance to the final "Chef of the Fest" round. The final round is determined by total high scores across all categories.

8. Please be prepared to serve three judges during the first round. Chefs who advance to the final round will be judged by a group of five finalist judges.

9. The twenty (20) finalists will be notified and will be required to be in their booth for the final round of judging. The Final round will take place between 1:00 and 2:30 p.m. Please note that if you are selected as a finalist, it is important for you to pace how you serve the public. Please be sure to reserve at least five samples for judges in the event that you are selected for the final round.

10. The "Chef of the Fest" will be selected from the group of twenty finalists.

11. Chef recipes will be judged on the following criteria: Presentation (25 points) Flavor (40 points), Innovation (15 points), Quality of Product (15 points), Preparation in allotted time (5 points). Total of 100 points.

12. The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival reserves the right to use all recipes, photos, and
biographies in Festival promotional materials including the official Website, advertising and
marketing collateral, festival recipe books and electronic communications.

13. Space is limited to the first 70 restaurants and chefs who fully complete the registration process.

14. As our goal with this competition is to help create greater national recognition with our local culinary stars, all chefs participating in this competition must be residents of San Diego County or working professionally in San Diego County.

15. Festival Management reserves all rights to make final decisions regarding any rules or proceedings throughout the course of this competition.

16. Prizes to be determined by "Fast Forward Events" *The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival reserves the right to alter any material prizes without notice.

17. Judging: The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF), a professional, organization for chefs and cooks, was founded in 1929 in New York city by three chefs' organizations: the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique, the Vatel Club and the Chefs de Cuisine Association of America. Since its inception, little has changed in their principal goals. We are an organization based on promoting the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education of culinarians at all levels. In 1976, ACF forever changed the culinary industry by elevating the position of the executive chef from service status to the professional category in the U.S. Department of Labor's Dictionary of OfficialTitles. Since this change, the culinary industry and our organization has grown tremendously. In fact, ACF is the largest professional chefs organization in North America. We are made up of more than 22,000 members that belong to more than 230 chapters in four regions across the U.S.

Ready to compete in the 2011 Chef of the Fest Competition?
Follow these steps to get started:

1. Review the Rules & Regulations contained in this document.
2. Fill out a San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival Restaurant Registration Form.
3. Fill out a 2011 Chef of the Fest Competition Entry Form.
4. Fax both the Restaurant Registration Form AND the Chef of the Fest Entry to 619-312-1211
5. Make a $50.00 check payable to ACF/CCSD.  Mail check to: ACF/CCSD /1393 N. Cuyamaca St., El Cajon, CA 92020
6. Email Chef's Headshot and Bio to Festival Management for posting on the official website.
Email to Jessica Gago at
7. Send the original recipe of the competition dish no later than October 1, 2011 to: Jessica
Gago at
8. Practice, Practice, Practice!

Question? Please call Jessica Gago, Chef of the Fest Coordinator, at 619-312-1212

PDF of Chef of the Fest Rules > >

Restaurant Registration form > >


San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival
World of Wine Event, LLC
1393 North Cuyamaca
El Cajon, CA  92020

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