About the Tournament: Rules

Basic Competition Rules and Scoring System

  • A total of 16 teams will compete for the title of Mason Dixon Master Chef during the tournament.
  • Participating Teams will consist of one executive chef, one sous chef and one assistant each.
  • Two teams will compete each night of competition.
  • Competing chefs are executive chefs currently working in the Baltimore/Washington or surrounding area.
  • Competitions will be held each week on two different evenings for 8 weeks.
  • Chefs will have 30 minutes of cold prep and one hour of cooking time to plate up three courses an appetizer, entree, and dessert.
  • Each Chef will also produce up to 30 amuse bouche size portions of their entree to be passed out to 'Judge Experience' ticket holders and sometimes randomly selected audience members. These 'Guest Judges' will be able to taste the chefs' entree courses and score on presentation, creativity, and taste. 
  • Each chef team will plate up three plates of each course to present to the judging panel (three judges per competition night).
  • Each chef team will plate up three additional large plates of the appetizer and dessert courses for 'Judge Experience' ticketholders to share and taste.


  • Judges will score the three courses based on plate presentation, creativity, and taste. Each judge will be able to give a total of 8 points for plate presentation, 8 points for creativity, and 9 points for taste. 
  • The combined points will be added up from all the judges and averaged for a total score out of a possible 75 points. 
  • The remaining possible 25 points will come from the Guest Judges score cards, and will be calculated as a percentage of the average score each chef receives.
  • Scores from the Expert and Guest Judges will be added together, and the winning score and Chef Team announced. In the event of a tie score, the Expert Judges' decision will be final.

Event Timeline

5:30pm - Doors Open and Happy Hour Begins
6:30pm - Cold Prep Begins
- Competition Begins
8:00pm - Judging Begins