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, and two sous chefs.
  • 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 and plate up to 10 family-style portions of each of their appetizer, entree and dessert courses to be passed out to 'Judge Experience' ticket holders. 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 individual-size plates of each course to present to the judging panel (three judges per competition night).


  • Judges will score the three courses based on plate presentation, creativity, difficulty and taste. Each judge will be able to give a total of 6 points for plate presentation, 6 points for recipe creativity, 4 points for difficulty, 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