How to Judge a Food Contest?

Nowadays, different food contests are being organized around the world due their increasing popularity among common people. Therefore, demand for judges is increasing too. Judging these food contests is very important since success of any food contests mostly depends on the judges. An ideal judge of food contest follows some important guidelines.

Before Contest Starts:

It is important to get a clear idea about food contest rules before the contest starts. Besides, judges must study to have more idea about recipes, foods, ingredients, garnishing, cooking apparatus etc. Try to be as professional as possible and set your personal preferences aside.

During The Contest:

Talk to other judges to know if there is any last-minute change in instructions. Have your judging sheet ready. It is good to judge foods according to their difficulties. Get introduced with the contestants at the beginning of the food contest.

Judging Steps:

Time – First step in judging is to see if the food prepared by contestants is within the time allocated according to the contest rules.

See – Look for the presentation of foods along with color, garnishing etc. The look of food should be attractive. However, do not hesitate to penalize for excessive décor or inappropriate or extra use of garnishing.

Smell – Try to smell the aroma of foods. Also check if there is any burned smell coming from the food. Do not give extra point for using excessive flavoring or seasoning.

Inspect – To get the clear picture of a food you must cut the dish and expose the bottom, middle and top layers along with sides and center to inspect. Look for burned, off-colored, overcooked, undercooked or raw portion in the dish. Also check for evenness in color and cooking. Give more points for even cooking, consistent surface texture & color, pleasant aroma. On the other hand, penalize for soggy, tough, raw, burned spots, crumbling or brittle results, spotty cooking.

Taste – To taste all the dishes prepared by contestants it is important that you keep your hunger even for the last dish to be tasted. Taste for all the ingredients that mentioned in the recipe. Check the flavor if that is too strong. Also check if all the ingredients are perfectly cooked. Find out if there is any ingredient used that is not mentioned. Also penalize for missing ingredients. Try to taste a smallest amount of servings that are enough to judge a dish.

Make Notes –You might forget specific observation about an item after tasting few others. That is why it is important to write down any notes about dishes when you are judging.

Double Check Scores – Double check your scores for different dishes. Do not hesitate to taste again a dish if you are confused about that.