Amateur Mushroom Cook-Off

The Amateur Mushroom Cooking is on Saturday, September 9 in the Special Events Tent.
Cooking starts at 10:30 am. Judging begins at 11:30 am.

Check back next May for 2018’s theme, rules and application.

The 2017 Mushroom Festival  Amateur Cook-Off’s theme is Mushrooms and Chicken! Do you have a great mushroom recipe that features chicken?  Maybe a main dish? An appetizer? Or how about a soup?

The challenge for the 2017 Amateur Cook-Off is to develop a recipe featuring the mushrooms that are commercially grown in Kennett Square (button, logo for webcrimini, portabella, oyster, maitake, and/or shiitake) and chicken.

New Prizes for 2017– The winner of the Mushroom Festival’s Cook-off will receive $500. The Second Place finisher receives $300 and the Third Place finisher receives $200. The remaining 3 finalists will receive $100.

Judges will chose two finalists to become qualified to participate in the World Food Championships in Orange Beach Alabama on November 6 to 14 and compete in the Recipe (Chicken) Category with a chance to win even more prizes and cash awards. The grand prize at WFC is $100,000. The qualifiers will be responsible for their own travel, registration fees, and expenses to the World Food Championships.

Complete Contest Rules

1st Prize – $500
2nd Prize – $300
3rd Prize — $200
Runner-Up Finalists (3) — $100

ELIGIBILITY:  Open to all amateur cooks eighteen (18) years of age or older, who are residents of the United States, except members of The Mushroom Festival Committee and their immediate families, agencies and consultants of The Mushroom Festival and their immediate families.

DEADLINE:  All entries must be received by June 16, 2017.  Receipt of entries will not be acknowledged.

World Food Championship Qualifying Event: The Mushroom Festival’s Amateur Mushroom Cook-Off is a qualifying event for the World Food Championships on Nov. 6 to 14, 2017 in Orange Beach, Alabama. The judges will award two Golden Tickets to the WFC event at the Mushroom Festival Amateur Cook-Off. The winners are responsible for all entry fees and travel to participate.


  • Must be an original recipe.
  • May contain any variety or combination of varieties of fresh mushrooms cultivated in the United States.
  • Mushrooms must be the dominant ingredient. Chicken must also be featured in the recipe. Other meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables may be used, but cannot dominate or overshadow the main ingredients—mushrooms and chicken.
  • Must contain no more than 12 ingredients (including water, salt and pepper). Ingredients must be readily available.
  • Must take no longer than 1 hour to prepare, including cooking time.
  • The mushroom and chicken dish may be served hot or cold. The Festival will provide a double burner (stove top). Ovens are not provided. Contestants may bring a small toaster or household oven that will connect to 120v circuit.  Contestants must provide extension cords to our power source.


  • Recipes will be judged on Execution, Appearance, Taste and Most Creative Use of fresh mushrooms.
  • All entries will be screened and taste-tested by an expert panel, to select the cook-off finalists.
  • Cook-off finalists will be notified by July 18, 2017. Non-finalists will not be notified.
  • In the event that a selected finalist is unable to enter the cook-off, another finalist will be selected in his/her place. You may not have someone else prepare your recipe.
  • The cook-off will be held at The Mushroom Festival on Saturday, September 9 at 10:30 am in the Special Events Tent. Here finalists will prepare their mushroom and chicken dish from start to finish.
  • The Mushroom Festival will supply a double burner heating unit and a worktable for each contestant.
  • The Mushroom Festival will provide the following fresh mushrooms: white button, crimini, portabella, oyster, shiitake, maitake, and royal trumpet.
  • The contestants must bring all other ingredients for at least 4 servings, preparation and cooking utensils as well as the dishes for presenting the finished dish to the judges.
  • Ingredients may not be prepped ahead of time and brought to the cook-off.
  • Final judging will be conducted by a panel of town officials, culinary professionals and Mushroom Festival Committee members. Panel of judges will not know the names of the finalists until the judging is completed.
  • The winners will be announced immediately following the judging.


  • The entry form can be downloaded from the mushroom festival website.
  • All recipes must be clearly printed or typed.
  • Only one (1) recipe may be submitted per person, so send in your best!
  • List each ingredient in order of use with the amount needed and clear directions for preparing the dish.
  • Include your name, address, and phone number at the top of the recipe you enter.
  • A  photograph of the finished dish must be included with the application.
  • You may submit your application by email to: Place Mushroom Cook-off in the subject line


  • The Mushroom Festival is not responsible for late, lost, or illegible entries.
  • Liability for applicable federal, state or other taxes will be the sole responsibility of the individual winners.
  • Contestants are responsible for all travel expenses to and from the Amateur Mushroom Cook-Off.
  • Only one cash prize will be given to an entrant.
  • This contest is void where prohibited by law and is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations.
  • Entries become the property of The Mushroom Festival, Inc. and cannot be returned.
  • By entering the contest, all participants consent to the commercial use of their name, picture and recipe without additional compensation.
  • Contestants agree to be bound to these official rules and the decisions of the judges.


Highlights from Previous Years

View Scenes from 2016 Amateur Mushroom Appetizer Cook-Off