Cooking Contest Prize Ideas

Ranking food at a contest

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Cooking contests are fun for the participants as well as the judges -- plus they're a excellent way to promote a business or organization. The trick to getting chefs to enter a cooking contest is to provide the right motivation in the form of prizes that will be irresistible to anyone who loves to cook.

Large Budgets

home appliance store, row of gas stoves

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If you have a large budget, consider offering a large cash prize or a trip to Europe as a grand prize. You can consult a travel agent for help planning a trip to tour some of the best cooking schools, wineries and restaurants in Europe or a particular region known for its food in Italy or France. Other expensive prizes might include a professional-quality, stainless steel gas stove or a complete set of high-quality knives. Another pricey item that will catch the eyes of many chefs is a complete set of copper pots, a luxury that few cooks can afford.

Medium-Priced Prizes

Espresso maker

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Most small kitchen appliances fall into this medium-price range. Consider high-quality food processors, espresso machines, mixer sets, pressure cookers and bread makers as prizes. Gift certificates to specialty stores are often also ideal prizes -- and you can purchase them in exact amounts to fit your budget.

Low-Priced Prizes

Garlic press and cloves

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Even if your prize budget is fairly low, there are some nice prizes that cooks would appreciate. A subscription to a cooking-related magazine, such as "Bon Appetit," "Cooking Light," or "Cook’s Illustrated," or a copy of the newest bestselling cookbook are useful but inexpensive prizes. An apron or a chef’s hat embroidered with the date and award given, such as “honorable mention,” would make a nice keepsake for any cook. Other reasonably priced items to consider include gift certificates to local restaurants, gourmet food items or baskets, or small kitchen gadgets such as a pepper mill or garlic press.