What’s New for 2018

We are excited to announce several new additions to the 2018 tournament format!



This year, we’re throwing in the curveball of a technical challenge for our cooks to complete as part of their overall entry.

For this portion, each team will receive a recipe and ingredients from a period cooking resource that they must first redact from its original text form, “translating” it into a modern, standardized recipe with ingredient amounts and step-by-step instructions to help even someone new to medieval cooking reach an end result consistent with the team’s interpretation of what the recipe should be.

In addition, teams must prepare a multi-course, period-plausible meal for which their redacted recipe should serve as the focal point. Cooks should plan on creating at least three (3) more dishes that complement their technical challenge result. These do not need to be documented to period specifically, but they do need to make sense in terms of flavor, texture, execution, and cultural dining practices.



Because we like to change it up every year, this year everything in the Cast Iron Chef pantry has a price!

Each team will start the competition with an equal number of “gold pieces,” to spend in the pantry to procure the ingredients they need for their masterpieces. How they choose to spend their budget is entirely up to the cooks and their assistants, but keep in mind that once all the gold has been spent, there is no way to obtain more, meaning there is no way to purchase any other ingredients that may be needed.

But take comfort! – The noble archers participating in the tournament have the ability to improve their cooks’ good fortune! Additional coins will be awarded to each team based on the results of the Cast Iron Chef archery shoot.



Archers who participate in Cast Iron Chef play a critical role in the potential success of their teams. The results of their tournament shoots in past years have determined which ingredients their cooks may use, or which theme they had to use in creating their meals for the judges.

The archery component for this year’s Cast Iron Chef invites the archers for each team to attend A Shoot in the Wildwood on Saturday and indulge themselves in the many activities planned for the day by the marshal in charge. At the end of the day, scores will be tallied and teams will be ranked for their starting positions the next morning, when the cooking tournament takes place.

The cooks this year will be faced with the added challenge of being limited in what ingredients they can access in the Cast Iron Chef Pantry based on a budget. They will need to purchase items from the pantry using the coins issued them upon registering for the tournament. The more coins they have, the better the ingredients that are available to them. While each team starts with the same amount of coins, it is through their archers that they can obtain more, thus increasing the variety of ingredients that cooks can have made available to them.

Additional coins will be issued to each team based on two factors: 1) Their starting rank in the tournament, which is determined by the scores earned by their archer for the shoots they joined; and 2) how many shoots their archer participated in, regardless of their scores. These additional coins will be awarded prior to the start of the tournament on Sunday.


NB: Teams will NOT need to use their coins to purchase the ingredients for the technical challenge. A crate of ingredients will be provided gratis for each team. However, if a team uses up all of an item from their crate and needs more to complete the technical challenge, they will need to purchase it from the pantry.