Contest Rules

Our Cook Quest (OCQ) Community Supported Recipe Contest Rules*:
Updated: January 31, 2011


Entrants must be at least 18 years of age at the time of entry. You must be a legal United States resident of the continuous 48 states. A legal name and address are required for submission; no PO boxes will be accepted. One submission allowed per person. If you know a judge or judges, please indicate his/her name(s) in your entry.

Entry Rules

Please submit your local/sustainable inspired recipe with a fun name. The use of alliteration is suggested, but not required. One well known general example is "Meatless Monday". Variations on published recipes will be accepted as long as you site your source.

Recipe Submission Rules:

1.  Emphasize the use of local/sustainable ingredients and provide "shout outs" to your purveyors. Examples: produce from a farmers' market or CSA, products sourced within reasonable driving distance, eggs found in your grocery store that were laid a couple towns away, etc. Even better, use ingredients that you grew or produced yourself. This includes indoor herb pots, root vegetables stored in your basement, backyard fruit trees, canning, cheese, wine, beer, etc.
2.  Two photographs are required: one plated and one in process.
3.  Keep the recipe simple and straightforward. Maximum time limits: one hour for preparation, two hours for cooking and one overnight set.
4.  Please do not include the use of high end ingredients like truffles, foie gras, caviar, etc.

Things to Keep in Mind:

Judges are from all over (US & Canada). Readily available ingredients in the South may not be accessible in the North. However, creative replacements are welcome. If one is not provided, judges will find the best alternative available.

Optional Fun:

Guess what the seven ingredients are in the blog post picture announcing the contest. Ingredient names start with the first letter from each day of the week. The first recipe submission contestant to guess the correct seven wins a prize from the pool. 

Submit a story on what inspired you to start cooking. Please limit it to 200 words or less.

When to Enter:

The entry period is from Monday, January 24th 3:30 PM EST to Monday, February 21st 3:30 PM EST.  

How to Submit Your Entry

Please email your recipe and two photographs to Please use the name of your recipe as the subject line.

Upon submitting your recipe, you accept the terms and conditions of all the contest rules.


OCQ wants to support purveyors of local and sustainable products. One establishment from each of the winners' entries will have a featured blog post highlighting the product used and their local and sustainable efforts on the Local In Season website.

See the Prize Pool page for the donated prizes. The pool will be split into two packages and the winner will choose one. The runner up will be awarded the remaining. All prizes were generously donated by multiple parties to make this a fun event. We will provide your information to donors so they can mail your prize. All prizes are subject to change and cannot be guaranteed by OCQ. The winners of the contest will be sent the prizes from multiple sources, so be understanding when it comes to delivery. Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery, but this time frame may vary. OCQ is not responsible for any issues that are involved with the transfer, delay and/or receipt of said prizes. All winners are solely responsible for any and all taxes and/or fees, and all such additional costs they may incur.


The winners will be announced on the Our Cook Quest blog once the final judging is completed. The projected announcement of the winners is 30 days after the entry period is closed. This time period may vary.

Judging Rules & Responsibilities

Judges must identify if they know a contestant and will not be allowed to vote or comment on that contestant’s submission.

Once the entry period is closed, judges will evaluate all the submissions and vote on their top five. Votes will be tallied for all the judges to see and finalists will be determined. The finalists and their recipes will be posted. 

The prize contributions will be closed following the announcement of the finalists. The prize pool will be evaluated by judges and split as evenly as possible. A single prize will be pulled for the winner of the ingredient guessing game. The winner of the recipe contest will be allowed to choose between the two packages and the runner up will receive the other. 

The judges will test all finalists' recipes and evaluate using the following point system:

100 point total: 80 – flavor, 10 – originality, 10 – use of local/sustainable ingredients

Once all the recipes are tested and graded, judges will convene and decide on the winners.


By submitting a recipe, entrants agree to be bound by these official rules and the decisions of OCQ and the judges, which shall be final in all respects. OCQ is not responsible for any issues involved with not receiving your submission, which includes any delays or incomplete transmissions. Contest entrants agree to release OCQ, judges and prize donors from any and all liability, loss or damages arising from or in connection with the contest, award, receipt, and/or use or misuse of the prizes or participation of any prize-related activities.

Upon submission of your entry, you give Our Cook Quest the rights to distribute and publish your work without any compensation.

OCQ reserves the right to alter and amend any rules of any contest at any time. The latest version of the contest rules posted always supersedes any past version or conflicting information in the blog. OCQ and participating judges are not responsible for any errors that may occur during the contest.


Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.

OCQ reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process and to cancel, terminate, modify and/or suspend the contest in the event of tampering or other circumstances, including but not limited to acts of God or civil disturbance that render it impractical or impossible to complete or fulfill the contest as originally planned.

We appreciate your entry and hope you have fun developing your recipe.

Good Luck!

* Portions of the contest rules are influenced by Food52's, which can be found at