2021 Road Grub Throwdown Competitions List and Schedule of Events

Cooking Competitions | view section >

The theme for this year’s cooking comps is “Get Stuffed.” As you can see, competitors must make a stuffed dish. Daily cooking competitions are judged by our panel on stage. 

  • Friday, August 6: Jalapeno poppers
  • Saturday, August 7: Stuffed tomahawk steaks
  • Sunday, August 8: Chile rellenos
  • Monday, August 9: Stuffed burgers
  • Tuesday, August 10: South Dakota Surf N’ Turf (steak tips and stuffed walleye)

Eating Competitions (details coming soon)

  • Friday, August 6: Chile pepper 
  • Saturday, August 7: Tomahawk steak dinner plate
  • Sunday, August 8: Chile relleno
  • Monday, August 9: Hot wings 
  • Tuesday, August 10: Tacos

Cocktail Competitions (details coming soon)

  • Friday, August 6: Margarita
  • Saturday, August 7: Barenjager Blowout
  • Sunday, August 8: Bloody Maria
  • Monday, August 9: Mojito Mayhem
  • Tuesday, August 10: Bloody Mary
  • Note: Contestants will be notified in case of a category change.

    Cooking Competitions

    Cooking Competition Judging Criteria and Rules:
    • Appearance: How well does it make me want to eat it by looking at it?
    • Creativity: We want you to put a cool twist on your dish... 
    • Execution: ...and make it work well. 
    • Flavor: Does it taste good?
    • 1-10 scale, even weight
    • 1: Inedible
    • 5: Not bad
    • 10: The best it could possibly be
    • Scores from all three judges are tallied up to determine your score. The contestant with the highest overall score wins that day's competition. The highest score for the entire week/series of days wins the Grand Prize for that event.
    • While this is blind judging (i.e. the judges don’t know who entered which dish), the judges are required to explain the reasons for their scores to the contestants on the stage after scoring. This helps the chefs identify what they did well (and didn’t) so as to make them better (hopefully).

    • You must use our grills. An outdoor cooker, utensils, and booth will be provided, as will the main ingredient of the day. 
    • The day's main ingredient should be the featured attraction for your entry. Contestants are responsible for all other ingredients used in the making of their dishes. That said, you're allowed to bring whatever other ingredients you want to use so long as they're edible.
    • Turn-in consists of a styrofoam box with your dish and an optional garnish of lettuce, cabbage, or kale. No drinks, no side dishes, no ornamentation, no identifying marks of any kind to identify the chef to the judges.
    • Competitors must be onsite for the mandatory competitors' meeting in the morning.
    • Once the clock starts, you have two hours to cook your dish and turn it in to the judges area. Containers will be provided to you. If you are late for turn in by even a second, you will be disqualified. No exceptions.
    • The contestant with the highest total score wins. In the case of a tie, the contestant with the fastest turn-in time is the winner.
    • You can enter as many competitions as you like but you pay separately for each one.
    • Each contestant is allowed one assistant in the booth.
    • Contestants must wipe down their cooking area and put their trash in the bin provided after they're done cooking.
    • Contestants must wear the blue nitrile gloves provided for handling food.
    • Winners are announced in the afternoon at a predetermined time.
    • You are allowed to bring in your own ingredients but no cooking may be done off site ahead of time. Contestants must also use the food items provided by our sponsors in the onsite pantry.
    • You will also be required to write down your dish’s recipe on a 3x5 card before cooking.

    Questions? Contact Us