At any rate, this coming Sunday, I'll be announcing a secret ingredient for the battle on Saturday, November 12th. I'm allowing a week because I'll be collecting and approving proposed items beforehand so that we don't have 6 versions of the same dish or of the same course. I'll be looking for 4-6 "chefs" (I've already heard from three) and 3 judges (one definite, one possible).
The majority of the preparation must be done off-site. My kitchen lacks sufficient counter space and equipment support six people working from scratch. Plating and final heating prep will be accommodated within reason.
Participants are responsible for their own ingredients and equipment. Dishes should be prepared with the assumption that there will be modest tasting portions for up to ten people (i.e. the chair, 3 judges, 4-6 competing chefs). I'll have munchies (and possibly a soup or stew) kicking around for spectators in case there isn't a lot of spillover from the judging. I anticipate, though, that there will be a lot of food, so don't feel like you need to double recipes.
For sake of argument, use of cookbooks/recipes is permitted. All recipes should be credited, however, and if you do go this route, it is far preferable that you use recipes as templates rather than slavishly following someone else's instructions. Creativity is, after all, one of the criteria for judging...
Judging will be based on a familiar 20 point scale. A possible of five points will be given in each of the following categories: 1) Taste, 2) Creativity, 3) Presentation, and 4) Use of Theme Ingredient.
We'll go with this for starters. If there's something obvious I've left out or if you have other ideas (like what the winner "wins," for example), let me know.