WSCA Sidemenu

Salon Competition


Saturday & Sunday, May 16 & 17th, 2015


This competition is now closed. To see pictures and follow-up info from the 2015 Salon Competition, Click Here.

Dear Competitors,

On behalf of the Washington State Chefs Association and our host, Bellingham Technical College, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the 2015 Culinary Salon. Through the years I have observed first hand the dedication, hard work, and enthusiasm that it takes to compete in an event of this type. The many hours of practice you have all been through to get you to this point is a testament to your passion for excellence and your desire to succeed.

In a competition of this nature you all will be judged and critiqued and in the end there will be the inevitable victor.  The most important thing that you should take from this experience is the experience itself, not the result.

We are all proud of all of you and thank you for sharing your talents with us. Enjoy the day, and most importantly, have fun.

For further information, please contact:

Michael Baldwin CCE
Competition Chair :: 360.752.8400

Competition Registration:

To register for the Salon Competition:

  1. Pay for your category below – SOLD OUT, Contact to be put on a waiting list.
  2. Download the competition registration form(fillable PDF) and complete the registration form.
  3. Email the registration form to
  4. Click here to book your hotel group rate for the ACF CULINARY SALON COMPETITION 2015.

Professional Fee – $75
A1-A6, C1-C4, D,
K1-K9, H1, P1-P2


Student Fee – $50
SA1-SA6, SC1-SC4, SD
SK1-SK9, SP1-SP2


Professional Fee – $100
Category F1


Professional Fee – $125
Category F2


Professional Fee – $150
Category F3


Professional Fee – $175
Categories F4-F5


Competition Sponsors

Competitors should reference the following materials:

2015 Salon Competition Registration Form (Fillable PDF)

Please consult the manuals below for your specific category guidelines, kitchen station equipment available to you and judges assessment criteria.

ACF Student Culinary Competition Manual

ACF Professional Culinary Competition Manual

There will be a Judges meeting at 6:30 am.
The lead Judge will give you an overview of the day and answer any questions that you may have.

What Judges Evaluate:

There are two types of judges- floor judges and tasting judges – and they evaluate different aspects of the culinary competition.

Floor Judges:

The primary function of the floor judge is to evaluate organization. They will be looking for the following items when judging each team:

  • Is the workspace kept clear of nonessentials, for example, a mixer that is not needed for the next 30 minutes?  Is the workspace cluttered or organized?  Is the setup of the workspace sensible?
  • Does the competitor work systematically, on one job at a time?
  • Is food being handled properly, following current food safety guidelines as to time and temperature management?
  • Is the correct knife for the job utilized, and are proper cutting motions evident?  Are knives kept sharp?
  • Are products stored properly and at the right temperature? Are the refrigerator, rack, cart, knives and equipment storage well organized?
  • Is useable waste stored properly for future use?
  • Is the table free from debris?  Are floor spills attended to quickly?  Is the dish area being used as a “storage dump?”  Are cutting boards kept scrupulously clean?  Are areas kept sanitized, particularly during fish to meat to vegetable or dairy transitions?  Is the toolbox/knife bag clean and sanitary inside?
  • Is the sanitizing solution at the right strength, and is it being used properly?  Are towels used correctly?  Or, for example, is a towel used to wipe debris off a table and then to wipe a knife or a plate?  Is the apron being used as a hand wipe?  Are gloves used for the last contact with food, for example, plating up.
  • Are smooth transitions made from one job to another?  Is there a logical progression of jobs, for example, to avoid chopping herbs or mincing garlic on several occasions?  Is proper timing of menu items, cooking techniques and skills evident?
  • Are classical cooking techniques followed?  How many different techniques have been displayed?  Is the technique cited in the recipe adhered to?  For example, is mirepoix browned properly, not just heated?  Is the product roasted correctly and basted as needed, not just placed in the oven?
  • Are butchery and boning skills efficient?  Is there “profitable” removal of muscle or fish from a bone?  Are sinew and/or fat removal and correct trussing methods displayed?
  • Are menu items held the proper amount of time?  Do meats have the time to rest?  Is serving done within the allotted window?
  • Does the competitor make an organized withdrawal from the kitchen, leaving it as clean as they found it?

Tasting Judges:

Tasting Judges evaluate serving methods and presentation, as well as taste.  They address questions such as:

  • Is hot food hot and cold food cold (including plates)?  Is food fresh and colorful, presented with some height, easy to eat, seasoned and pleasing to the eye?
  • Does food have great aroma, to stimulate the appetite?
  • Are meat/fish slices even, shingled correctly, and sliced in a way that makes sense for hot food?  Are items placed closely together to help maintain temperature, or separated in a pleasing way?
  • Is proper portion size and nutritional balance evident?  Are the components of the meal balanced so that the main item is complemented in size/amount by the accompanying garnish and/or sauce?
  • Are nutritional standards adhered to in relation to the dish?  That is, is the protein weight within reasonable amounts, such as 4-6 ounces for lunch and 8-12 ounces for dinner, for all courses?
  • Is there ingredient compatibility?  Do ingredient colors harmonize naturally because of flavor combinations?
  • Do ingredients and flavor components harmonize perfectly?
  • Has the competitor demonstrated creativity and practicality?  For example, could the dish be produced just as easily for a party of 100 as behind the cook’s line on a busy night?  Does the dish show a degree of difficulty, using skills and creative flair, as opposed to something copied and overused?  Or, if using and classical idea, has a new/ contemporary concept been employed to transform the dish?
  • Does the dish have the correct flavor, taste, texture, and doneness?
  • Has the competitor shown respect for the food, for example, the duck broth tastes like duck and the Dover sole is not covered with Creole sauce?
  • Are doneness temperatures correct?  Are stated vegetable cuts correct?  Have the stated cooking techniques been applied correctly?  Do the textures correspond to what was implied in the recipe?
  • Does the flavor of the sauce or vinaigrette reflect what the recipe stated, and is it of the correct consistency?  Does it taste great?
  • Does the menu have a thread or a theme running throughout, for example, is it a regional, ethnic, seasonal or a celebratory menu?  Are all courses in sync with the menu; or, for example, has an Asian type dish been inserted into an American-type menu?  Are there any erratic or over dominant flavors that disrupt the flow of the theme?
  • Do the dish/dishes portray a high level of skill and exactness?  Does the number of different skills employed throughout the menu distinguish the caliber of the cook?


Salon Competition