This annual culinary battle is being host by the Antigua & Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association in conjunction with Ministry of Tourism and Investment. The aim of this competition is to give students an insight into the hospitality industry and to identify and encourage students who demonstrate a talent and a passion for cooking. This tournament also opens the doors for competitors for future training and employment.

Rules and Regulations

  • Participants must fall within the age range of 14 to 19 years old.
  • Every participant must be accompanied by a designated Student Assistant during the competition.

Role of Assistant: Mise en Place

Clean up.

General Serving (not to Judges)

  • All participants are expected to comply with the general competition rules and guidelines, which will be presented in a meeting with all participating schools on September 10, 2024.
  • The competition consists of two phases: a preliminary cook-off on October 3 – October 4 and the grand finale scheduled for October 18, 2024.
  • Competing teams will be divided into four (4) groups through ballot withdrawal, Two teams of 4, and two teams of 5. The best one (1) team from each group will continue their journey into the grand finale.
  • Each participant must be mentored by a teacher. The TOP four (4) competing schools will also be assigned a Chef mentor from one of our leading hotels.
  • In both the preliminary and grand finale competitions, each participant is tasked with creatively preparing an entrée with curry being their star ingredient.
    1. Participants will be given the choice of one of two proteins.
    2. Participants will be provided with a pantry (list to be provided).
    3. Participants can pair their curried protein dish with any ingredients of their choice from the pantry. Participants can have up to three ingredients outside the provided pantry list. The sourcing of these additional ingredients will be at their cost.
  • The organizers will not be responsible for loss or breakage of teams’ belongings.
  • Hygiene and food safety are important. Competitors may be disqualified if food safety and hygiene are compromised.
  • All ingredients needed for this competition will be provided by the organizers of the event. An additional three ingredients will be permitted with the consent of the organizers. (a written request must be made within 48hrs of the launch of the event).
  • ALL students must be at the event at least HALF AN HOUR prior to the start of the competition.
  • Thirty minutes of preparation time will be allocated. During this time all washing, peeling, chopping of vegetables prepping of meats and dough should be completed. No cooking is to be done during this time, except for the boiling of water.
  • Competitors have one and half hours cook time and 7 minutes to serve the three plates for the judges and one   for general presentation; The three (3) plates must be presented at the same time no earlier than 1 minute before the end time and no later than 5 minutes after the finish time.
  • Any time taken after the assigned finish time will count towards a 1 point per minute penalty. After 5 minutes overtime the dish will be disqualified.
  • Participants must wear appropriate attire during the competitions, including shoes, apron, head covering and school uniform. Participants will not be allowed to wear any jewelry during the competition.
  • If the chef participant is injured after the second hour of the competition, the chef assistant may continue in his or her absence. After a period of 15 minutes the competing chef will be obligated to return to kitchen after being evaluated.
  • Each participating team will be given the use of four gas burners to prepare their meals.
  • Teams will be required to provide their own cooking utensils, pots, pans, crockery and equipment.
  • Participants must maintain high safety and sanitation standards during preparation and service tasks. All workstations must be cleaned by the end the allocated time. Teams must ensure workstations are cleaned and tidy after competition. All small tools and utensils must be washed and kept in the designated station. Judging will consider the condition of the workstation after your turn.
  • An identification card (3 x 5) must be presented upon entry to the lab. It must state:
    1. The name of student.
    2. The name of the school.
    3. The name of the island.
    4. The name of the dish.
  • The organizers of this event reserves the rights for usage of all imagery, recipes and content produced during and for the organization of this event.

First Impression (avoid the following)

  • Unattractive props and support materials.
  • Soiled or smudged serving ware.
  • Unappetizing food presentation.
  • Incorrect, misleading or unattractive descriptions.
  • Improper use of culinary terms and spelling errors in recipes.
  • Failure to comply with category requirements and judging criteria.


Presentation and Service (avoid the following)

  • Inconsistent portioning.
  • Disproportional garnishing.
  • Inedible garnishes.
  • Unappealing presentations.
  • Disproportional carvings and sculptures.
  • Inappropriate serving ware.
  • Failure to comply with category requirements.

Points will be deducted for the following infractions:

  • Sloppy cutting, cleaning and slicing.
  • Improper cooking or baking.
  • Poor workmanship, uneven layering, dry, cloudy or bubble-filled glazes and protective gels, inconsistent thickness of glazes and protective gels. sloppy or uneven piping and decorating skills.
  • Broken or damaged entries (plates, equipment, ingredients)
  • Disproportional entry components/failure to provide uniform entry components where required.
  • Improper handling, care, storage and craftsmanship of materials.
  • Poor hygienic practice, HACCP guidelines will be used as a measure of your hygienic performance during the competition.
  • Failure to comply with category requirements.

Key features of the 2024 Competition


  • Eligible to Food & Nutrition Students in 4th and 5th forms
  • Students will be judged on the Nutritional Value and Portion Control – This is a direct response to increasing cases of Childhood obesity and also that over 50% of our population is diabetic.
  • Students will need to price their portions. This is important as it helps them to manage in these times of high inflation. Students will be given a dollar value to which they must adhere in the creation of their meal.  This is also teaching students an important element of their syllabus in cost control. We also acknowledge that we have cooks and restaurants that do not understand the element of costing and we are seeking to begin training these young Chefs on this principle.

ABHTA Details:

Antigua & Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association

Island House, Newgate Street, St. John’s, Antigua

Office: 1.268.462.3703/0374

For more details contact: ABHTA Secretariat: 462.0374 email: