Official rules for the creation of grand chefs in meridies

1) Before attempting a Grand Chef feast, the candidate should have successfully prepared a minimum of three SCA feasts.   


2) At least three Grand Chefs shall be in attendance to judge. If three cannot attend, then two can judge and ask a third party to judge, i.e,  a Laurel or the Crown.   


3) The Grand Chef feast shall be done in conjunction with a scheduled SCA event. The Grand Chef attempt is not to be made public unless the candidate expressly asks for it to be public knowledge. A failed attempt does not preclude future attempts unless grievous health violations occur.    


4) Notify the Secretary of the Grand Chefs via email at least six months in advance of the proposed date of the feast. The Secretary will contact the active Grand Chefs to check their availability to attend and judge.  


5) The Grand Chef feast shall consist of dishes representing the cuisine of at least seven distinct and identifiable national, regional or cultural groups. These cultures must be from at least four different countries. The candidate should be able to document absolute differences of cultures within a single country. The exact menu is at the discretion of the candidate as long as the requirements are met.   


6) Three months before the event, the judges must be given a menu, a detailed list of ingredients for each dish, a list of countries, regions or cultural groups that correspond with each dish and documentation that will aid judges in accepting a particular dish or ingredient. The judges will notify the candidate within 30 days upon receipt of the menu if an item is not accepted in order to allow the candidate to propose a change.   


7) The Grand Chef feast will consist of a minimum of twenty-one separate dishes. Any food that is eaten in its natural state will not be counted i.e. rice. A chicken and rice dish will count as only one dish. Pasta, bread or cheese can be counted as a dish as long as the candidate has made them from scratch.    


8) The candidate shall be personally involved in the preparation of each and every dish. You must spice and put together all dishes. You may have assistants in cutting, dicing, stuffing, rolling and mixing etc. but it is the candidate’s responsibility to perform or directly supervise all key steps in the preparation of each dish. You may prepare in advance on your honor to adhere to this rule.  


9) During the course of the event you should be able to answer questions posed by the judges concerning the selections for your Grand Chef feast. You should be able to demonstrate an excellent knowledge of the herbs and spices and preparation of the period foods and feasts of the regions, cultures, nationalities, etc. you have chosen.  


10) Problems that might arise during the course of your feast and the way that you handle them will also be observed by the judges. If a dish has to be changed, you MUST notify the judges before feast starts or as soon as you are aware (i.e. something is dropped on the floor etc.) Any changes in the feast line up or dishes must be communicated to the chefs prior to the change. Only three substitutions or alterations are allowed once on site and cooking has started, or with judges’ approval. 


11) It is your responsibility to get the foods staged and served. You may have a hall steward to act as head server under your supervision. You may have someone plate your trenchers as long as you plate the first one and all others are done as the first one is.  


12) How you run your kitchen and its maintenance is also observed. 

     - Knowledge of *OSHA's safe food handling practices which include but is not limited to:

        a) Cross contamination avoidance;

        b) Proper storage for temperature sensitive items;

        c) Kitchen organization and cleanliness (dishes, sinks, floors, food prep areas);

        d) Proper use and care of knives and equipment.  

     - Kitchen management: 

        a) Staff treatment and management; 

        b) Kitchen cleaned and returned to original state following feast.


The presentation of a subtlety would be most welcome but is not required. Entertainment and other items that add ambiance during the feast are also welcome. 


If you have any questions concerning this program, or would like to attempt a Grand Chef feast yourself, please don't hesitate to contact one of the Grand Chefs or the present secretary. If you have any questions concerning this program, or would like to attempt a Grand Chef, please contact the Secretary of the Grand Chefs:  


Revised January 14, 2021