Now and then we have Dutch oven competitions that give members a chance to demonstrate their skills cooking outdoors in black pots. The rules are fairly simple in that a competition consists of a two-person team preparing three dishes: a main protein dish, a bread dish, and a dessert. We will have a cooks meeting at the beginning of the cook-off and actually light the fires at the same time sometime in the morning. We usually start cooking at 8:00 AM. The dishes must be completed by a certain hour but not all at once. For example the bread might be turned in for judging 11:30, the dessert at noon, and the main dish at 1:00 PM.
We might also have other variations on the theme that can be a great deal of fun. For example, we might have a chuck wagon style competition where everyone prepares a main dish with the same main ingredient such as chicken. The same would be true with the dessert, maybe apricots being the main ingredient. The bread might be a corn bread, or maybe a sourdough. The point is you can cook whatever recipe you want but you must use the specified main ingredient.
The prime annual competition will be an IDOS sanctioned cook-off that will qualify the wining team to compete in the IDOS World Championship Cook Off (WCCO) and if invited by the IDOS WCCO organizing committee. The winning team must submit an application to compete in the WCCO. The chapter must submit a request to have the planned IDOS sanctioned cook-off approved. Once done the event will be posted on the IDOS web site along with all other sanctioned events across the country that have been sanctioned. In this one the rules are basically the same as in the first example above but adherence to the specific rules is crucial and the competition is much more formal. By the way, there has never been a Pennsylvania IDOS chapter team represented at the WCCO. We sure would like to change that.