The 2023 AHF Culinary Competition Application is Now Open!


The 2023 AHF Culinary Competition application is now open for submissions! AHF’s Culinary Competition is a career-changing opportunity for our competing member teams.

Five teams of two are selected from self-operated facilities around the country. Each year our five teams compete for Gold, Silver, and Bronze during a 75-minute timed competition with set ingredient options selected from AHF’s curated Market Basket.

Competitors are selected through a rigorous, blinded, selection process. The live competition will take place during our Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, August 7-9, 2023.

Check out our Facebook LIVE of the 2022 competition HERE on our Facebook page!



For teams looking to submit themselves for selection, please read all our rules, regulations, and tips below carefully. Please be sure to request any additional equipment in the application.

    • — You must have all the required documents in order to submit your application online.
    • — When submitted successfully, you will receive a confirmation email with  your completed form contents and a link to edit.
    • — You may use the link to edit your submission up until the application deadline.


If you have any questions, please email AHF Staff at culinary@healthcarefoodservice.org.

Mentors Available...

If you have questions about the competition, applying, or if you are unsure if you or your team are ready to compete, Culinary Competition Committee members and past finalists are available to talk with you and answer any questions that you might have.

AHF is a professional trade association and as such, one of our greatest member benefits is our professional network and the opportunity for mentorship and guidance. Email Culinary@HealthcareFoodservice.org and a  member of the committee will be more than happy to chat with you!


Culinary Competition Past Finalists

Need inspiration? Click below to see a gallery of final plated dishes of past competition finalists.

Informational Webinar 

30-minute informational webinar followed by Q&A on the 2023 Culinary Competition, rules, and what to expect presented by our 2023 Culinary Competition Committee Chair and the 2022 Gold Medalist. 

The 2023 rules are subject to change.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, there is no maximum, but you are required to use 3 items in Basket B; you can use more if you wish to. Be intentional about it.

Yes, we allowed this in previous years and will allow it again.

No, all ingredients must be provided by AHF or the hotel. Traditionally, Yes. If you wish to bring your own stock, you must find a way to ship it to the hotel and store it safely. The stock must be included in your original recipe and meet the nutritional guidelines.

No, both team members must be from the same facility. Two teams from the same system may apply separately. 

Yes, you can submit more than one recipe for consideration if you like. Only one recipe will be selected and only 1 team from your facility will be selected.

6 portions. 5 portions will be served to our judges for tasting and the 6th portion will be for display and photographs.

We plan to notify all applicants at the beginning of June. 

No. No additional plug in heat sources are permitted, including sous vide equipment.

No, sous vide cooking is not permitted as a part of this competition.

There are 5 teams of 2, for a total of 10 competitors. 

Yes, both dry storage and refrigeration will be available the day prior to the competition. More instructions will be given to selected finalists.

1 hour to wash produce, arrange the space, boil water. No cutting of produce or other prep of ingredients will be permitted.

Market basket ingredients will be provided for you. Any additional ingredients must be picked up before the event.  Local grocery stores in Orlando will be provided. If you are shipping any products, shipping instructions will be given to you.

No, AHF will provide sanitation materials and access.

Each team will be given a speed rack with sheet trays that can be used to organize your materials.

Yes, the committee will keep that in consideration when selecting.

No, not if it is not center of the plate.

Please contact culinary@healthcarefoodservice.org, so we can provide you with what will be made available.

AHF will provide each team with the 11″ white plates.

We recommend using whatever your hospital uses or a commercial version. Please do not use an open source one from the Internet.

Applicants should use their own costs for the market basket ingredients.

Teams are required to showcase a minimum of two cooking methods to include any 2 of the following techniques: For moist; boil, simmer, steam, braise, stew and poach. For dry heat cooking methods; grill, sauté, roast, bake and fry

Get Excited!