Here be the Rules and Guidelines

The Challenge

To create a period dish under the conditions found at the PENNSIC WAR.

The Categories

1)    Best Main Dish (Includes fish and shellfish)

2)    Best Vegetable

3)    Best Grain (Includes Bread)

4)    Best Dessert

5)    Grand Champion - to be awarded at the Judges’ discretion.

The Rules

1) The recipe must either be:

      a) Published between 650 and 1650 AD. (For the empirically inclined Apicius will be   


      b) Have all ingredients and cooking methods documented in period. *

2) Recipes must be brought to the competition. Please bring at least 3 copies. 

    Do not label these with your name as judging is blind.

3) Competitors must bring all ingredients to site and prepare the dish in situ. An         

    ingredient requiring more than four hours preparation is acceptable ONLY if it is an

    ingredient and not the entire dish. **

4) Dishes must be prepared under conditions as found at PENNSIC.  No electric

    appliances.  Acceptable examples: Grill, Smoker, Dutch oven, battery-operated tools 

    or a spit over an open fire (assuming site permits ground fires). If you have questions,

    please ask.

5) You must bring all cookers, pots, pans, utensils, dishes, etc. necessary to prepare your


(NOTE: Please mark all your utensils, dishes, etc., so that the orphans left behind can be         reunited with their loved ones.)

6) Dish must be sufficient to serve 8 to 10 healthy adults. (No penalty for making more.)

7) This competition is for individual cooks only.  

8) Each competitor may enter only ONE DISH per category but may enter as many

    categories as desired.

9) The site will open at 8:00 a.m. for set up and registration at Troll.

(Earlier if we are up and have had our coffee ;-)

10) All competitors must be registered by 2:00 pm on the day of the competition with the


11) Preparation and cooking will begin at 12:00 noon.  Those using a wood or charcoal          fire may start their fires at 11:45 am.

12) Dishes must be completed and ready to be judged at 4:00 p.m.


The Judging

Judges will be drawn from impartial Notables present. Judging will be blind and will use these criteria. 

1)   Presence of and completeness of Documentation. ***

                               (Again, do not place your name on your documentation)

2) Taste

3) Texture

4) Presentation

5) Bonus points based on the judges’ experience in the field of period cooking. For

       example: if a dish has been religiously copied from a period source despite

       complexity or cost or if a dish displays notable creativity within a recipe, etc.

Prizes will be awarded after the completion of the judging during Baronial Court

Contact the Bright Hill's Cooks Guild if you have questions or need an ingredient verified.  Please put “TRIAL by FIRE”or "TbF" in the subject heading.

Mistress Jeanne Tennuar de Bec-

Dame Wynne ferch Rhodri-

* “Food" by Waverly Root will be used as the final arbiter for periodicity. There will be a copy on site.

** No advance preparation is permitted, UNLESS the recipe clearly states that the step requires more than four hours. Documentation is required.


*** Minimal documentation should include***

 (1) The original recipe

 (2) Your redaction

 (3) Tell us why you chose this recipe, a bit about the ingredients, what did you change and why and is there anything you would do differently.


Please do NOT label either the documentation or the recipes with your name

to allow for blind judging.


The Bright Hills Cooks’ Guild sponsors this Challenge. The challenge is to create a period dish under the conditions found at the PENNSIC WAR. This is an opportunity for all those interested to come and cook and compete and socialize. It is also that rare opportunity to recognize that Cooking is a Spectator Sport!

Things to Bring:

1. The three copies each, original recipe, your redaction and any additional


     (NOTE: Minimal documentation should include (a) the original recipe; (b) your 

     redaction or translation;

     and (c) any notes related to changes you made in the recipe and why, information on

     the dish or ingredients, the cooking method, etc.)

2. All your ingredients.  (There are grocery stores within a mile of the site.)

3. All the pots, pans, utensils, etc., necessary to prepare your dish. This includes knives,

     cutting boards, serving dishes, etc. NOTE: please mark what you bring.

4. A table or other surface on which to prepare and cook your dish(es).  

5.  Chairs (if you wish to be seated).

6. Appropriate cooking accessories – your grill, Coleman stove, smoker, hot pads, towels,

     a nice dish for presentation.

7. Your favorite liquid refreshment (the Guild will provide ice water, iced tea and a fruity drink).

Things to Remember:

1. This competition is open to all.

2. Spectators are welcome.

3. Garb Please!

4. Any medications you need (bee sting kits, allergy and asthma supplies, etc.)

5. This is an outdoor event that includes camping.  Due to the presence of Their Majesties, there will be no pot luck. :(    Instead there will be a FEAST!!! :)


1. We are in favor of them.

2. You are responsible for your own children. The Guild does not provide babysitting 


3. There will be area for children's activities. Every child MUST be accompanied by their            parent or guardian. 

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