Contests - A Tasteful Place

Contests at A Tasteful Place let you prove your cooking skills. Events begin October 7, and the edible display garden opens with on October 3, 2017.

Cooking Competition

Saturdays, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., The Test Pavilion

Bragging rights are up for grabs at a friendly competition aimed at amateur chefs ages 15+ visiting the garden that day. See competition rules below.


  • October 7 – Pumpkin Dish
  • October 14 – Vegetable Tart
  • October 21 – Eggplant Side Dish
  • October 28 - Chili
  • November 4 – Squash Dish
  • November 11 - Sweet Potato Dish
  • November 18 – Herb and Spice Dressing/Stuffing
  • November 25 – Christmas Cookies

Dallas Arboretum Cooking Competition Rules

How to Enter

  • Participation is open to all visitors to the Dallas Arboretum ages 16 and above.
  • No more than 1 entry per person accepted.
  • Each dish must serve up to five (5) judges.
  • Present your dish at Ruthie’s Tasting Plaza( or the Test Pavilion if open) no later than 11:15 the morning of the competition. Judging begins at 11:30 and the results will be announced by approximately 12:15. Judging can be quietly viewed by any guest of The Dallas Arboretum in the Test Pavilion.

Fee to Enter

  • There is no separate fee to enter the Cooking Competition, however normal entrance to the Arboretum and parking fees apply. Members, of course, pay no fees.


  • Participants must enter completely cooked and ready-to-serve items.
  • Entries cannot require special handling such as refrigeration or heating elements. Small, individual heated or chilled bags are allowed to be used in storing the item until tasting however The Dallas Arboretum does not supply those items.
  • Items entered must contain the main ingredient called for in that week’s competition.
  • Items should be delivered in either disposable containers or those with your name on the bottom of dish. All of the latter must be picked up by 12:30. Disposable containers will be tossed at that time. Other types of containers will be admitted however their return cannot be guaranteed after 12:30.
  • Items may not contain uncooked ingredients such as raw egg or raw milk products.
  • Items can be rejected if deemed inappropriate, uncooked or not safely transported. Rejections are at the discretion of the judges.
  • Items will be judged by between three (3) to five judges (5). No judge may be related to or visiting the Arboretum with any contestant.
  • Items must be accompanied by a typed or hand printed recipe appropriate for reproduction with the chef’s name, address, city, phone and email on the reverse side. Winning recipe must be freely shared with The Dallas Arboretum for possible posting on our website, listed in a newsletter or used in any way deemed appropriate by The Dallas Arboretum, such as a future cookbook. There is no compensation to the chef or the listing of his name if space does not allow. The winning recipe will be available at no charge to guests of the Dallas Arboretum on the day of the competition.
  • The Judge’s decision is final.
  • There may be taping for You Tube of aspects of the contest or the winner if present. All entrants must agree to this before submission of their food item.
  • The winner will be supplied with acknowledgement of their success however no monetary award is provided.
  • Let’s be friendly, taste some great family recipes and have some fun.


  • Overall Taste – 70%
  • Appearance – 30%

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