Portion Guidelines

Official Portion Guidelines

**COOKS – we must equalize the size of portions to ensure a fair judging process. We appreciate your reading these guidelines so you are not surprised by how to divvy up your dish!****

Serving Size Recommendations = 1 Tablespoon per judge

*volunteers will be instructed to serve up this size portion, regardless of how much or little food is present – we want judges to focus on quality and taste, not quantity – so we’re making all quantities roughly equal.


  • Liquids & unwieldy solids (1T.)– soup, mousse, beverage, green salads
    • Served in a tiny cup (the sort some people keep in the bathroom) using a 1 T. ladle or tongs. Toothpicks provided for foods that might need a little assistance getting from cup to mouth. Otherwise, just tip & sip.
  • Soft foods (1 T.)– hearty salads, beans, things that sort of flow
    • Served in a tiny paper cup (the kind you put ketchup in at a fast food restaurant) with a tiny spoon (the sort used to sample ice cream)
  • Fluffy or gooey solids (1” cube) – cake, gelatin-based recipes
    • Cut into cubes by volunteers and perched in a tiny paper cup (like the kind you put ketchup in at a fast food restaurant) for pick-up by Community Judges
  • Flat, relatively dry solids (1” square) – pizza, bread
    • Cut into squares by volunteers and self-served by Community judges

Cooks need not worry about bringing serving paraphernalia. The Cook-off sponsors will provide tiny paper cups, tiny spoons, and toothpicks to accommodate all recipes. Any cook who thinks utensils are essential to enjoying a pre-portioned, bite-sized sample of his dish is encouraged to bring at least 54 of said utensil to share with the judges.


  • Community Judges must pick up their samples between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Each Community Judge will receive a plate and will get to CHOOSE which samples to put on the plate. Not all will fit, and we know that.
  • Judges will receive a scorecard as they enter the tasting area so they can take notes.
  • Votes must be cast with Seminole County’s Supervisor of Elections, which may, depending on the electrical set up, be located in a nearby booth rather than right inside the Citrus & Celery tent.
  • All results must be in no later than 12:30 p.m.
  • After ALL community judges have been served, leftovers will be offered in the following order: (1) cooks, (2) cook-off volunteers, (3) public at large. All people who sample are encouraged to make a donation to TOPP to further its charitable work in Oviedo.

Portion Size Help (Tested by the C&C committee using the guidelines above)

  • 1 cake recipe serves about 100 people – not all will get frosting if the committee cuts the cake
  • 1 – 9” pie serves 40 people (but since it’s so close, we’ll make 1 pie work for 54. If you’d like to share with the other cooks and volunteers, you might want to consider bringing a second)
  • 2 heads of lettuce makes enough to serve about 80 (it’s challenging to measure, so will be served in a cup)
  • 1 cup = 16 Tablespoons, so a ½ gallon of soup (about half of a big soup pot) serves more than enough people. 10 cups (a little over half a gallon) of soup serves about 160 people, 120 if it’s really chunky.


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