Contest Rules and Regulations

  1. World Cheese Dip Championship (“WCDC”) rules and regulations are subject to the interpretation of WCDC Officals; final decisions are at the discretion of the Event Chair and Community Engagement Director of Harmony Health Clinic (“HHC”) and/or his/her/their deputy or deputies. These rules and regulations are not an exhaustive list of acceptable or prohibited behaviors, and the WCDC reserves the right to implement policies and procedures to protect the health and safety of all involved and the integrity of WCDC and HHC branding and reputation.
  2. Cheese dip is defined by the WCDC as a dip made primarily of cheese(s), processed cheese product, or animal-product-free dairy substitutes, with or without additional ingredients including, but not limited to, meats, vegetables, or dairy additives, served warm or hot and eaten primarily by dipping a hard tortilla or other chip into the final product. Cheese dip entered into the competition must be prepared prior to the competition of-site, in a commercial kitchen according to Health Department regulations for the preparation of food, when and where possible.
  3. “Contestant” shall be defined as any individual, group, restaurant, organization, etc., hereinafter referred to as a “Team”, that will prepare and cook cheese dip or entries for the purpose of being judged according to official WCDC rules and rubrics. Each team will be comprised of a team captain or head cook and up to five (5) assistants or team members. Team members may only participate with one (1) team during any given contest. Once the contest begins, team members may NOT switch teams, and only six (6) total people per team will be granted entry into the WCDC grounds. Failure to comply or the willful subversion of this limitation to permit entry of more than six (6) people by any team will result in immediate disqualification. No team member may enter the judging area at any time during the competition unless invited to do so by WCDC Officials.
  4. Each team will be assigned a 10’ x 10’ tent or comparable space in which a 10’ x 10’ tent can be erected to serve as the team’s competitive space in which cheese dip can be heated and out of which cheese dip may be served. Teams must operate in the designated space. Cheese dip must be served from a table which is placed inside/under the tent and may not be served outside of a team’s designated space. Teams must bring their own supplies for preparing, heating, and serving their entry (slow cookers, “Crockpots”, hot plates, and other approved heating equipment, spoons, ladles, at least 100 foot extension cord, surge protectors, etc). Chafing fuels are permitted for the heating and preparing of cheese dip; NO microwaves or refrigerators of any size or kind are permitted.
  5. Teams are required to prepare a MINIMUM of fifteen (15) gallons of cheese dip. Cheese dips will be served by teams from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. or until their supply of cheese dip is exhausted. Naturally, teams who are able to serve cheese dip longer perform better in People’s Choice categories. In previous competitions, many teams have prepared 25 gallons of cheese dip or more. We are expecting 10,000 guests this year, and 15 gallons will provide about 1,900 servings; 25 gallons would provide over 3,000 servings.
  6. Teams may serve no more than one cheese dip. No additional foods may be served, given away, or sold at a Team Booth without permission from WCDC staff. Any additional items must be approved by WCDC officials and will only be permitted for use as a garnish which must be placed on top of the cheese dip samples or otherwise fit into the samples in a pre-approved fashion.
  7. Teams may not, under any circumstances, cook with a fryer or equipment that uses or produces more than 1⁄4 cup oil or grease at any given time. Failure to comply with this rule will result in immediate removal from the WCDC. Any grease or oil produced by a team must be removed from the WCDC at close of the contest by each team.
  8. Team must provide a Fire Extinguisher for the booth area that is easily accessible and at least a “2A”U.L.
  9. The World Cheese Dip Championship and Harmony Health Clinic are not liable for the damage to or loss of any equipment, for any illness or injury that may occur as a result of participation or attendance at the World Cheese Dip Championship or as a result of preparation activities to compete in the World Cheese Dip Championship. Teams must secure their own insurance policies if they wish to protect against any loss of property or other liability issues.
  10. The judging process of the WCDC is at the sole discretion and design of the WCDC Planning Committee and HHC staff members. Teams will be informed of the judging process prior to the competition and WCDC representatives will conduct a blind or double-blind taste test to determine winners. Cheese dip will be transported to judges by WCDC representatives taking care to keep the cheese dip as warm as possible in transit. Additionally, WCDC officials will tally People’s Choice votes to determine winners in those categories. People’s Choice voting chips will be distributed to paid attendees of the WCDC at a rate of two (2) per guest, and additional voting chips will be available at designated locations for donations of no less than $2 per vote.
  11. Professional category teams are defined as those who operate restaurants, have received formal culinary training, or are otherwise engaged in the profession of providing food and beverage to paying customers. Amateur category teams include any non-food small business, faith-based organization, nonprofit, or other individual or group of individuals not otherwise engaged in the sale of food and beverage to paying customers. These definitions are not exhaustive, and the WCDC committee and staff reserve the right to classify any team into either category or to re-classify teams as they deem appropriate.
  12. All teams shall make a donation of $100 to Harmony Health Clinic by check, money order, or credit/debit card. This charge helps defray the cost of tents, tables, chairs, and other hardware and supplies to ensure that teams have adequate space to compete and is considered a charitable donation to Harmony Health Clinic, providing access to healthcare for the homeless, uninsured, and veteran populations of central Arkansas. This entry donation qualifies teams for competition in the Professional or Amateur category, each of which will include a World Champion, Blue-Ribbon Runner Up, and People’s Choice Award.
  13. Application is no guarantee of acceptance. The WCDC Planning Committee reserves the right to reject any application with or without cause. Teams will be notified within two weeks of their initial application being received by e-mail or regular post of their acceptance or rejection and will be contacted by a team coordinator to provide additional materials and serve as a contact for the team captain or head cook.
  14. The Team Captain/Head Cook, as listed on the application, will be responsible for the conduct of his/her/their team and guests for the duration of the event. A maximum of 6 people per team will be admitted to the event. Excessive alcohol consumption, profane or abusive language or behavior, obscene or loud music, or refusal to follow the direction of WCDC staff are all grounds for expulsion of team members from the WCDC grounds. Gross misconduct will disqualify the entire team from competition. Any beverages or food products brought by teams will be for team consumption only and may not leave the team’s tent. Food and beverage to be brought by teams must be approved by the WCDC Planning Committee expressly prior to the competition. Under no circumstances will teams be allowed to sell food or beverages, products or merchandise from their tent/booth area.
  15. Teams are responsible for the cleanliness and breakdown of their tent area. Before leaving the competition area, teams will check out with a team coordinator to make sure their team area is left in neat and orderly condition. Teams will make every effort not to spill or slosh an excessive amount of cheese dip onto the ground or pavement. Under no circumstances will teams dispose of any leftover cheese or cheese dip by pouring it onto the ground in any area.  Any and all leftover cheese or cheese dip may be kept for later consumption or emptied into trash containers for disposal in the appropriate waste area (namely, in trash cans with bags to be thrown in the event dumpsters).
  16. Each team will be provided with 2-ounce cups labeled with a team number for competition. Cheese dip must be served in these containers to guests; any other serving containers must be approved by the WCDC Planning Committee prior to the event. Each team will be provided with cups in a quantity appropriate to the volume of cheese dip that team intends to produce. Any team making the bare minimum of 15 gallons of cheese dip will receive 2,000 – 2,500 cups. Teams willing to make more cheese dip should notify their team coordinator at least three (3) weeks prior to competition; in that case, the team will be provided with additional serving cups.
  17. Teams may bring their own tents, but each team will only be allowed to erect one (1) tent. Teams may also bring their own lawn chairs or other seating; each team will be provided with two (2) chairs. Teams are encouraged to bring banners and signage and/or branded 10’ x 10’ tents to make the most of the event’s exposure. Special sponsor activations and/or other promotional opportunities must be approved by the WCDC Planning Committee prior to the event.
  18. Teams’ locations on the grounds of the WCDC will be assigned by lottery as administered by and at the discretion of HHC’s Executive Director and Community Engagement Director. The time, date, method, and other considerations for this process will be subject to HHC and WCDC staff decisions.
  19. The World Cheese Dip Championship is a registered and trademarked event. Teams may use the logos, photos, and other official creative materials of the WCDC only for the purposes of promoting their attendance and competition; no creative or intellectual property of the WCDC may be used for the marketing or sale of goods or services without express, prior, written consent from Harmony Health Clinic and the World Cheese Dip Championship.
  20. The World Cheese Dip Championship and Harmony Health Clinic reserve the right to make any additions, subtractions, alterations, or changes to these rules and regulations without prior notice at any time. Decisions of WCDC officials and staff are subject to review only by the Event Chair, Community Engagement Director, and Executive Director. These decisions are final and binding. Violation of any of these Rules and Regulations may result in disqualification, expulsion from the grounds, legal action, and/or disqualification from future participation
    in the World Cheese Dip Championship and/or its related, affiliated, or sanctioned events. No refund of any fees will be issued to teams or individuals disqualified or expelled from the event.