Competition Kitchen: A Deliciously Creative Party Game
Competition Kitchen is a party game for foodies. Secret Ingredients + Food Challenges + Your Imagination = Competition Kitchen.
About this project
“It’s fantastic to see the concept of Competition Kitchen come to life. I loved incorporating secret ingredients in the Batali kitchen while teaching my kids how to cook, and now the world can play too!! Wheeeeeee!” – Mario Batali, Award-Winning Restaurateur and Author
“Competition Kitchen rocks. I’m not a chef but I loved making up dishes and judging everyone else’s… but I still don’t know why my toaster-warmed garlic octopus wasn’t a hit.” – Don Eskridge, The Resistance / Abandon Planet
What is Competition Kitchen?
Competition Kitchen is the new deliciously creative party game from The Nerdologues. Imagine if you could play “Chopped” at home; but instead of food, you have cards, and instead of pots and pans, you have your words and imagination. Three to seven players compete to emerge as the top chef at the table!
Each round, one or more players are the judge, and the rest of the players are chefs. Every chef gathers ingredients from the Protein, Vegetable, and Flavor decks and, after the judge reveals the challenge, they choose which ones to get rid of and which ones to keep. Then, before the chefs can share their creation, the judge unveils the Secret Ingredient that must be incorporated in some way into each dish. After hearing what each chef has prepared, the judge will determine who wins each round. Then, the next player at the table becomes the judge – and at the end, the player with the most challenges won is the champion of Competition Kitchen!
“Competition Kitchen stirs up the creative juices like few games I’ve played. You don’t need to be a trained chef or gourmand to have silly, uproarious fun. And the best part is what happens after the game — it’ll leave you hungry, and better yet, inspired to flex your culinary muscles. This game may create our country’s next crop of four-star chefs.” – Kevin Pang, The A/V Club
Just like all of our favorite cooking competition shows, one of the key components of Competition Kitchen is the Secret Ingredient cards. Every round, the judge will draw two Secret Ingredient cards, and then choose which one all of the chefs must use in their dish.
We’ve been lucky enough to have some of our favorite people from the culinary world contribute card ideas to the game.
Here’s a quick list:
– Mario Batali (Chef)
– Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa)
– J. Kenji López-Alt (The Food Lab / Serious Eats)
– Molly Yeh (mynameisyeh)
– Graham Elliot (Cooking Like a Master Chef)
– Claudia Wu (Cherry Bombe)
– Marc Summers (Double Dare / Unwrapped)
– Dan Pashman (The Sporkful)
– Maybe more?
“My family plays this game almost every night at dinner. It’s become a part of our routine. Competition Kitchen is a great conversation starter, and gets our whole family involved in thinking and talking about food. Even our five year old is able to play, as the rules are simple and the combinations are limited only by your imagination” – Tony Dreyfuss, Co-Founder, Metropolis Coffee Company
What would a game centered around a cooking competition be without challenges!? Here’s a small sample of the Challenge cards that will be included in the game.
These are the cards from which the judge will draw in order to issue that round’s challenge to the chefs. They range from everyday meals, to special events, to, well… outer space. We had a lot of fun writing these cards, and we hope you’ll have just as much fun playing them!
“It’s so fun, you can taste it.” – Matthew Hoffman, Custodian of You Are Beautiful
How to Play
Here’s how to play in a nutshell!
Gather your friends around the table; depending on the number of players you have, there will be one, two, or three judges; the rest of the players will be chefs. Judgeship rotates each round, so every player will have a chance to play both roles!
The chefs draw two cards from each of the basic ingredient decks (Protein, Vegetable, Flavor), and then decide which one of each to keep when the judge reveals the Challenge card for the round. Once the chefs have made their choices, the judge also reveals the Secret Ingredient – a food that every chef must include in their dish!
The chefs can take a moment to think about what they want to do with their different ingredients, then each chef will describe how they prepared, cooked, and presented their dish. Remember: no actual cooking is involved, just use your words and imagination to describe the delicious dish you were able to put together!
The judge will then award one of the chefs the Challenge card to indicate they have won the round! The Secret Ingredient card is also awarded to a chef as a special recognition – and that chef can then use the ingredient in a dish later (or try to sabotage another chef by giving it to them!). Then the judgeship moves to the left, and a new round begins!
Special Backer Levels
The Secret Ingredient Card Bundle – $75
We’ll make you your own Special Ingredient card! The art will be hand drawn and designed by Kevin Budnik. We’ll work with you to come up with an ingredient that you’ll really love to have in your game. We’ll also write a description of the food, and the card will be printed on the same type of material used in the game, so it will fit in perfectly. You’ll also get a copy of the main game shipped to your door!
The Hand Drawn Box Art Bundle – $100
For the super gamer out there, Kevin Budnik will draw your own unique box art on a separate game box. We’ll write a special note to you on the inside of the box and sign it. You’ll also get a copy of the main game right to wherever you happen to be!
Who We Are
We’ve been friends for over five years. Good for us! During that time, we’ve each dedicated a lot of time to writing, performing and producing comedy, fun stories, or anything else that brings joy to the world. We’ve created countless videos, podcasts, and live shows – and now our second card game!
Joe, a Cleveland-area native, has grown up playing games of all kinds with his friends and family. He moved to Chicago to study and perform comedy, and fell in love when he met the Nerdologues. Now he spends his time creating shows, podcasts, and games all around the city. He always beats Kevin at Werewolf.
Kevin loves riding his bicycle around Chicago, performing comedy, and finding time to do yoga. He has worked at a museum, as an archaeologist, on a horse farm, and as a sleep researcher. He currently works at Cards Against Humanity with fabulous people. He’s really tired of losing to Joe in Werewolf.
Together, we are a part of The Nerdologues, a comedy collective based in Chicago. We tell stories and make funny things. As a group, we’ve performed at PAX, New York Comic Con, The JoCo Cruise, C2E2, San Fran Sketchfest, iO, UCB, Second City, and countless bars/house shows/tiny theaters!
In the interest of shameless self-promotion, here’s some nice things people have said:
“Competition Kitchen stirs together fresh gameplay with spicy improv and raw fun, grills it all to perfection, and serves it up hot. Now that I’ve gotten a taste of Competition Kitchen, I crave it. I am this close to dipping those delicious cards in guac and, like, literally, eating them. With my mouth.” – Will Hindmarch, Things We Think About Games / Storium
“‘Nerdologues‘ earns its title,” – Chicago Tribune
This is our second game, and it has been development for over 8 months. We’ve extensively play tested this game. We have had guidance and advice from some of the brightest minds in the industry, and our product is being printed by one of the best print companies in the country. We are very excited that we now have a chance to share Competition Kitchen with eaters like you!
What You Get
Competition Kitchen includes:
36 Challenge Cards
36 Secret Ingredient Cards
24 Flavor Cards
24 Protein Cards
24 Vegetable Cards
1 Rules Sheet
1 Heck of a Good Time
Thank you to Kevin Budnik, an incredible autobio cartoonist and illustrator, who made all the art for the game.
Thank you to Andrew Melzer, an amazing writer and producer, for filming and editing our Kickstarter video.
Want a press release? Click here!
Risks and challenges
The stuff that scares us the most is printing and shipping. But we’re feeling pretty good, because we won’t be doing that stuff ourselves — we’ll be printing with our friends over at AdMagic. They print Exploding Kittens, Secret Hitler, and Cards Against Humanity. We’ve worked with them before on our first and they are great. We’ll be shipping the game out via Blackbox, a new shipping company by Cards Against Humanity. As always, there is the potential for unseen issues – but if anything goes wrong, we’re confident we’ll get it righted!