About

Cooking Contest Central has been the premier website and online community dedicated to cooking and recipe contests since 1997.

The site was founded by Betty Parham to create an online cooking contest community where culinary competitors could gather, share information, and become friends.  Today the site is owned and maintained by Kristina Vanni.

Why enter cooking contests?

If you have a passion for food and are ready to express your creativity, then cooking and recipe contests are right up your alley.  This exciting hobby is not only a creative outlet, but can be quite lucrative as well!   There are literally millions of dollars in prize money out there, waiting to be claimed.  Not to mention luxury vacations, kitchen appliances, or even just free groceries!

Why become a member of Cooking Contest Central?

You can’t enter if you don’t know about the contests!  Here at Cooking Contest Central you can think of us as your personal assistant.  We do the leg work for you to find the thousands of the local, national and international contests seeking submissions every year.  Members will obtain access to our extensive contest listings and receive our “Contest Alert” newsletter.

The world of cooking contests is about more than just great recipes.  Here at Cooking Contest Central we are a tight-knit community of food lovers who are ready to help each other with support and advice.  This is the only site where you will have access to our member forums where you can ask questions, brainstorm ideas, or share success stories.  We welcome new contesters with open arms!

We also offer exclusive, members-only recipe contests here at Cooking Contest Central.  This narrows the playing field and gives you more opportunities to test your skills and win!

For more information about becoming a member, be sure to check out the “Join Us” page and Subscribe today!  Annual dues are $25.

Member Accomplishments

Cooking Contest Central is home to 6 of the Pillsbury Bake-Off $1,000,000 winners!  As well as 2 of the $100,000 Build a Better Burger winners, the $40,000 Sterling Vineyards Ultimate Host winner, and the $25,000 Good Housekeeping winner, just to name a few.

Several of our members have chosen to leverage their cooking contest success into impressive careers in the food world.  Many have written cookbooks, and we are even home to a James Beard Award Winner!  Others have opened restaurants, launched product lines or appeared on the Food Network and Cooking Channel!  If you are a passionate home cook or food blogger looking to launch a culinary career, cooking contests are a great way to build a resume and network.

Meet Kristina

WhiskKristina Vanni is your guide into the competitive cooking world.  She is a third-generation contester, following in the award-winning footsteps of her mother and grandmother.  Her contesting career began at the age of 12 when she was a she earned a spot in the winner’s circle at the Pillsbury Bake-Off.  Since then she has gone on to win top honors from Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker, and Kraft, just to name a few.  She was named the “Hot Chef” by the National Restaurant Association and later represented the USA and won an international chef competition in Australia.  Today she is on the other side of food competitions, serving as a judge for national recipe contests and as the owner of Cooking Contest Central.

Kristina is also a food writer for BetterRecipes, part of the Better Homes and Gardens family of websites.  She can often be seen as a host, culinary expert, or product spokesperson on TV.  Recent appearances include:  Better TV (syndicated), Home and Family (Hallmark Channel), and The Talk (CBS).

Press and Media Inquiries

Cooking Contest Central has been featured in local and national media outlets.  Read the stories here.

Interested in featuring Cooking Contest Central in a story?   Contact Us today!

Contest Sponsors

If you are interested in advertising on Cooking Contest Central, Contact Us for a variety of options and rates.