Ready, Steady, Chuck! Official World Rules

1. Introduction

1.1. Definitions

1.1.1. For the purposes of the game, the following definitions shall apply:

1.1.2. The above definitions shall apply with respect to terms so defined within the Ready, Steady, Chuck! glossary.

1.2. Overview

1.2.1. These are the official rules for competitive Ready, Steady, Chuck! as used at the Ready, Steady, Chuck! Challenge held, on a not-more-frequently-than-annual basis. These official rules are applicable to all other Ready, Steady, Chuck! competitions endorsed by Ready, Steady, Chuck! Headquarters.

1.2.2. Ready, Steady, Chuck! is a game for two or more players (referred to as celebrity chefs). For convenience, it may be considered an extreme version of the popular daytime BBC TV cookery programme Ready, Steady, Cook!, but one which has been adapted for compulsive risk-takers, and which has the added bonus of having fewer annoying real celebrities.

1.2.3. The object of the game is to create, from randomly generated ingredients, and appropriately name, a culinary masterpiece that is edible and which demonstrates the creative and artistic genius of the chef and which is subsequently judged in an competitive environment by the other chefs and eligible judges.

1.2.4. The basic game mechanic is modelled on its TV precursor, but with a few vital and significant differences. Firstly, it's not on TV, at least yet. Second, all the ingredients chosen must be included and presented as a single dish on a single plate, although a single accompanying drink is permissible. Certain additional ingredients may be permitted to be used subject to the rules below. Thirdly, and most importantly, the ingredients are all selected randomly from a compatible supermarket (see 2.2) by an agreed method and in accordance with the rules below. And finally, the competitors (with or without other eligible judges) will themselves be the judges.

1.2.5. The creations made by the celebrity chefs of the Ready, Steady, Chuck! Challenge will be photographed and subsequently published on the Internet on this site along with their recipes.

1.2.6. Other than when they happen to be selected as random ingredients, green peppers and red tomatoes are not specifically required.

2. Shopping

2.1. Prior to Starting

2.1.1. You will need the following:

2.1.2. More than six chefs may be permitted under exceptional circumstances, but owing to the length of time and limited resources available this is not recommended. Four chefs is considered to be the ideal number.

2.1.3. Determine the ceiling limit of cost of ingredients (see 2.3.2).

2.1.4. Nominate non-permitted ingredients (see 2.5.1).

2.1.5. Judges (including chefs) confirm their eligibility by making a commitment to taste each of the dishes prepared (see 4.1.1) subject to certain provisions (see 2.5).

2.1.6. All chefs must confirm their acceptance of the condition that no cheating of any kind is permitted, regardless of whether or not it is intentional.

2.2. Supermarket

2.2.1. Only Ready, Steady, Chuck!-compatible supermarkets may be used for games of Ready, Steady, Chuck!

2.2.2. To qualify as Ready, Steady, Chuck!-compatible, a supermarket must fulfil the following rigorous criteria:

2.3. Selection of Ingredients

2.3.1. All chefs select their ingredients together, during a single visit to a compatible supermarket (see 2.2) immediately prior to any design, preparation, naming or cooking of their dishes.

2.3.2. It is intended that the total cost of each chef's ingredients should not involuntarily exceed a cost ceiling limit. This limit is agreed prior to commencing shopping. This value is currently set at £5.00 per chef.

2.3.3. The value specified in 2.3.2 may be not reached if the maximum number of ingredients (see 2.3.5) is first reached.

2.3.4. The value specified in 2.3.2 may be voluntarily exceeded (see 2.3.6).

2.3.5. The ceiling limit on price for an individual ingredient is set at £1.99. If an ingredient exceeds this value, it may be refused subject to specified conditions (see 2.3.13 and 2.3.16).

2.3.6. Chefs may by choice accept any selected ingredient at any cost.

2.3.7. Each chef must select at least five and not more than eight ingredients.

2.3.8. Once in the supermarket, ingredients are selected randomly using appropriate dice rolls agreed by all chefs, selecting single ingredients by rotation through all chefs.

2.3.9. Alternatively, to speed up the shopping process, random numbers may be generated prior to the visit to the supermarket, for example, by using the official Ready, Steady, Chuck! random number generator . If this method is used, it is important that this provides no prior understanding of what ingredients these numbers would indicate, as this takes a lot of fun out of the shopping process.

2.3.10. Dice rolls or random numbers may be used to determine the following for each ingredient, sequentially as follows (subject to permissibility - see 2.4):

2.3.11. Different sizes of the same ingredient shall count as the same ingredient.

2.3.12. If a range of different sizes of ingredient is available, the chef may select the smallest size available.

2.3.13. If an ingredient selected causes the total cost of ingredients to exceed the ceiling limit specified in 2.3.2, this item is only acceptable subject to the agreement of the chef concerned, who will, after all, be paying for the item. If this ingredient is refused the chef must continue to select ingredients unless any of the following conditions are met:

2.3.14. If a chef chooses to continue selecting items after acceptance of an ingredient that would cause the total value of all ingredients to exceed the ceiling limit specified in 2.1.3, then, for the purposes of determining the total value of the ingredients selected, the selected item should be considered to have a nominal value of £1.00.

2.3.15. Voluntarily accepted ingredients that are themselves priced at over the ceiling limit for individual items (see 2.3.5) are considered, for the purposes of determining the total value of the ingredients selected, to have a nominal value of the individual item ceiling limit. However, if acceptance of such an item would cause the total value of all ingredients to exceed the ceiling limit specified in 2.1.3, then, for the purposes of determining the total value of the ingredients selected, the selected item should be considered to have a nominal value of 2.3.15. Voluntarily accepted ingredients that are themselves priced at over the ceiling limit for individual items (see 2.3.5) are considered, for the purposes of determining the total value of the ingredients selected, to have a nominal value of the individual item ceiling limit. However, if acceptance of such an item would cause the total value of all ingredients to exceed the ceiling limit specified in 2.1.3, then, for the purposes of determining the total value of the ingredients selected, the selected item should be considered to have a nominal value of £1.00.

2.3.16. In order that the conditions set at 2.1.3 and 2.3.5 are achieved, ingredients individually costing more than the individual item ceiling limit (see 2.3.5) may be refused unconditionally by a chef if they occur during the selection of that chef's first four ingredients.

2.4. Permitted Ingredients

2.4.1. All ingredients chosen must be food or drink items intended for human consumption. Items such as shoe polish, pet food, soap, toiletries, stationery, kitchenware, clothing, gardening materials, DIY items, toys, washing powder, barbecue utensils and fuel, vehicle accessories, medicines, electrical items, engine oil and Miracle Whip (see 2.4.3) are not permitted. A degree of common sense is required in interpretation of this rule.

2.4.2. Certain specified food items are also not permitted (but see 2.4.3 below). These include:

2.4.3. The following items are permitted as exceptions to rule 2.4.2:

2.4.4. If there is any doubt regarding the permissibility of any selected ingredient, arbitration with respect to the individual ingredient concerned shall be determined by mutual agreement of chefs other than the individual lucky enough to have selected that item. Chefs determining any such ruling should be aware that what comes around can just as easily go around.

2.4.5. Frozen food is only permitted if it requires a defrosting time that does not exceed 20 minutes.

2.4.6. Items packaged together with complementary other items (for example, pork packaged with apple sauce) would not normally permitted, however, this rule may be over-ruled by the agreement of the other chefs as per 2.4.4 in the interests of culinary challenge and/or overall entertainment value.

2.4.7. Where multi-packs of ingredients are selected, if an individual item of a type contained within the multi-pack or of agreed sufficient similarity is available separately, that item may be selected instead. If the multi-pack contains a variety of such items, the item type to be selected should be determined randomly. The multi-pack should only be selected if individual items of that type are not available, and then only if permitted within the normal rules. In such cases it would be expected that dishes produced would include representation of all flavours and types of ingredient within the multi-pack.

2.4.8. With regards rules 2.4.6 and 2.4.7, foods containing a combination of ingredients (for example, rice pudding dessert and jam) if selected, are considered to be one ingredient for the purpose of determining the total number of ingredients that may be selected by an individual chef.

2.4.9. Drink items purchased need not be included in the preparation of the dish concerned, but if not must be presented as a drink accompanying the dish created and will be judged within that context. However, this is noted as a form of wimping out which should be taken into account by other chefs and eligible judges of the competition during judging.

2.4.10. An incidental ingredient, such as an ingredient that another customer not connected with the ingredient selection process has taken from elsewhere and replaced on the wrong supermarket shelf, is not normally permitted to be randomly selected. However, in all such cases rule 2.4.4 will apply.

2.5. Nominated Non-Permitted Ingredients

2.5.1. At each chef's discretion, one single ingredient or ingredient type may be specified as non-permitted for use by that chef for reasons of health only. Should a chef, for example, suffer an allergic reaction to a particular ingredient or ingredient type, this must be declared at the start of the competition.

2.5.2. Chefs who are vegetarian may declare any ingredient that is not suitable for vegetarians as non-permitted for use by that chef.

2.5.3. Other than in respect of rules 2.5.1and 2.5.2, chefs may not otherwise reject items, as this unreasonably removes acceptable risk from the game.

2.5.4. Ingredients may never be rejected solely because the chef concerned doesn't like them.

2.5.5. Following its attempted use as an ingredient in the 2005 Ready, Steady, Chuck! Challenge, Miracle Whip is not allowed to be chosen by anyone in future, for everyone's health benefit. After considerable debate, and based on reasonable evidence, this substance has been determined by the judges to not count as a food item.

2.5.6. Judges are allowed to forego tasting of dishes that contain ingredients to which they are allergic.

2.5.7. Judges who are vegetarian may forego tasting elements of dishes that are not suitable for vegetarians if these cannot be reasonably separated from the rest of the dish.

3. Cooking

3.1. The Kitchen

3.1.1. A range of kitchen utensils and basic ingredients are available to all chefs. These comprise those utensils and ingredients that are present in the kitchen at the time of playing the game, and may or may not include utensils featured as Ready, Steady, Chuck! Essential Utensils.

3.1.2. A range of basic additional ingredients are available to all chefs. These will be determined prior to cooking and agreed amongst the chefs and eligible judges, and may or may not include, for example, cooking oil (sufficient quantity to permit shallow frying), salt and pepper.

3.1.3. The following basic ingredients will always be made available to chefs:

3.1.4. Each chef will be allowed access to a minimum of one hob ring of the cooker, although if more than four chefs are competing it is advised that they take turns. All other kitchen facilities are available through negotiation between the chefs. In the event of a dispute, all other chefs will act as referees. If nothing can be agreed, the decision should be made on the basis of an appropriate die roll.

3.2. Setting out Ingredients

3.2.1. Prior to the commencement of dish preparation, each chef's ingredients will be presented for viewing by the other chefs and eligible judges and for the photographic record to be taken.

3.3. Meal Preparation

3.3.1. Each chef will prepare their dish within a set time limit, in the same way as the daytime TV programme on which the game is loosely based. Each chef has 20 minutes to complete the following activities:

3.3.2. The dish will be presented in a single appropriate serving vessel (plate, bowl, mug, glass, hollowed-out-pumpkin etc) in which all non-drink ingredients (and any or all of the drink ones as well) are combined. The kind of wimping out seen on TV by providing side dishes and salads and all that malarkey is not permitted in this game.

3.3.3. Liquid ingredients may be excluded from the main dish, in which case they must be provided as a drink that is designed and presented to accompany the main dish, and which will be assessed as part of the whole dish by the judges.

3.3.4. During dish preparation, chefs should wear appropriately cheffy clothing such that they convey an appropriate image for use on the website when photographed.

4. Judging

4.1. Eligible Judges

4.1.1. Only those people who voluntarily agree at the start of the game to be judges and who are eligible (see 2.1.5) are allowed to judge the game. In order to be able to pronounce judgement, all such judges must no later than the start of the dish preparation process, confirm their eligibility according to rule 2.1.5 (subject to the provisions of section 2.5).

4.1.2. All chefs are considered to be eligible judges, and will judge the dishes prepared by the other chefs in accordance with rule 2.1.5 (subject to the provisions of section 2.5).

4.1.3. Chefs are not permitted to judge their own dishes.

4.2. Presentation For Judgement

4.2.1. Following dish preparation, each chef will present their dish for judgement, and announce the name of their dish, which will be recorded.

4.2.2. Chefs and eligible judges will examine and taste the dish, at which time they may make notes.

4.2.3. Scores are assigned to each dish by the chefs and eligible judges simultaneously at the end of the competition.

4.3. Scoring System

4.3.1. Rather than assign a numeric score, chefs and eligible judges will each record their chosen order of preference, from best to worst, of the dishes being judged, within each of the following categories:

4.3.2. Creativity: this should relate to the level of challenge faced by the chef concerned, in the judge's view, based on the likely outcome of creating something edible from the ingredients selected. Irrespective of how good the dish might have tasted, judges may give credit here for novel cooking techniques and special effort that has been put into the design of the creation (for example, low scores may be given to dishes that were created by toasting all ingredients to remove any flavour; high scores may be given to inventive combined use of ingredients, such as deep-frying cabbage in margarine).

4.3.3. Presentation: this should relate solely to how good the dish looks when finally presented, irrespective of ingredients, taste, or other considerations. However, smell may be considered to an extent if this influences the initial immediate perception of a dish. The care taken in presenting a dish within a swirl of contrasting-coloured sauce (as seen in Cheesy Potato Profiteroles in Cherry-Orange Coulis, for example) may score higher than dishes that defy normal conventions concerning the appearance of food (for example, Curry Biscuit with Chocolate Vanilla Vinaigrette).

4.3.4. Name: appropriate and original meal names are likely to be given the higher scores. Marmalized Pork, for example (pork in marmalade) may score higher than Guacamole Ginger Cake (which simply reiterates key ingredients). Judges may mark down dishes the name of which includes the word "surprise", especially where the dish concerned is not at all surprising.

4.3.5. Taste: judges should not allow their opinions on creativity, presentation and dish name to influence their assessment of the taste of a dish. However, the smell of the dish may be considered within this criterion. Clearly, dishes for which judges are able to sample a second mouthful are likely to score higher than those that are involuntarily regurgitated within moments.

4.3.6. Judges are encouraged to take into account the amount of wimping out that may have occurred by arbitrarily downgrading scores according to the lack of courage and risk-acceptance that may have been evident at any stage of the Challenge.

4.4. Overall Assessment

4.4.1. At the end of judging, all scores will be collated for assessment.

4.4.2. In events where only two chefs are competing, scores shall only be allocated by the judges, unless no judges are present. If no judges are present in such games, the winner shall be decided by mutual agreement between the chefs. If this is inconclusive, the winner shall be decided by rolling a single die, the winner being the chef with the highest score. If the numbers rolled are equal, it shall be declared a draw.

4.4.3. The value of the scores allocated to each rank assigned to each dish in each category shall be determined based on the total number of chefs competing.

4.4.4. Based on the number of chefs competing, scores that may be given by chefs to other chefs' dishes shall be as follows:

Number of chefs
3 4 5 6
Rank 1st 3 4 5 6
2nd 2 3 4 5
3rd 2 3 4
4th 2 3
5th 2

4.4.5. Based on the number of chefs competing, scores given by eligible judges shall be allocated to each criterion as follows:

Number of chefs
2 3 4 5 6
Rank 1st 2 3 4 5 6
2nd 1 2 3 4 5
3rd 1 2 3 4
4th 1 2 3
5th 1 2
6th 1

4.4.6. Chefs and eligible judges are not permitted to score equal ranks to any dish within any category.

4.4.7. The total of all the scores assigned will be used to determine the overall winner.

4.4.8. The winner will be the chef with the highest total of the scores after ranking of all four assessment criteria.

4.4.9. In the event of a tie, scores will be recalculated using only those scores assigned by the tied chefs for each otherís dishes. This is termed points countback. The chef that received the highest total number of points from all other tied chefs shall be declared to be the winner.

4.4.10. In the event of a tied score at the end of points countback (see 4.4.9), the prize will be shared equally amongst the tied competitors.

4.5. Trophies and Awards

4.5.1. The Ready, Steady, Chuck! Challenge trophy, known as The Golden Bowl, will be presented to the winner of the Ready, Steady, Chuck! Challenge. The winner will hold the title for a period of not less than one year.

4.5.2. The Ready, Steady, Chuck! Challenge title holder can legitimately consider themselves World Champion of Ready, Steady, Chuck!

4.5.3. Other awards, such as Special Achievement Awards may also be given where merited.

These Official Ready, Steady, Chuck! rules are also available to download as a pdf file.