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$100k Pork Chop Challenge FAQ

General Information

What is the $100k Pork Chop Challenge?
The $100k Pork Chop Challenge is a contest celebrating Washington, D.C., metropolitan area restaurants that feature unique and delicious pork chop dishes. Hosted by the Virginia Pork Council, with support from the Iowa Pork Producers Association, North Carolina Pork Council, National Restaurant Association, and Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington. The challenge offers a $100,000 prize to the winning restaurant and a donation of pork products in its name to a local food bank.
Contest Stages
  1. Nominations:
    • Restaurants and patrons nominate eateries that serve pork chop dishes.
    • Eligible restaurants receive marketing toolkits and promotion on the $100k Pork Chop Challenge website.
  2. People’s Pork Chop Award:
    • Public voting determines which restaurants advance.
    • Voting is online, with one vote per email over a two-week period.
    • The top three to five restaurants with the most votes move to the final round.
  3. Judging:
    • Finalists are evaluated by culinary professionals and pork producers based on taste, tenderness, temperature, color, presentation, and other criteria.
    • Judges will visit the finalists on July 11-12 to sample their dishes.
    • The winner will be announced on July 23.

Who can participate?

Restaurants with a physical location in the District of Columbia and the Virginia and Maryland suburbs within the Capital Beltway (I-495 corridor) that feature a pork chop dish on their regular menu.

How can a restaurant be nominated?

Nominations can be submitted on the $100k Pork Chop Challenge website by the restaurant itself or by patrons. Nominees must accept the Terms and Conditions and verify their eligibility.

Are we required to keep the pork chop dish on the menu after the competition?

We would hope the dish remains a staple if you win, but we understand that menus can be seasonal and our subject to change. The goal is that it’s not run purely as a special for the competition and never seen again (especially if you’re the winner).

Do we need to have a pork chop dish on our current menu?

Yes. As for places that do not have a pork chop on their everyday menu, If they have at least served a pork chop in the past on previous menus or If a pork chop is added before the competition on June 19 (and not run purely as a special for the competition) that would count. We understand that establishments and chefs have seasonal, even monthly (sometimes weekly or daily) menus and are willing to allow exceptions under the right circumstances. The hope is if they win (or the dish becomes very popular for them), they will make it a staple.

Does it have to be a pork chop to win?

We all love ribs, pulled pork, pork belly, and bacon, but the pork chop needs to be the star. There are several different types of pork chops to choose from: 

  • Rib Chop (Also known as Bone-In Ribeye Chop, Rib End Cut)
  • Center-Cut Loin Chop (Also known as Porterhouse Chop, Top Loin Chop)
  • Loin Chop (Also known as Pork Loin End Chop)
  • Sirloin Chop (Also known as Sirloin Steak)
  • Boneless Loin Chop (Also known as America’s Cut, New York Chop, Pork Loin Filet)
  • Shoulder Chop (Also known as Blade Chop, Pork Shoulder Steak, Pork Steak)
Voting and Promotion

How does voting work?

  • Voting for the People’s Pork Chop Award is open to the public on the $100k Pork Chop Challenge website.
  • Each person can vote once per email during the voting period (June 19 to July 3).
  • The top three to five vote-getters will become finalists.

How should restaurants promote their nomination?

Restaurants are encouraged to promote their participation through in-house displays, social media, and other fair means. The Sponsors may disqualify votes if irregularities are detected.

What do restaurants receive upon signing up?

Once signed up, restaurants will receive:
  • Download Marketing Toolkit: Contains marketing materials to promote the competition.
  • Download Print Toolkit: Contains print materials to promote the competition and the restaurant’s participation.
Judging Criteria

What are judges looking for?

Judges will evaluate the pork chop dishes based on:
  • Taste
  • Tenderness
  • Temperature
  • Color
  • Presentation

What environment will the final judging be like, and where will it be held?

The Judges will visit each of the Finalists over the course of July 11-12 to sample the Finalists’ pork chop dishes. After sampling all of the Finalists, the Judges will meet to share their scores and select the $100k Pork Chop Challenge Winner (the Winner). Restaurants will be notified of the expected arrival time beforehand, which will vary depending on the number of finalists.

Prizes and Recognition

What does the winning restaurant receive?

  • A $100,000 prize.
  • Recognition on the $100k Pork Chop Challenge website and social media.
  • Media coverage and potential interviews.
  • A donation of pork products to a local food bank in the winner’s name.

Does the prize go to the establishment or the chef?

The establishment receives the $100,000 and can determine how they want to allocate it to the chef and team.

Media and Promotion

Can my restaurant's images and videos be used for promotion?

By participating, restaurants grant permission to the Sponsors and Fresh Coast to use images, videos, and audio recordings of their restaurant, dishes, and staff for promotional purposes without compensation.

Important Dates
  • Nomination Period: June 3 until June 17
  • Voting Period: June 19 to July 3
  • Judging Visits: July 11-12
  • Winner Announcement: July 23