Our Story


We started in Syracuse, NY as a collaborative, community-based marketing experiment, that our founders Josh and Ashley decided to take a chance on. At our first event, they delivered a small bag of local produce and challenged one chef to make two mystery courses. They used the pictures on social media for recipe inspiration, with the hope that they could help people learn to cook with local and seasonal produce or less wasteful cuts of meat. Within four months the team was bringing boxes of “mystery,” local farm-goods to a new restaurant 2-3 times per month to serve a mystery meal to 45-55 guests per event. We evolved with the event, developing our mission statement along the way to focus on pushing culinary boundaries, elevating cities like Syracuse, NY and Providence, RI through donations and strategic projects*, closing the gaps in our food systems by making connections between chefs, farmers, and consumers, and promoting sustainability within our food systems . Each event challenges chefs and guests to go out of their culinary comfort zone and to clean up our food system.

*A portion of our profits go to causes and projects. Call us for more details (315) 641-9393.

frequently asked questions

A: Sometimes we can, but unfortunately, we are unable to cater to certain restrictions at this time, including vegan diets, severe gluten-free allergies, severe nut allergies, salt, and pepper. We ask that you please notify us in advance of your food requirements.

* Contact Us | 315-641-9393 | OfficialChefChallenge.com | --> Reserve Your Seats Now

Q: Can you cater to allergies or food restrictions?

A: The price includes the meal and the experience. Drinks and tip are extra. 20%+ gratuity is expected on your meal and drinks --> Buy Tickets Now

Q: What does the price include?

A: On average, 45-55 people are at our events. You may choose your own seats within our family-style, large-group seating arrangements --> Dine With Us

Q: How do I know where to sit?

A: We source high quality and local ingredients from small farmers in advance. For this reason, we cannot offer refunds. In the event you cannot come, seats are transferable to other individuals for the specific event you have reserved spots for.

Q: Are there refunds?

A: We visit independently-owned restaurants and we feature the chef(s) of each restaurant unless noted otherwise.

Q: What chefs are at the event?

A: Chef Challenge started as “Chef Challenge: Syracuse” in October 2017. We began travelling to other cities in the summer of 2018.

Q: When did Chef Challenge start?

A: Dress to the standards of the restaurant.

Q: How should I dress?

A: Typically events last between 3 - 3.5 hours.

Q: How long will the event last?

A: They receive a 24hr notification of what is coming and they receive the ingredients about 1 hour before the event.

Q: When do the chefs receive the mystery ingredients?

A: The first hour of the event is a “social hour” during which you can grab a drink, talk with fellow attendees, and (at most events) watch the chefs prepare the meal.

Q: When should I arrive?

A: Typically, yes, small groups will be able to rotate and watch the chefs prep/cook. At certain restaurants the kitchens are too small to safely allow guests to watch and this will be noted alongside the particular event. (Assume yes, but we will tell you otherwise)

Q: Will I be able to watch the chef prepare the meal?

A: Due to the nature of the event, courses come out spontaneously. Sometimes there will be 5-10 minutes between courses, sometimes there will be 30-40 minutes. This is a challenge event for the chefs, and not served according to a traditional prix fixe schedule.

Q: Will courses come out back-to-back?

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in the press

KobeCast S2 E15: Josh Rhoades

Posted on
May 28, 2018
Read article

Foodie Alert!! “Chef’s Challenge” return to Central New York

Posted on
June 13, 2018
Read article

Chef Challenge Syracuse: Watch pros turn mystery box into gourmet meal

Posted on
March 9, 2018
Read article

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