Get Sauced For The Holidays And Earn $1 Million Dollars

Does your family tussle over who’s got the best spinach-artichoke dip during holiday get-togethers? Can good times turn into a shouting match over whether Mom’s secret ingredient kicks Grandma’s salsa to the curb?

That competitive spirit and the creativity and pride that go with it are just what Dave’s Gourmet ( is looking for. The company that produces award-winning salsas, sauces, dips and spreads sold around the globe is looking for a few game contenders to spice up its product line.

“I don’t care if you’re a college kid working on a dorm hot plate or a professional fresh from the ‘Iron Chef’ set,” says owner Dave Hirschkop. “If you’ve got a killer original recipe, you can earn up to $1 million in sales royalties in Dave’s Gourmet Recipe Challenge.”

That, by the way, starts with a $2,000 advance right off the bat.

“I’m so serious about finding a great new recipe, we’ll not only accept sauces, dips, salsas, or spreads – from barbecue to tapenade, but if you have something incredible that doesn’t quite meet the definition, drop us a note and we might consider it.”

To enter Dave’s Gourmet Recipe Challenge, submit your original recipe by Dec. 31 at You have to have turned 18 by Oct. 15, 2011 and you must be a legal U.S. resident at the time of the finals.

Here’s how it works:

  • From Jan. 1-4, 2012, Dave’s team will test the recipes and choose semifinalists.
  • Sauces will be judged in five categories: taste, appearance, creativity, consumer appeal and the recipe’s ability to be mass-produced. (If Dave has to hand-cut bay leaves from trees found only on the southernmost tip of Italy in order to make your sauce, it might be hard to mass-produce.)
  • The semifinalists will be taste-tested by a panel from Dave’s Gourmet and finalists will be chosen and their owners notified Jan. 12-14.
  • Jan. 15 to 17, hundreds of food professionals attending the Fancy Foods Show in San Francisco will sample the finalists and vote for their favorites.
  • On Jan. 18, the winner or winners will be announced and notified.
  • Within two weeks of being notified, winners must sign some paperwork and collect their advance of $2,000.
  • The sauce will be produced for Dave’s Gourmet’s retailers and may have the winner’s name on the label.
  • The winner will receive royalties for six years, up to $1 million.

About Dave Hirschkop

Dave Hirschkop graduated from Boston University back in the 1980s and opened a mom-and-pop restaurant called Burrito Madness. It was there he began experimenting with hot sauces and later moved into pasta sauces. He started Dave’s Gourmet 18 years ago, and has products in major retailers including Safeway, Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods and Costco.