The Cooking Festival
The cooking contest between the two towns takes place four times per season. The participants will gather at the mountaintop and have their dishes judged by the gourmet, Pierre. The town that wins the festival will gloat about their victory and then the festival ends until the next time it takes place. Your goal is to participate in the cooking festival enough times that it repairs the friendship between the two towns.
Inside of your house you'll find your seasonal calendar, listing the dates that the cooking festivals take place. The calendar also tells you the category of dish that the festival will be judging. On the day of the festival, bring your cooked dish to the mountaintop between noon and 4:00 pm, then hand it to the mayor of your town. You can't enter the contest for the other town's team!
Make sure your dish is "Super Fresh!" rating. You can enter a "Fairly Fresh" dish, but you have less of a chance of winning. You also don't want to enter a dish from a different category into the current festival's category.
Optionally, you can choose to cheer for your town instead of entering a dish that you've cooked.
The Town Teams
Each town team is made up of three participants; either yourself and two others, or a team of three villagers. The villagers that make up your team are random, but not all villagers participate in the contest:
- Bluebell Participants: Ash, Cam, Cheryl, Diego, Enrique, Georgia, Howard, Jessica, and Laney
- Konohana Participants: Ayame, Hiro, Kana, Nori, Raul, Reina, Sheng, Ying, and Yun
Winning the Festival
The chances of winning the festival is based on your entered dish and the other villagers' dishes. Winning is a team effort! The dish you enter needs to have a high value of stamina recovery. Adjusting the stamina recovery can be done by adding additional ingredients when cooking the dish you want to enter into the festival. The star rank of the ingredients and your personal cooking level will determine the stamina recovery rate of the resulting dish.
The dishes that your teammates enter will be randomly selected based on the festival's cooking category. You don't have any control over what dishes they enter, but the higher the friendship you have with that villager, the better the chance of a high stamina recovery entry. It is important to work on raising your friendship with the cooking contest participants in your village. For example, if you live in Bluebell and you ignore Diego and Enrique (0 or low friendship), then they'll most likely enter Failed Dishes (0 STA) as their contest entry when they're on your cooking festival team.
Pierre will judge each town's dish and then give his feedback. You'll have a general idea how well your team did by listening to his opinions:
- Excellent: "This is amazing!", "Simply wonderful!", "What fantastic flavor!", and "It's as if it was made by the Harvest Goddess herself!"
- Good: "Delicious!", "Pretty good!", "Quite tasty!", and "Hmm... This isn't bad..."
- Okay: "Hmm...", "Not bad, but not great...", "This is all right...", and "This is okay, I suppose..."
- Bad: "Um, what a unique flavor...", "Ugh...", "*cough*...", and "Can I have some water?"
After he gives his opinions, Pierre will declare one of the towns as the winner.
Results and Prizes
Once the contest is over you'll meet up with the mayor of your town. Depending on the results you may be rewarded with a prize:
If you entered a dish and lost or you simply cheered for your town (win or lose):
- Spring cooking festivals: If it is the first festival on Spring 7 then you will get Onion Seeds. The prize for any spring festival after the first one will be Cabbage Seeds or Cucumber Seeds
- Summer cooking festival: Onion Seeds or Tomato Seeds
- Fall cooking festival: Spinach Seeds or Yam Seeds
- Winter cooking festival: Bok Choy Seeds
If you entered a dish and won:
- Bluebell Town: If you have 3 hearts of town friendship or less, the prize is Great Butter. If you have 4 hearts or more, the prize is Adamantite. If you are in year 2, then your festival prize will be the Fancy Cart or the Shrine Cart.
- Konohana Town: If you have 3 hearts of town friendship or less, the prize is Wine and the prize is Mithril if you have 4 hearts or more. If you are in year 2, then your festival prize will be the Fancy Cart or the Shrine Cart.
- If the tunnel between the town is complete and if you have the Fancy Cart and Shrine Cart, then the prize will be the Sled Cart. After that the prize is a Diamond regardless of the town you are living in.
After you receive (or don't receive) a prize, the Harvest Goddess will appear and show you how well you are doing with mending the towns' friendship. Each heart on the friendship meter is 1000 points; heart one is 0 to 1000, heart two is 1001 to 2000, etc. The goal of the game is to fill all the hearts on the town friendship meter, which will occur at 10,000 points.
The number of points you earn will vary depending on the outcome of the festival:
- You entered a dish and won: +800 points
- You entered a dish and lost: +400 points
- You cheered for your town and won: +200 points
- You cheered for your town and lost: +100 points
Ideally, you will want to enter the festival each time instead of cheering from the side. Even if your town loses when you participate in the festival, you will earn more town friendship than if you had simply watched the festival take place.