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by Matt Alderton | May 21, 2015
Every meeting planner has his or her own recipe for a successful event. Many planners, however, also have recipes for delicious dishes, which last year prompted MGM Resorts International to launch a cooking competition taking meeting planners out of the convention center and into the kitchen.

The competition, the MGM Resorts International Recipe Showdown, will return for a second consecutive year this summer, expanding from 12 cities to 16, MGM Resorts International announced yesterday.

Here's how it works: Meeting planners who submit a recipe online will be invited to compete in their local city showdown. The top three finalists from each city will have their recipes featured in a recipe book by and for meeting and travel professionals. Each city's first-place finalist will then be flown to Las Vegas for the national finals, where they'll prepare their dish in front of a live audience, including a panel of celebrity chefs from MGM Resorts restaurants who will judge each dish and choose a winner.

First place wins an all-expenses-paid trip to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami. Second place wins a three-night stay at an MGM Resorts destination in Las Vegas, including airport limo transfer and dinner each night. And third place wins a two-night stay at an MGM Resorts destination in Las Vegas, including airport limo transfer and dinner each night.

This year's Showdown cities are:

• Washington DC (June 2)
• Vancouver, BC (June 9)
• Minneapolis (June 17)
• Toronto (June 23)
• Seattle (July 9)
• Salt Lake City (Aug. 12)
• Indianapolis (Aug. 12)
• Philadelphia (Aug. 13)
• Boston (Aug. 18)
• New York City (Aug. 20)
• Denver (Aug. 20)
• Los Angeles (Aug. 20)
• Dallas (Aug. 25)
• Atlanta (Aug. 27)
• San Francisco (Sept. 10)
• Chicago (Sept. 17)
• FINALS: Las Vegas (Oct. 29)

This year's competition is open not only to meeting planners, but also to travel professionals.

Last year's winner was Melissa Moskal, creative manager at Prime Strategies in Vancouver, who won with her recipe for moussaka.

For more information, or to enter the competition, visit the 2015 MGM Resorts International Recipe Showdown web page.