There are two ways to play this game. In Grand Prix, you will race against King Dedede. Run through the course and collect food as quickly as you can. Your score is determined by the amount of food you gather and how many more times you reach goal lines before your opponent. In Time Attack, you will choose a course and race through it alone to try and get the best time possible.”
Kirby is seen floating up a steep mountainside (referred to as Gourmet World in Kirby Super Star but unnamed in Kirby Super Star Ultra) in search of food. He manages to reach the top, but when Kirby is still panting from the effort, King Dedede steps out and issues a challenge to Kirby. In Kirby Super Star Ultra, King Dedede taunts Kirby by munching on food in front of him instead.
The goal of Gourmet Race is to play as Kirby, go through the three courses, eat more food than King Dedede, and finish first. There are no enemies to fight, and Kirby cannot lose a life even though there are Spikes in some parts. There is a time trial mode, where players race to beat their own records in one of the three courses. The previous best time is represented as a ghost that takes the same path as the player took. In its incarnation in Kirby Super Star Ultra, player two can join the race as Yellow Kirby.
Kirby gets one point for every unit of food he eats, and three points for every Maxim Tomato, which are less common and harder to get to. By reaching the finish line first, Kirby gets a bonus of 30 additional points, giving a possible maximum bonus of 90 points if Kirby wins all three stages.
Kirby runs faster than usual in Gourmet Race, and is faster than King Dedede on the ground. However, since he just exhausted himself floating up the mountain, his floating, Slide attack, and jumping skills are slower and much less effective, and King Dedede is faster than him in the air.
A large fruit orchard is filled with food. Kirby heard about the orchard and journeyed there, but King Dedede was waiting for him. Now all Kirby has to do is win the Gourmet Race. Piece of cake, right?”