Inside look at the Top 10 recipe, chili, and BBQ competitions at the World Food Championships

It was another early morning to catch the shuttle and head down to Celebration for the opening round of Open Chili and the Top 10 Recipe Competitions. Every competition is kicked off with a cooks’ meeting where World Food Championships reiterate the rules of the competition. Mike McCloud, co-founder of World Food Championships, headed the Chili cooks’ meeting along with Amy Green and judging staff. A lot of the competitors wear chili patterns on aloha shirts, aprons, bags, etc. Chili competitions are just fun and everyone really gets in the spirit of it.

As the Chili competitors ready their stations, on the other side of Kenmore Kitchen Arena, the Top 10 Recipe Competition was in full swing. Alethia Shih, a.k.a. Wallflour Girl, had to make a dish incorporating Duda celery. Her submission was Spiced Celery Butter Rum Cake with a Cheesecake Bottom. It was a celery, carrot, and apple cake soaked with a butter rum sauce set atop a creamy cheesecake base and topped with a fresh butter rum celery garnish and candied walnuts. She received a score of 90.7 with a final combined score of 89.795, putting her in 1st place. She went on to the Final Table with the same dish and received a score of 73.5, putting her in 5th place overall at the World Food Championships! Congrats, Alethia!

Courtesy of World Food Championships
The Chili Competition was sponsored by Hormel Chili. In the first round, competitors had to create their version of a traditional red chili and a tailgate themed structured round using Hormel Chili. No photography or note-taking were allowed during the judging process, but the judges had some beautiful creations and tasty bites to judge from. Diane Letz of Belle Breezing Bordello Chili received a score of 90.375 for traditional red and 98.75 for structured build, placing her in 1st place for Round 1. Wayne Shymko from Badazz BBQ, who placed 8th in Round 1, scored a 96.75 in the Top 10 Round placing him in 1st place. This earned him a spot at the Final Table. He came in 9th place overall at the World Food Championships! Congrats, Wayne!

With tummies full of chili, it was back to Westgate to check out the BBQ Competition. White tents, RVs, and trailers lined the parking lot. 72 teams from around the world smoked & grilled their very best BBQ including: Serial Grillaz from Netherlands; Smokin’ Boys N’ Hot Grills, Prairie Smoke & Spice BBQ, House of Q from Canada; Booty Que, Redneck Scientific, Rooftop BBQ, Swine & Shine BBQ, Big Papa’s Country Kitchen and Sho Gud Barbeque from USA. Loren Hill of The Smoking Hills received a score of 699.4284 for the KCBS first round. Loren went on to the Final Table, ultimately becoming the 2015 World Food Championships Grand Champion, winning a prize of $100,000! Congrats, Loren!

Due to food coma, it wasn’t until quite late that hunger finally kicked in for dinner. A few Bacon Cheese Krystals hit the spot. The last day World Food Championships coverage is ahead. Stay tuned!

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