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Tennessee Cooks Earn Way Into World Food Championships


Tennessee Cooks Earn Way Into World Food Championships

Tennessee chefs elevated the term “fair food” to the next level as local cooks were named champions at the Inaugural Burger Republic Taste of Tennessee – Big Beef Showdown, which was held at the Wilson County Fair-Tennessee State Fair this past weekend.  

The Big Beef Showdown, which was a Super Regional Qualifier for the World Food Championships (WFC), was presented by Tennessee State Fair organizers and Food Sport veterans at Burger Republic, who have produced competitive teams over the past six years at WFC.

The qualifier featured two categories: Burger and Steak, and local chefs, cooks and pro teams from all over Tennessee were tasked with grilling their dish in a timed, live-cooking competition, where they had to impress the Certified E.A.T.™ judges. 

The top dish in each category that received the highest score earned a spot to compete at the 9th Annual Ultimate Food Fight, where they’ll now go head-to-head against the world’s best cooks for a chance at WFC’s $300,000 prize purse at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas this November.

The Burger Republic Taste of Tennessee – Big Beef Showdown winners include:

BURGER – Terry Byrd (Big Byrd BBQ)
Title: Barista Burger topped with Aged Gouda Cheese and a Sweet Onion Bacon Jam
Description: All American 8 oz beef burger seasoned with a dark roast coffee rub, topped with a slice of aged gouda cheese and a sweet onion bacon jam. Complemented by a slice of fresh local tomato and a spring mix of baby lettuce with a dijonnaise sauce on a toasted brioche bun.

STEAK – Jon Dorris (Prime Time)
Title: Northfork Ribeye
Description: The Northfork Ribeye is seasoned with Hickory Smoke salt, pepper, garlic and onion with a kiss of cherry wood smoke and finished with Irish butter.

Next, the Wilson County Fair-Tennessee State Fair Champions will be assigned to their categories and learn about WFC’s E.A.T.™ Methodology, which is how more than 8,000 dishes are judged and scored at the main event in Dallas. More than 450 teams from 40 states and 10 countries are expected to participate in this year’s tournament, which will feature 10 categories of food and be filmed for several national TV shows. 

The event’s Main Event is open to the public from November 5 through the 7th. Tickets are now available at

Stay up-to-date on all things Food Sport, follow the World Food Championships on Twitter (@WorldFoodChamp),Facebook and Instagram (@WorldFoodChampionships).

About World Food Championships

The World Food Championships (WFC) is the highest stakes food competition in the world. This multi-day, live event culinary competition showcases some of the world's best cooks who compete for food, fame and fortune in 10 categories (Bacon, Barbecue, Burger, Chef, Dessert, Recipe, Sandwich, Seafood, Soup and Steak). In 2019, more than 450 culinary teams from 11 countries and 42 American states competed in WFC’s Main Event. In August, the 10 Category Champs went head-to-head for a $100,000 bonus that determined a new World Food Champion in a TV special called The Final Table: Indianapolis. While contestants have to earn their way into WFC by winning a Golden Ticket at a previous competition, potential judges are welcome to take WFC’s online certification course that explains the E.A.T. methodology. Certified judges then request and receive available seats at the next scheduled WFC event. Click here to learn more about getting certified.

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