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Missouri Cook Heads To Columbia, South Carolina For $100,000 Competition


Missouri Cook Heads To Columbia, South Carolina For $100,000 Competition

Competition cook Mike Johnson entered the World Food Championships’ (WFC) 9th Annual Main Event at its newest location of Fair Park in Dallas, Texas, as a seasoned competitor looking to land a respectable Top Ten finish in the burger category. Turns out he left Dallas with the most coveted prize of all —  $7,500 in winnings and the title of 2021 World Burger Champion, which gives her a seat at WFC’s $100,000 Final Table Challenge this April.

The Missouri cook took on a highly skilled field of competitors. During the multi-day competition, the Burger Competitors faced a three-competition challenge that allowed them to display their creativity and cooking abilities.

For the first dish, a “structured” challenge, competitors created “Impossible

Southwest Chili Cheeseburger” while also including the Impossible™ burger. Each team was encouraged to put their own spin on what Szechuan Noodles meant to them. The guidelines, as defined by WFC organizers, were “a patty consisting of Impossible™ Burger, Cheese and Chili (Chili must also be comprised of Impossible™ Burger) served between two pieces of bread.” Johnson served up a Jalapeno Popper Chili Cheeseburger. 

The next challenge, the “signature” dish round, gave competitors the opportunity to showcase their talents with no limits. With 90 minutes on the clock, they had free rein to craft any recipe, which for Johnson was his “Classic American Diner Smashburger with A-5 Wagyu Beef.” 

In the Final Round, Johnson’s goal was to best the other nine competitors who advanced to WFC’s Top Ten round, which involved an “Infusion” challenge. In this third and final round, each competitor was tasked with creating any dish they wished to make. The challenge, however, required them to incorporate  Boulevard Brewing Company’s Tank 7 American Saison Ale with an Impossible™ Burger. Johnson created a “Texas Fire Cowboy Beer Burger,” where was a  Boulevard Beer infused smash patty served in homage to Texas tradition with beer BBQ sauce, beer cheese, cowboy candy chimichurri and a fresh beer bun.

Johnson’s overall score of 91.36 earned him his first World Burger Championship win. 

For her next challenge, Johnson will go up against the other nine category champions at WFC’s Final Table event in South Carolina’s Lake Murray Country set for April 30 - May 1, featuring three rounds of challenges inspired by local cuisine experts.

To learn more about “Final Table: Columbia,” visit

Stay up-to-date on all culinary competition news, by following 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, Dessert, Rice/Noodles, Sandwich, Seafood, Soup, Steak and Vegetarian). In 2021, more than 300 culinary teams from 5 countries and 40 American states competed in WFC’s Main Event. The Champions of each category will now face their next challenge called The Final Table, which will be held at South Carolina's Lake Murray Country in late April (Click here to request an invitation to the event). 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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