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WFC Partners With Famous Dave's for All-Star BBQ Series


WFC Partners With Famous Dave's for All-Star BBQ Series

The World Food Championships (WFC) announced today that it is partnering with Famous Dave’s of America (FDA) to find and reward the best competition barbecue teams in America through a nationwide barbecue battle.

 The Famous Dave’s All-Star BBQ Series — which will begin in Las Vegas in May — will feature celebrity and local pitmasters during a consumer-facing, multi-category barbecue challenge at select Famous Dave’s restaurants throughout the country. The winning teams will then qualify into the Famous Dave’s All-Star BBQ Championship to be hosted by WFC during its 11th annual tournament in Dallas, Texas this fall. 

This marks the first strategic gateway program for WFC's barbecue category, which features up to 50 of the best barbecue teams annually in the richest event of Food Sport history. Over $500,000 will be awarded during this year's tournament of Food Champs, which encompasses twelve categories of food and cocktails.

"This All-Star series will be a very exciting program for the world of Food Sport," said Mike McCloud, President of WFC. "Not only will it feature both celebrity and emerging pitmasters throughout the country, but it will be focused on educating and entertaining barbecue fans in a way that is unique and groundbreaking from a number of perspectives. From free food samples to pitmaster tips and techniques, barbecue fans will have the chance to improve their smoking skills by visiting one of these contests."

The All-Star BBQ Series will include 15 events across the nation, starting in May and ending in late August. Each contest will feature six barbecue teams, a $5,000 prize purse, and two golden tickets for the grand champion and the reserve grand champion to move on to the WFC super event in November. Each contestant will have to create at least three entries at the contests, including chicken, pork ribs, and a special wild card menu dish.Each division will have a winner, while overall points from all categories will determine the grand prize winners of the golden tickets. There will be no entry fees for the teams, which will have to register at in their respective region.

 Locations that will be hosting an event as part of the series include the following: 

Vegas Blue Diamond, Las Vegas, NV (May 13th)

El Paso, TX (June 3rd)

Hermitage/Nashville, TN (June 10th)

Long Beach, CA (June 17th)

Pacific Northwest TBD (June 24th)

Sioux City, Iowa  (July 1st)

Addison, IL  (July 8th)

Westland, MI (July 15)

Waldorf, MD (July 22)

Billings, MT (July 29)

Colorado TBD (Aug 5th)

San Jose, CA (Aug 12th)

Rancho Cucamonga, CA  (Aug 19th)

Minnetonka, MN (Aug 19th)

Taylor, MI (Aug 26th)

All entries will be judged on the WFC proprietary E.A.T.™ Methodology and require a silver platter turn-in process. A panel of five local celebrities and Famous Dave associates will judge each of the contests in an open, live presentation format that consumers and fans can watch.

"This is an exciting moment for Famous Dave’s of America," said Dallas Massey,  VP of Marketing & Off-Premise for FDA. "Competition barbecue has always been an important part of our legacy and our Brand, with Famous Dave Anderson leading the way from our very beginning in 1994. Throughout our nearly 30-year history, we've found that competitions lead to innovation for our industry.   We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the World Food Championships and hope to motivate great barbecue teams throughout the country. We expect to see a lot of  innovative ideas that can possibly be integrated into our menu as we look to bring new and exciting culinary options to our guests."

Judging each event will be a group of local celebrities, Famous Dave’s franchise owners, and occasionally even Famous Dave Anderson himself, who started the franchise in Hayward, Wisconsin. Their expert opinions will be critical to choosing the winners, as several celebrity barbecue champions have already signed up to participate, including:

- Memphis-based Willingham’s World Champion BBQ

- Nashville-based Sunny Lynn - 2021 WFC World Steak Champion, Food Network’s “BBQ Brawl”

- Georgia-based Deep South Smokers - multiple Grand Championships

- Illinois-based Janky Leg BBQ - 2021 Smithfield Classic Nashville Grand Champion

To learn more about the Famous Dave’s All-Star BBQ Series and  the World Food Championships, follow up social media updates. To participate in the competition as a competitor or a partner, contact


Famous Dave's of America Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of BBQ Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BBQ). Famous Dave’s was founded by “Famous Dave” Anderson, whose passion for BBQ led him on a 25-year cross-country trek to find the best regional BBQ recipes in the country before opening the first Famous Dave's in Hayward, Wisconsin. As of November 5, 2020 Famous Dave’s has 117 locations in 31 states and two countries, including 29 company-owned and 98 franchise-operated restaurants. Famous Dave’s is known for its on-premise real pit smokers, scratch-recipe cooking, and 700 national and regional awards for everything from best ribs to best barbecue sauce to best cookbook. Famous Dave’s offers a wide variety of BBQ favorites, including its signature award-winning St. Louis-Style Ribs, Texas Beef Brisket, Georgia Chopped Pork and Country-Roasted Chicken. Each seasoning blend was personally developed by Dave himself, after years of research and development, to bring flavorful and authentic BBQ to his Guests. Scratch-recipes round out the menu with delicious items that include Famous Dave’s award-winning Cornbread Muffins and Dave’s Famous Bread Pudding.

About BBQ Holdings

BBQ Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BBQ) is a national restaurant company engaged in franchising, ownership and operation of casual and fast dining restaurants.  As of March 14, 2022, BBQ Holdings had multiple brands with over 100 Company-owned locations and over 200 franchised locations, including ghost kitchens operating out of the kitchen of another restaurant location or shared kitchen space.  While BBQ Holdings continues to diversify its ownership in the restaurant community, it was founded with the principle of combining the “art and science” of barbecue to serve up the very best of the best to barbecue lovers everywhere.  Along with a wide variety of BBQ favorites served at their BBQ restaurants, BBQ Holdings also operates Granite City Food and Brewery restaurants which offer award winning craft beer and a made-from-scratch, chef driven menu featuring contemporary American cuisine.  Village Inn and Bakers Square add a legendary Family Dining element to BBQ Holdings, with these concepts specializing in breakfast and pies. Tahoe Joe’s is known for their pellet-broiler cooked and smoked infused steak.

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 12 categories (Bacon, Barbecue, Burger, Chef, Cocktail, Dessert, Live Fire, Rice/Noodle, Sandwich, Seafood, Soup and Vegetarian). Each year as Food Sport kicks off in January, teams have to earn their way into WFC by winning a Golden Ticket at a previous competition. Almost 40 countries and every state in America have been represented at WFC’s main event since 2012.

WFC’s judging process requires certification in the proprietary E.A.T.™ methodology. Click here to learn more about getting certified online or in person.

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