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WFC’s 11th Final Table Returns to Bentonville, Ark


WFC’s 11th Final Table Returns to Bentonville, Ark

With an even bigger prize purse and an additional category champion in the mix, Food Sport’s pinnacle culinary challenge will return to Bentonville, Ark. in the Spring of 2024. 

Often referred to as “The Ultimate Food Fight,” the World Food Championships’ (WFC)  final round of competition will once again take place in the hometown of the world’s largest retailer and WFC’s exclusive retail partner – Sam’s Club.

Eleven category champions who won their divisions this past November in Dallas will now travel to Bentonville in April to compete in three more local culinary challenges to see who the next World Food Champion will be. Official dates for the $150,000 showdown are April 12 - 14, 2024. 

“We couldn’t think of a more appropriate location for our Final Table,” said Mike McCloud, the founder of WFC. “Sam’s Club continues to be an excellent partner to WFC and for Food Sport in general. Additionally, the Northwest Arkansas culinary scene is absolutely top notch with unique food venues and talented chefs to help us judge the elimination process.” 

Brightwater, Northwest Arkansas Community College’s state-of-the-art culinary school, will once again provide the equipment and venue for the 11th WFC Final Table. 

“Brightwater is an amazing facility,” said McCloud. “This will be our third time there. From the kitchens to the outstanding staff, we couldn’t ask for a better venue.”

The eleven category champions who will be heading to Bentonville in April are:

  • Bacon World Champion – John-Paul Lavallee from Gulfport, Mississippi

  • World Barbecue Champion – Al Lino from Rio Hondo, Texas

  • World Burger Champion – Johannes Richard from St Pierre des corps, France

  • World Chef Champion – Robert Rose from Concord, California

  • World Dessert Champion – Bethany Boedicker from Galveston, Texas

  • World Live Fire Champion – Lee Hickel from Sinton, Texas

  • World Rice / Noodle Champion – Dan Reighn from San Jose, California

  • World Sandwich Champion – Damon Holter from Hudson, Wisconsin

  • World Seafood Champion – John McFadden from Sydney, Australia

  • World Soup Champion – Randall Lockhart from Edgewater, Maryland

  • World Vegetarian Champion – Pascal Aussignac from London, England

Like previous Final Table events, the 2023 finalists will participate in an elimination process that narrows the eleven Food Champs to five, then three, and ultimately one winner.  More details on the specific challenges will be revealed to the contestants during planning sessions over the next three months.

Teams will be allowed to invite key family members and guests to the event, but details on how many and what times have not yet been released.

“We have a robust schedule of events that we are working through details on right now,” commented McCloud. “So as we can share public-facing moments with our fans, we will make announcements on our social platforms.”

To stay up-to-date on all culinary competition news, by following the World Food Championships on Twitter (@WorldFoodChamp), Facebook and Instagram (@WorldFoodChampionships).

About Brightwater

Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food, serves as a hub for food training, activities, events and business in Northwest Arkansas. In addition to workforce readiness in the expanding hospitality sector, the school’s goal is to explore the larger food world in theory and practice, specifically focusing on agriculture and food issues within the context of community development such as farming, health, food entrepreneurship and public education. Brightwater is one of the most well-rounded, thoughtful and innovative programs in the nation. The school’s global understanding, regional roots and community engagement make it a cultural destination for the entire food experience. 

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, which has awarded more than $2.5 million in cash to rising culinary talent since 2012.

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