You need to stay up on your World Food Championships updates.
Sign up and you'll receive all the info you need.
We promise to not clog up your inbox.

Call us at (931) 528-8852

Facebook Twitter Youtube Pinterest Instagram Email

  • General Question
  • Website Question
  • Media Inquiry
  • Competitor Question
  • Sponsorship

Email Address

World Food Championships: Showcasing the World's Top Culinary Talent


World Food Championships: Showcasing the World's Top Culinary Talent
World Food Championships: Showcasing the World's Top Culinary Talent
By: Thomas Schultz posted Thu, Oct 20, 2016
Orange Beach, Alabama, is the ideal vacation location with miles of pristine beaches, postcard-like views of the Gulf of Mexico, family-friendly attractions, and unique events. It’s not difficult to get caught up in the local activities, whether you're spending the day at Adventure Island or you're participating in fun events like the World Food Championships.
Back for its fifth year, the event is a showcase and competition for many of the world's top cooks and event planners are expecting their largest turnout ever. Contestants will compete in a variety of challenges that include the World Bacon Championship, Military Chef Challenge, World Chef Challenge, and others. Top performers in each category will get a share of the $300,000 purse and of course bragging rights. Attendees will get the opportunity to sample the food, meet the chefs, watch demonstrations, and soak in live entertainment provided by the Zac Brown Southern Ground Tailgate Tour. The championship is a family-friendly event, and it welcomes foodies from all age groups and backgrounds. We got the opportunity to speak with Mike McCloud, President of MMA Creative (producers of the event), to talk about this unique food celebration.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
MM: This year's event marks the 5th Anniversary of the World Food Championships.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
MM: We started out with 286 teams in year one and now have almost 450. The event has grown steadily each year..
RAL: What makes this event unique?
MM: Our platform is a tournament-style food challenge, which is exclusive to the entire industry. Champions who win their way into the competition have to prove their talent in one of the nine categories. Each category has three rounds of challenges. The best performers in each category then go to a Final Table, where we award $100,000 for the best dish in the ultimate food fight.
RAL: Take me through the activities.
MM: Aside from the main tournament action in the world's largest outdoor kitchen arena, activities include samplings from our sponsors, kids fun zone, demos from food champs, and a Tasting Village. We will have live entertainment from big attractions like the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and the Zac Brown Southern Ground Tailgate Tour.
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
MM: We will have various TV food celebrities judging, making appearances and doing demos. Special guests include: Jay Ducote, Emily Ellyn, Moe Cason, Annie Smith, Jernard Wells (The Love Chef), Suzanne Clark (two-time World Pasta Champ), and Robyn Almodovar.
RAL: Will there be additional dining options?
MM: Yes, the Tasting Village has a package where you can try 20 samples for only $5. Plus, we will have six very eclectic food trucks for consumers to enjoy while they smell the incredible aromas from our Kitchen Arena.
RAL: What is the environment like?
MM: It’s a fun, festive, and beach-style environment that's surrounded by kitchen chrome and 100 BBQ pitmaster rigs.
RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?
MM: There are all kinds of properties to check out and enjoy, from condos to Hilton properties on the beach. Here is a link to our specials.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
MM: Yes, last year our economic impact was over $3 million. We expect it to be higher this year, which is ideal for Orange Beach because it is typically a "down" season in November.
RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community? (School funds, etc.)
MM: We support numerous local charities with different events. Operation ReConnect brings military families to the beach. Baldwin County High School Culinary program helps support and encourage young culinary talent. The Pink Heels society supports women's causes in the Orange Beach/Gulf Shores area. Operation BBQ Relief is one of our national charities that goes to weather torn communities and feeds people impacted. Plus, we support the local food bank.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
MM: This is the one place where foodies can enjoy low-cost food options and high-end culinary experiences. It’s also the only food tournament of its kind, attracting more than 1,500 contestants who are part of over 430 teams, from 48 states and 14 countries. Where else can a person see this much food ideation, creation, and competition? Attendees will also enjoy watching three different food shows being filmed at the event. On top of that, it's typically a warm climate at the Beach in November.
For more information about the World Food Championship, please visit their website.

« Back to News