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We're excited to see the field of competitors who have already won their golden ticket and registered to compete at the 2021 World Food Championships. And we are always proud to announce our special guests and celebrity judges participating in our judging events across the nation - we're sure the championship food certainly helps! Best of luck to our 2021 competitors!

COMPETITOR

Matthew Kajdan

COMPETITION: World Sandwich Championship

QUALIFYING EVENT: Best Sandwich in the South


Chef Kajdan’s professional career started around the age of 16 years old at Bravo! Italian Restaurant. Matthew learned under Chefs Louis Larose and Dan Blumenthal who taught him the basics of line cooking and culinary arts. After his years at Bravo!, Matthew went to work in the kitchen of Nick Apostle, where his skills were honed over the next few years. He left his home state of Mississippi in 2006 to pursue a position in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. Matthew worked at the historic Sagamore Hotel under great chefs, including Frank Esposito, Ken Lingle and Pastry Chef Bill Foltze. In 2008, Matthew moved back to his home state and returned back to work under his mentor Nick Apostle. In these years Matthew helped open the Mermaid Café as Executive Chef and eventually General Manager. He credits these years and Nick’s mentorship to his understanding of what it means to be a Chef and how to run business without sacrificing ethics. In 2011, Matthew went back to work for Dan Blumenthal at Broadstreet Baking Company where he stayed until October of 2012. That brings us to the present day where Matthew oversees daily operations at Parlor Market. As the Executive Chef, Matthew promises to bring us a “New Southern menu”, with progressive ideas and local products in a “Farm to Table Atmosphere”.