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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 2022 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 2022 competitors!


The Chili Guild

HEAD COOK: Matthew Cross

COMPETITION: World Open Chili Championship

I was born in Kansas City, and have lived there for the whole of my life. I was raised on barbecue cuisine, and have traveled across the United States, sampling the plethora of culinary foodstuffs across our nation. I cooked with mom - like most - but a need to create something greater from something base had manifest in me, tastefully exceeding the generational knowledge of the many cooks of my lineage. Through my own culinary inquisition, I have explored the subtle and not-so subtle differences of myriad seasonings, and the powerful message of dish simplicity; this immutable and exponential need for palate wisdom continues to consume my days. I went to The University of Kansas, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in English. I have worked many jobs through the years, and have developed quite the professional home kitchen - through my gluttonous and dynamic exploration of “always something new.” My collection of Shun Knives and Kyocera ceramic are my favorite and most formidable kitchen tools. I try to make all the ingredients I cook with from scratch, and learn so much about cooking - and life - from such the laborious process. I take pride in my kitchen, because it is the place where I compose flavors, satiate my family, and fulfill the requirement to create. Of all the hobbies I contend with, cooking is the most fulfilling - and most delicious. This is some of what describes me, but like the Maillard reaction, I am a developing and complex simplicity, improving through the reaction of concerted heat and time. Good day.