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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!


Ric Gilbert

COMPETITION: World Barbecue Championship

QUALIFYING EVENT: 2012 WildCard Draw

Born from the "primordial ooze" of half used bottles of bbq sauce, spice rubs and blue smoke, Ric Gilbert knew at an early age he was destined to do one thing: bbq. This early awareness was supplanted by an urge to play with fire and food, resulting in various epic failures. Undaunted, Ric pressed forward and has amassed over 100 cooking awards.

California Grand Championship, California Team-of-the Year (for Chicken) and multiple People’s Choice awards , 14th place in ribs out of a field of 500 at the 2009 American Royal; commonly referred to as the “World’s Series of BBQ;” winner of the Iron Chef BBQ competition in Lodi; 2011 Champion of the Bay Area BBQ Throw Down.

Ric has appeared on or contributed to local and network television shows including Good Morning Sacramento, The Cooking Channel, The food Network and was featured this year in an episode of The Mythbusters.

Ric was inducted into the California BBQ Association Hall of Fame in 2009.