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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 2023 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 2023 competitors!


Elm and Good

HEAD COOK: Ben Smallman

COMPETITION: World Sandwich Championship

Chef Ben Smallman grew up in a military family. Born in Detroit, but raised in California, Virginia, Indiana, NYC, and even Singapore in his teens, he had the opportunity to experience a variety of culture, food and ingredients. Smallman graduated from Purdue University in 2011 before moving to New York City to attend the Culinary Institute of America. After graduation, he began his cooking career at The Modern under Chef Gabriel Kreuther. In 2014, Smallman began working under Chef Mark Ladner at Del Posto before joining the team at Aureole under Chef Charlie Palmer. In 2015, he once again joined Gabriel Kruther at his namesake restaurant, where in three months, the team earned a Michelin star. In 2018, he was named the executive chef of I Trulli. In 2019, he went on to work for Eataly North America. After spending time in both the Flatiron and Downtown locations, Smallman led the Covid-19 (reopening) task force to re-establish the Boston, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas stores. In 2021, he moved to Dallas as the opening executive chef of Major Food Group’s popular all-day dining destination, Sadelle’s. In June 2022, he was named the executive chef of Elm & Good at the Kimpton Pittman Dallas, bringing an extensive breadth of knowledge and experience to Deep Ellum. When not in the kitchen, he can be found playing guitar or checking out the local produce at the Dallas Farmers Market with his long-time girlfriend, Kelly.