Festivals

World Food Championships Returns to Fair Park in November

The WFC returns to Fair Park Nov. 9–13.
The WFC returns to Fair Park Nov. 9–13. World Food Championship
More than 1,500 top chefs and home cooks will compete Nov. 9–13 for over $300,000 in prizes when the World Food Championships returns for its 10th year of competition. This event is the biggest of its kind, and it’s happening in Fair Park.

Fans of shows like Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay can watch chefs compete in Food Network-style contests with big money on the line. The World Food Championships is an unofficial training ground for chefs who aspire to compete on nationally syndicated programs.

Last year, more than 17,000 foodies joined to watch the fun, and the event generated more than three billion media impressions. Since its inception in 2012, WFC has yielded more than 30 TV food stars and awarded over three million dollars in prize money.

In this year’s competition, chefs will duke it out in 10 categories: bacon, barbecue, burgers, dessert, rice/noodles, sandwiches, seafood, soup, steak and vegetarian. Attendees will get to watch intense cooking competitions just like they see on TV.

Competition Structure

The competitions consist of two rounds: the signature dish round and the infusion round. In the opening round, competitors will have two hours to create their best dish in the competition category. Most of the categories don’t have a required ingredient in this round, but four categories do. For example, the opening burger round must feature whole-bean coffee.

Eleven competitors from each category will advance to the final round, and this is where things get interesting. Chefs from all 10 categories must incorporate one special ingredient into their final-round dish. These won’t be outlandish, gag-inducing required ingredients like what sometimes happens with canned-food battles on Guy’s Grocery Games. Rather, the special ingredients will serve to elevate the dishes while forcing the chefs to adapt.

The special ingredients list includes brisket and burnt ends, ground veal, barbecue seasonings, caviar, sourdough boule, wagyu sirloin and Ketel One Botanicals vodka. Chefs will have to combine their expertise with out-of-the-pot thinking to wow the judges with these ingredients.
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In addition to samples and competitions, the event includes demonstrations.
World Food Championship
While these competition dishes will be prepared only for the judges to eat, there will be plenty of opportunities for everyone else to sample great food. The Hall of Taste will be the main sampling site of dishes from all parts of the world, and it's included with general admission tickets. Barbecue Ranch will serve appetizers, and Kitchen Arena Central will be the heartbeat of live cooking action with samples available each of the five days.

Other events and demonstrations will be available only on specific days, so pay attention to which tickets you’re buying (there are a lot of ticket options).

Daily Events
Nov. 10: Fire Woman
Four award-winning female pitmasters will compete for 90 minutes for the queen of barbecue crown and a chance to take home the Fire Woman title.

Nov. 11: Bourb’N’Que
This event combines premium bourbon tastings with ribs cooked by some of the best pitmasters in America.

Nov. 12–13: WFC’s Best of the Fest
Jealous of the judges? This is your chance to try some of the food that is usually reserved only for them. Attendees will taste 12 samples and vote for their favorites.

The WFC runs Nov. 9–13 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Centennial Hall at Fair Park, 1001 Washington St. Tickets are available now.
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Jack Moraglia is the Observer's food intern for Fall 2022. A master of journalism student at UNT, Jack writes about various topics relating to food and culture. You can likely find him at a craft brewery with a large pretzel and a hazy IPA.
Contact: Jack Moraglia

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