COOKEVILLE –The World Food Championships (WFC) is the largest culinary competition in the world designed to help elevate cooks from all walks of life and background. Amongst the field of over 1,500 cooks who will travel to WFC for their chance at food, fortune and fame will be six local chefs and cooks representing “Team Cookeville.”
WFC was founded by Cookeville native and entrepreneur Mike McCloud, founder and CEO/President of MMA Creative. Since its inception in 2012, WFC has given birth to 30 TV food stars and awarded more than $2 million in prize money. The eighth annual championship is on track to be WFC’s biggest event to date this week in Dallas, Texas.
Several local chefs won their Golden Tickets through a variety of WFC qualifying events throughout the area to secure their spot to compete at the larger-than-life culinary competition. From a winning a WFC E.A.T.™ Class showdown to taking a prize-winning finish in the largest online qualifier, the Taste of America Challenge, these local chefs proved they have what it takes to compete against the best in the world.
The Team Cookeville roster includes:
- Alane Boyd of Burger Fit
- Greg Vaden of Grade A Catering
- Jason Gooch of 37 Cedar Restaurant & Bar
- Kristen Moser of Seven Senses Food & Cheer
- Steve Ford of Father Tom’s Pub
- Tiffany Zellner, Cookeville High School’s culinary instructor (who will also be bringing three high school students to accompany her as sous chefs)
Owner/head chef of the Blue Rooster Canteen/The Putnam Room and WFC Ambassador Chad Combs assisted the group with the organization of fundraising, creation and plating of the chef’s tasty recipes.
“All of the Team Cookeville chefs are familiar with each other, and it was really awesome to see them all work together,” said Combs. “In the chef world, you try to out beat your opponent. But here, you could see that even though everyone was putting their own spin by plating up their dishes, there was an awesome, encouraging environment that unfolded.”
Team Cookeville’s first event had a great turn-out with 45 attendees showing up to taste the Food Champs’ pasta dishes and support them in their Food Sport endeavors. Amongst the group of supporters was McCloud, who addressed the crowd thanking everyone who came to help the event’s home base make it to Dallas. The team raised over $1,000 for the night’s festivities.
About the World Food Championships
The World Food Championships (WFC) is the highest stakes food competition in the world. This multi-day, live-event culinary competition showcases some of the world’s best cooking masters competing for food, fame and fortune in ten categories: Bacon, Barbecue, Burger, Chef, Chili, Dessert, Recipe, Sandwich, Seafood and Steak. In 2018, over 1,500 contestants on nearly 500 official teams from 42 American states and 12 countries competed. More than 20 million people have attended WFC or have seen it on national TV over the past seven years. This year’s Main Event will be held in Dallas, Texas at Reunion Tower Lawn, Oct. 16-20.