$100,000 World Food Champion Crowned in Celebration

After a week-long battle, a wife and husband barbecue competition team from Kansas beat more than 1,100 competitive chefs, home cooks and food sport enthusiasts for the World Food Championships title in Central Florida on November 10.

World Food Championships

Cheryl and Loren Hill, three-time qualifiers for the World Food Championships, not only won the $100,000 grand prize, but also took home an additional $10,000 for winning the Barbeque qualifying category, as did the eight other finalists who won their qualifying category:

  • World Barbecue Champion and overall World Food Champion – Loren Hill, Overland Park, Kansas
  • World Bacon Champion – Stephen Coe, Plymouth, Massachusetts
  • World Burger Champion – Rusty Johnson, Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada
  • World Dessert Champion – Lynn Smith, Acworth, Georgia
  • World Recipe Champion – Alethia Shih, San Jose, California
  • World Pasta Champion – Suzanne Clark, Phoenix, Arizona
  • World Seafood Champion – Cindy Taffel, Pompano Beach, Florida
  • World Sandwich Champion – Lori Rukstales, Roberts, Wisconsin
  • World Chili Champion – Wayne Shymko, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Judges for the Final Table included: Chef Justin Timineri (C.E.C.), Florida’s executive chef and Culinary Ambassador; Chef Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant and Wine Bar in Orlando, Emily Ellyn of Food Network fame; Diva Q, Danielle Bennett, the most decorated female in the competitive BBQ world; and Kari Karch, World Food Championships’ co-host and Kenmore brand spokesperson

The World Food Championships competition drew thousands of foodies and Food Sport enthusiasts to Central Florida, elevating hotel bookings, restaurant spending and other community revenue metrics that come with such signature events.

They also hosted the first ever Food, Fight, Write competition among food bloggers, which was recapped by our guest author Anna-Marie Walsh.

No word if the World Food Championships will return to Central Florida next year, but we hope they will. For more information on the event, visit worldfoodchampionships.com.

[Image courtesy World Food Championships]

About Michelle Snow

Michelle is the owner and editor of CitySurfing Orlando. She also owns Zengrrl.com, is a freelance writer specializing in travel and entertainment, and has authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. She lives in Orlando near Disney, and hears Magic Kingdom fireworks every night.
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