Final Table - World Food Championship 2017 was an exhilarating and incredible experience. Held in Bentonville, Arkansas presented by Walmart April 22, 2018, at the state of the art Brightwater cooking facility. The 10 World Food Champs (pictured above) were privileged to compete and share in one of the most prestigious cooking contest in the world. I'm still pinching myself for winning the Bacon category at World Food Championships in 2017 so you can imagine my excitement at being a contestant at the Final Table.
My BACON DUTCH CRUNCH PANCAKES with Peachy, Pecan, Spiced Syrup placed 7th in the World with a 93.3 Score! That's a pretty respectable finish given the caliber of professional chef's and seasoned home cooks representing their divisions at the Final Table.
Official Recipe Description:
A traditional Dutch baby pancake batter is seasoned with homemade bacon dust and filled with warm fruit compote. A toasty Dutch crunch of Texas pecans, almonds, and hickory smoked bacon is sprinkled over the compote. Topped with a mascarpone, bacon infused whipped cream and a drizzle of homemade peachy, pecan-spiced syrup laced with a hint of amaretto and habanero, the Dutch Baby is then finished with more Dutch crunch and a lovely bacon spiral. Lightly dusted with powdered sugar, my BACON DUTCH CRUNCH PANCAKES with Peachy, Pecan, Spiced Syrup are the perfect combination of sweet and savory.
Many of the VIP guests and World Food Championship official sponsors took the time to find me after our Final Table Turn-In to express how much they enjoyed eating my bacon pancake; some even said it was the best bite of the night! I was so honored by their compliments and kind wishes!
One of the most enduring memories for me will be the camaraderie between contestants at the Final Table 2017. Everyone shared a cheerful demeanor throughout the competition and a common thread of belief in Jesus Christ, exemplified in group prayer before the first whistle blew and an overall feeling of joy and well being. I will be forever blessed by this group of Food Sport enthusiast!
Our panel of celebrity judges was made up of Walmart Senior Vice President, Shawn Baldwin, two sport ex pro-athlete, Bo Jackson, celebrity chef, Katie Dixon, venture capitalist, Mart Massey and legendary pitmaster, Moe Cason.
Best quotes from the Judges:
- Bo Jackson said he had never eaten anything like my bacon pancake in his life but he, "LOVED IT!"
- Katie Dixon said, "This recipe makes me so happy, I LOVE YOU!"
- Walmart Senior Vice President, Shawn Baldwin said with a smile, "This is so delicious, it takes me back to my grandmothers kitchen."
Win or lose, it doesn't get any better than that!
I had the immense pleasure of meeting this darling and talented young chef at The Final Table VIP dinner. Katie Dixon is not only beautiful on the outside she is beautiful to her core! Katie, thank you for your sweet and generous spirit! Blake and I will be cheering you on as we watch all your career explode!
Memphis Home Cook Lisa Gwatney won 100,000 prize purse with her steak dish, “The Last Supper,” which featured a Wagyu Ribeye Filet, grilled and seared, topped with truffle butter sautéed mushrooms, seared Foie gras, and an Amarone reduction. This is Lisa's first time on the competition circuit...wow, what a great year she is having! Lisa is such a sweetheart. She gave one of the most gracious and moving acceptance speeches I've ever heard, not only that, she is an amazing home cook. Her husband is an award winning BBQ chef and was her sous for the event. Congratulations Lisa!
This is the first time in the six-year history of WFC that the Final Table event has been held separate from the main competition. The strategic decision to hold the final face-off between the category champs was an effort to elevate “Food Sport” and give the category champs a chance to prepare one-of-a-kind culinary creations.
“I believe this has been most successful Final Table in the six-year year history of WFC,” said Mike McCloud, President, and CEO of the World Food Championships. “The talent and passion these ten champions demonstrated during the competition truly showcase what Food Sport is all about.” SOURCE: MMA CREATIVE World Food Championships
I couldn't have done this without the love and support of my amazing sponsors! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
KOUNTRY BOYS SAUSAGE Company was established in 1998 in Brenham, Texas. It all started with a delicious family recipe, rich with our German, Polish, and Czech Heritage. All of our products begin with lean-cuts of meat and the freshest herbs and spices. It is then stuffed into natural casings and hickory smoked to perfection. So it is ready to eat and full of bold, gourmet flavor. KOUNTRY BOYS SAUSAGE does not use any fillers, dyed casings, or additives, Just wholesome country goodness. What started out as a small family business has expanded and can be found in over 500 stores statewide and beyond. Since our specialty sausage products were proudly introduced in 1998, we have been edging our way to the top of many stores in which our sausage is sold. But, of course, there is no better judge for our fine tasting products than your very own taste buds.
The Creative Mind And just who’s the mastermind of these gourmet creations? Well, it’s our very own "Saucy Mama"- Suzie Barhyte. Suzie spends hours in her kitchen playing with ingredients and coming up with new ideas, and surprisingly, she doesn't work in some scientific lab or a sterile industrial kitchen when she cooks; she plays in a kitchen that's just like yours. It's a home kitchen, so you know you're eating pro
ducts that are just like something you could create. It takes a real stickler in the kitchen to make our products this consistently tasty. And that’s mom. She won’t rest until every family member declares her latest taste sensation the most delicious sauce, marinade, cocktail onion, olive, or mustard they’ve ever tasted. And even then she’ll try to make it better.
I was so blessed to share this Final Table experience with two amazing friends and personal bacon sous chefs, Lynn Beamer and Tamie Joeckel. Both Lynn and Tamie are award winning, Top Ten-World Food Champions from years past. Thank you for your tireless support. I love you to the moon and back!
Mike McCloud, MMA Creative and staff for dreaming big about Food Sport and living the tireless dream everyday.
Brightwater Culinary School Doctor Glenn R. Mack for giving us access to one of the most stunning, professional kitchen suites I've ever seen. It was a pleasure to meet you and a joy to cook in your kitchen!
Coming soon in my Food Sport Journey...
I'm headed back to World Food Championships 2018 to compete to defend my title of Bacon World Champion. Stay tuned for all the delicious details.