Bacon, BBQ, Chili, and CBD? The World Food Championships Is Coming to Town

For the first time, the world's biggest food sport event will include a Hemp-derived oil infusion in its competition.

This fall, chefs from all over the world will converge in Dallas with knives ready to chop, pans ready to fry, and grills ready to, well, grill, all to compete for a chance at $100,000 in prize money.

It’s the ultimate culinary competition known as The World Food Championship. Think of it as “Iron Chef” on steroids—it’s been dubbed the highest-stakes food competition on the planet. And the first time, The World Food Championships’ Main Event is coming to Dallas Oct. 16-20, with the Main Event to be staged at Reunion Tower Lawn.

The Main Event competition will have 10 categories: Barbecue, Bacon, Burger, Chef, Chili, Dessert, Recipe, Sandwich, Seafood, and Steak. The champions of each category will go on to a Final Table challenge where they will vie for $100,000.

Burgers are one of 10 categories in the competition. [Photo: Courtesy World Food Championships]

In 2018, more than 1,500 contestants on nearly 500 official teams from 42 U.S. states and 12 countries competed. More than 20 million people have attended the championship or have seen it on national TV over the past seven years. 

And, this year’s eighth annual rendition will include the first-ever hemp-derived CBD infusion at a food fest.

“We’ve been watching this trend for quite a while now, and it’s one that has intrigued us from the beginning,” Mike McCloud, president and CEO of World Food Championships, said in a statement. “We felt like it was time to see what our competitors can bring to the table in this new trend for food, and we think it’s a perfect opportunity to address some of the confusion and misinformation that surrounds the use of hemp in foods.”

food championships

[Photo: Courtesy World Food Championships]

The World Food Championship decided earlier this year to integrate hemp-derived products into its World Recipe Championship, which is one of the key categories that draws more than 500 teams annually. WFC said that the CBD element will focus on a non-intoxicating extract that can be infused into the Top 10 dishes of the Recipe round. 

An infusion can be a hot sauce, cream, alcohol, or any other ingredient that doesn’t always incorporate as easily as it sounds.

“Unique ingredient infusions are one of the hallmarks of how we crown our champions,” McCloud said. “This will be yet another example of how our event is leading the way in Food Sport, while also developing an insightful, creative opportunity for the competitors and companies involved.”

CBD-infused edibles have been around for a while, and in recent years, many major food companies have been infusing the hemp extract into their product research and development because of its potential health benefits. Some experts refer to CBD as a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis that may help consumers fight anxiety, pain, and insomnia.

Hemp became legal in the U.S. in December 2018 when the farm bill was signed into law. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must now approve any CBD-infused foods or products that include CBD.

Hemp was legalized in Texas in May as part of House Bill 1325, but WFC competitors are still advised against traveling with CBD products. Instead, they will be supplied with a Kind Spice CBD product once at the competition.

Hundreds of cooks compete in the World Food Championships. [Photo: Courtesy World Food Championships]

During the event, the WFC will serve up free samples from nearly 20 Texas-based food brands in the Walmart VIP Lounge.

“Texas is home to some very unique and flavorful food brands,” McCloud said. “Since we couldn’t use all of them in the tournament process, we thought it would be a special treat for our VIP patrons and sponsors to get to sample some of these incredible products in our lounge area. It will definitely be one of the most talked-about and sought after tickets during food week!”

The Lone Star Showcase will feature one product every hour during VIP Lounge operations. Here are the Texas brands:

  • Pots and Jars
  • JR’s Cookies
  • Fig & Goat
  • White Cloud Tea
  • Sweeties Cheesecakes
  • The Truman Bar Company
  • Pudding On Smiles
  • Sweet Lucy’s Pies
  • Our Door To Yours Catering 
  • Lulamade Biscotti 
  • Bonton Farms 
  • Lockwood Distillery
  • Texas Pecans

Daily Walmart VIP Lounge passes are available here. A weekend pass is available here.

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