2012 Tour Stop #23 - The World Food ChampionshipsNovember 4, 2012
Something has to be pretty big to keep us on the road past October as usually, the Jack Daniel’s World Championship is the last stop for the Great American BBQ Tour. This year the biggest and baddest contest was going down in Las Vegas, so we just had to be a part of it! The World Food Championships brought seven different categories together to crown one ultimate World Food Champion! The best BBQ teams, sandwich artists, burger makers, chefs, side-dish professionals, recipe aficionados and chili teams came together in Las Vegas to compete at Bally's for the grand champion title of their category and for the ultimate chance to square off against the other six category grand champions at the Final Table held at Caesars Palace!
Christine and I parked the GABT trailer right off Las Vegas Boulevard and were surprised at the amount of people who walked the sidewalks. I think we were told that nearly 40,000 people walked by our spot daily! True to Las Vegas style, we saw plenty of Transformers, Kiss look-a-likes, Flintstones, showgirls, oh yeah… and Elvis.
I had the opportunity to take over the main stage from DJ Chef, who was in charge of spinning songs both days to keep the crowd engaged, in order to give out the Reser’s® awards. I also got to do a couple of infomercials for Thermoworks! I introduced folks to the oven thermometer and showcased the Super-Fast™ Thermapen™ along with everything else I had packed in my super secret case of Thermoworks goodies!
Because this was such a big event, Christine and I set up both of our KCBS tents for sampling to the record breaking crowds! No one was shorted samples from Reser’s®, Smithfield®, Castle Wood Reserve and Weber® Sauces and Seasoning!
Las Vegas is a party town, and to follow suit, the World Food Championships hosted VIP parties each night. Friday night was the VIP burger event, complete with custom recipes showcasing some very creative sliders! Saturday night, after most of the individual awards had been handed out, was a VIP party out by Bally’s pool that featured dishes representative of each of the seven individual categories.
At the end of Saturday night, they announced the top ten BBQ teams from the main stage. Big Papa's Country Kitchen from Naples, Florida won Reserve Grand and Butcher BBQ from Oklahoma took home the Grand Champion title. Additionally, Butcher BBQ went on to compete against the other six category champions on Sunday at the Final Table! In the end, the last person standing was Robert Butler, winner of the Sandwich category, who presented a pulled pork sandwich to the Final Table judges. Black Pig BBQ was also present at the Final Table, representing the Recipe category. All in all, I would say that the world of BBQ was well represented at the World Food Championships!
Huge congratulations must go out to Mike McCloud and all of his team from MMA Creative and Trybe Targeting for pulling off this massive endeavor. It will be exciting to see what the future holds for the World Food Championships in the years to come!