Team Indiana at the World Food Championships

Team Indiana at the World Food Championships

Team Indiana was well represented at the 2022 World Food Championships in Dallas this year. The competition took place Nov. 9-13, and Culinary Crossroads helped support seven Indiana chefs as they competed.

This year’s Team Indiana group of chefs included Cindy Hawkins of Circle City Sweets competing in the dessert category; Craig Baker of HAIV Hospitality in the sandwich category; Justin Miller in seafood; Turon Cummings of Soul Kantina in burger; Marcus Daniel of Joseph Decuis in vegetarian; Travis Hitch of Kan-Kan Brasserie in bacon; and Mike Gomez of Gomez BBQ in rice/noodle.

Five Team Indiana chefs made it into the top 10 in their categories: Hawkins, Baker, Cummings, Daniel and Hitch. They all went on to compete in the final round of competition. And while no one on Team Indiana ended up winning their category, it was a great showing – and we’re hoping for more Team Indiana members next year!

Craig Baker
Cindy Hawkins

World Food Championships Announce Details of 2020 Final Table

World Food Championships Announce Details of 2020 Final Table

Fresh off its 8th Annual Main Event and Dallas debut, World Food Championships (WFC) is busy preparing for its crowning moment by adding in new surprises for ten award-winning Food Champs and food sport fans from around the nation. Organizers of The Ultimate Food Fight announced today more details for its Final Table challenge, which will be held in May and feature a $100,000 grand prize. 

During the Main Event’s opening rounds in October, Mike McCloud, CEO and President of WFC, revealed that its 8th annual Final Table challenge will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana from May 8-10th, 2020. While more details will be released at the first of the year, McCloud did tease a few exciting elements for the much-anticipated competition.

“We are really excited to be partnering with such a great culinary destination. Indianapolis has always been a great supporter of Food Sport, and we can’t wait for our 2019 Category Champions to see what creative culinary challenges await them in this incredible city during our upcoming $100,000 Final Table.”

Mike McCloud, CEO of World Food Championships

For the first time in its history, WFC is kicking off its grand finale with a full week of programming and new events entitled “Culinary Crossroads: Food Week” which will include celebrations devoted to highlighting Indianapolis’ culinary people, places and products. The opening days of the event will also feature a Food Champ University seminar that will take an in-depth look into the world of Food Sport, including an open Q&A session about the WFC 2020 EAT-X judging process. 

Key Dates for “Final Table: Indianapolis”

May 5, 6, 7 – Culinary Crossroads: Food Week / Food Champ University

May 8, 9, 10 – Final Table Competition Days

Final Table: Indianapolis will feature three rounds of challenges inspired by the host city’s cuisine. Unlike last year’s Final Table tournament (which held three competitions in two days), the 2019 finalists will participate in one cooking challenge per day to narrow the field down from 10 Food Champs to three contestants, one of which will be crowned the next World Food Champion. More details on the seminar days and challenges (including attendance restrictions for the final day) will be revealed in the coming weeks. 

WFC’s Team Indiana Coordinator and State Relations Advisor, Larry Dickerson, made it known that there is already a flurry of activity and tremendous energy surrounding WFC bringing its Final Table challenge to Indianapolis.  

“Our phones are ringing and emails are coming in daily from individuals and organizations wanting to be involved with the preparation for placing Indianapolis and the entire state of Indiana on the national culinary stage. We are confident that attendees will walk away with a deep understanding of why Indiana is truly the Culinary Crossroads of America.” 

Larry Dickerson, Culinary Crossroads

Mark your calendars and keep up with all WFC news by following the event on Twitter (@WorldFoodChamp), Facebook and Instagram (@WorldFoodChampionships). 

Team Indiana returns home after successful World Food Championships

Team Indiana returns home after successful World Food Championships

Team Indiana returned home this week after sending three team members to their respective finals at the World Food Championship. Two Team Indiana chefs, Turon Cummings and Jennifer Norem, earned runner-up honors while Chef Justin Miller placed seventh. All three competitors, plus 2017 World Chef Champion Craig Baker, are automatically qualified for the 2020 World Food Championships. Despite leaving Dallas without an individual champion, Team Indiana has a significant part to play in the staging of this year’s Final Table—scheduled for May 8-10 in Indianapolis.

Turon Cummings, a resident of Whiting, IN, came second in the World Burger Championship with a mango, pineapple, and bacon burger. Fellow Northern Indiana competitor Jennifer Norem (Knox, IN) placed second in the Bacon World Championship, with a Southwest-inspired meatball taco.

Chef Jennifer Norem competed alongside her family. She took home second place honors in the Bacon World Championship.

Rounding out the finalists was Indianapolis Chef Justin Miller, who finished seventh in the World Recipe Championship with a braised pork belly taco dish.

For full 2019 World Food Championships scores, visit the WFC website.

Eight Hoosier chefs qualified for the 2019 World Food Championships and represented Team Indiana, which received support from Indiana Tourism, Clustertruck, Indiana Kitchen, Indiana Grown, Red Gold, Piazza Produce, and The Agency Worldwide. They were visited in Dallas by Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, who attended the event and joined WFC CEO Mike McCloud to announce the selection of Indianapolis as host for The Final Table.

“Our capital city and the entire State of Indiana welcomes the World Food Championships and we are proud to have this unique opportunity to showcase the ‘Culinary Crossroads of America’”

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch

The ten category champions crowned over the weekend will travel to Indianapolis this spring and compete for $100,000 and the title of World Food Champion. 

Team Indiana will work closely with WFC leadership to ensure that the people, products, services, and destinations which make up Indiana’s Culinary Landscape are incorporated into both The Final Table competition and the simultaneous production of the television program.

Handcrafted tamales from Chef Justin Miller landed him in the Top 10 of the World Recipe Championship.

Team Indiana’s participation in Dallas, and the announcement of The Final Table event are part of the ongoing Culinary Crossroads initiative.

The World Food Championships Final Table is coming to Indianapolis

The World Food Championships Final Table is coming to Indianapolis

World Food Championships CEO Mike McCloud and Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch made a big announcement while our team was in Dallas for the WFC Main Event in October. Liz Biro of The Indianapolis Star has the story on the WFC Final Table in Indianapolis.

Read her full story here!

“Indiana has played host to the largest sporting events in the world, and we take great pride in being the state where champions are crowned.”

Lt. Gov Suzanne Crouch