ORANGE BEACH – FOOD – This month, chefs from around the world gathered for the 2017 World Food Championships, the highest stakes food competition in the world. This multi-day culinary competition, sponsored by WESTERN Premium BBQ Products and Cowboy Charcoal, showcases the world’s best cooking masters competing for food, fame, and fortune.
The event saw participants representing 45 U.S. states and 14 countries. Over 8,500 unique dishes were created and scored. This year’s barbecue portion of the contest consisted of two separate cook-offs – each sent their top five pitmasters to the final round. Ultimately, Fred Robles of Rio Valley Meat BBQ team was named 2017’s World Barbecue Champion.
“I don’t remember hearing my name called the first time,” said Robles of the moment he was named the champion. “I remember everyone on stage turning around to congratulate me. What a thrill to be joined on stage by a bunch of folks I truly respect in BBQ.”
“This event requires chefs to perform at the top of their game,” explained Mike McCloud, World Food Championships founder. “Fred not only made it to the top ten during his first attempt at the World Food Championships, but he claimed the title.”
Clarence Joseph of Mama and Papa Joe’s BBQ is another pitmaster who walked away from the competition victorious, coming in fifth overall. Robles and Joseph, both advocate users of Pecan wood in their BBQ, are sponsored by WESTERN Premium BBQ Products, one of the many companies that have pushed the sport of BBQ into the limelight of the world.
“We are passionate about this sport,” said Chadd Green of WESTERN, “and although we are so proud of Fred for his win, it is his fervor for the sport and humble attitude that truly makes him a champion.”
Robles will now prepare for the championship’s final level happening in April 2018. He will compete against the grand champions of every other category to create a culinary masterpiece that rises above the rest. The winner receives $100,000 and becomes the Ultimate Food Champion.