World food: Competition will range from chili to desserts

Let’s face it; people who participate in cooking competitions tend to be pretty intense, traveling many miles and endlessly refining recipes and technique to ensure that their chili — or barbecue, or burger, or sandwich, or pasta, or dessert, or bacon — is the best in the land.

So did you ever wonder how the best barbecue stacks up against the best chili or burger or sandwich or whatever? The second annual World Food Championships, through Sunday on the Fremont Street Experience and in the Fremont East Entertainment District, is an opportunity to find out. More than 300 cooks from across the country will be competing, and they’ll be doing it for far more than bragging rights, with a $300,000 total purse.

“Cooking really isn’t much of a spectator sport, let’s be honest,” said Ben Vaughn, who’ll host the event. “It’s really not that fun to watch, especially for a long period of time. The World Food Championships bring it front and center and make that incredibly interesting. We haven’t had a world food championship before, but now we do. It’s a diverse group of people with such different food backgrounds, competing against each other.”

Vaughn, host of the Food Network’s “Health Inspectors,” is a classically trained chef with 23 years of experience. He points out that someone like him could be going head to head with someone with a different background.

“I could potentially be competing against someone with 30 years of experience cooking for a family, possibly with a multicultural background, who could potentially smoke me at the table,” he said. “How cool is that?”

Pretty cool, as is the fact that all of the World Food Championship events are open to the public, most of them are free and many of them are clearly designed with entertainment in mind.

They include Food Fight on Fremont Street from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday on the Fremont Street Experience’s 3rd Street Stage, at which time NFL Hall of Famer Earl Campbell will compete against three-time Super Bowl winner Bill Bates in a “winner-taste-all” cook-off.

The Ultimate Bacon Experience from 1 to 3 and 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday in the Fremont East Entertainment District (at Sixth and Fremont streets) will involve chefs from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas re-creating recipes created by Bacon World Championship competitors. That event is $40 online, or $50 at the door if tickets are available.

Chef demonstrations and competitions will run periodically, today through Saturday, on the 3rd Street Stage.

But the background for it all is the category competitions at both Fremont East and the Fremont Street Experience, with opening rounds today and Friday, category championships Saturday and the World Food Championships Final Table on Sunday.

Last year’s first event was at Bally’s, and Vaughn said they realized that there were some “kinks that needed to be worked out.”

“By moving it and relocating this to Fremont Street, somehow it feels more connected,” he said. “They’re taking the center of Fremont Street near The D and making a kitchen stadium there things can be viewed and watched. It doesn’t feel so disjointed. It’s all happening on this magnificent Kenmore Arena stage.”

Vaughn said he isn’t at all daunted by the specter of the culinary component of the Life Is Beautiful festival, held in the same area just two weeks before, which drew some of the country’s most prominent chefs.

“No way,” he said. “It’s not a competition. Vegas is the one-upper, everything-is-bigger-better-the-year-after. This is not a one-upper; it’s legitimate folks with proven abilities. It’s not a competition against other venues, it’s just a world championship.

Last year, Vaughn said, he was a judge and competed in one of the chefs’ challenges.

“This is legit,” he said. “The first year out, I’m thinking, ‘This is just a Vegas bells-and-whistles-smoke-and-mirrors kind of thing.’

“But it’s dudes traveling from all over the country, legitimately putting together really great food in the parking lot. That’s crazy to me. In food competitions, they’re traveling. You really have to be on your game to show up somewhere else and perform and execute with someone else’s tools.”

Vaughn said it’d be difficult to pick a favorite among the competitions. But then he got enthusiastic.

“I think sandwiches, honestly, are going to be one of my favorites,” he said. “We’ve got bacon, sandwiches, burgers, barbecue. It’s like … endless.

“Desserts, chefs’ challenges, home recipes. Best potato salad. I could eat potato salad all day long. I won’t, but I will.”

And he said the World Food Championships is different from some other, somewhat similar events.

“One of the more unique things about this event is it’s not about admission at the gate,” he said. “We want the locals to come, hang out on Fremont Street, enjoy that whole experience down there and watch these competitors battle it out for $300,000.”

Contact reporter Heidi Knapp Rinella at hrinella@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0474.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Get a sneak peek at Palace Station's newest renovations
Station Casinos spokesperson Lori Nelson gives a first look at what Palace Station's $192 million renovation will bring. Some areas will begin opening to the public next week according to Nelson. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
New Marilyn Musical Brings Screen Icons Life To Strip
Paris Las Vegas hosts musical bio featuring new, old tunes. (Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like