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Qualifying Events

2019 Wild Card Elite
online on January 2-October 1, 2019

Up to 20 contestants can purchase a Wild Card Elite Golden Ticket for a $1,000 entry fee. Upon that purchase, competitors will handpick one of WFC’s ten categories to compete in. In addition, these Golden Ticket holders will be entered into a tournament bracket of their own, where the top scoring finishers from the Wild Card Elite Division will be going home with extra cash. The top three scores within this division will receive $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000 respectively, no matter their standing in WFC’s overall competition.
The Shed Steak Showdown
in Ocean Springs, MS on January 25-26, 2019

The Shed BBQ & Blues Joint combines the tastiest BBQ in the South with honest-to-goodness downhome blues for an experience you'll never forget! This year's Shed Steak Showdown will award 3 Golden Tickets (one each for BBQ, Chicken and Steak) with waived entry to be given to the winner of each category.
Watson’s 9th Annual Bird & Sausage Gumbo Cookoff
in Livingston, LA on January 26, 2019

It’s our 9th Annual event benefiting homeless veterans. Competitors must prepare their gumbos on site. No pre-cooked ingredients! Any type of bird and sausage can be used and cook no less than 5 gallons and over a gas fire. Patrons make a $10 donation and enjoy “all you can eat”, along with live entertainment. Kids are entertained in our Kiddie Korral with various activities for the youngsters. This event has raised over $16,000 in the past.
Flora-Bama Super Chili Bowl Cook-Off
in Perdido Key, FL on February 2, 2019

The 25th Annual Flora-Bama Super Chili Bowl Cook-Off is one of your first opportunities to qualify into WFC 2019! This event not only brings a little heat to the beach, it is also supports a great cause - Relay For Life and The American Cancer Society. Chiliheads, get your game face on because one waived Golden Ticket entry into the World Open Chili Championship in October will be awarded to the winner of this event!
Taste of Elegance
in Minneapolis, MN on February 4, 2019

The Taste of Elegance is a culinary competition designed to inspire innovative and exciting ways to menu pork.  The competition not only provides an elegant occasion to highlight the increasing popularity of pork on America’s menus, but also helps strengthen chefs’ preference for pork as a flavorful and versatile meat. Two Golden Tickets will be awarded for WFC2019.
Sertoma Chili Cookoff
in Springfield, MO on February 22-23, 2019

The Sertoma Chili Cook Off is held annually at the Springfield, MO Expo Center. This will be the 38th year of the competition. All proceeds from this event go to the local children's charities.
Taste of America- First Place
online on March 1-31, 2019

WFC has added its largest online recipe contest, the Taste of America Challenge, to the mix as a 2019 qualifier. Cooks from coast to coast are tasked to create innovative, eye-popping recipes that utilizes some of Food Sport's most popular brands and products for a chance to win a coveted Golden Ticket. Not only are a few familiar WFC sponsors featured in this contest, but Taste of America is also allowing competitors to infuse any Celebrity Spirits & Wines into their recipes (i.e., Kenny Chesney's Blue Chair Bay Rum, Justin Timberlake's Sauza 901 and Drew Barrymore's Barrymore Wines). The Taste of America Challenge has the ability to qualify up to 150 Food Champs. For more information about this 2019 qualifier, go to
Nashville Scene Iron Fork
in Nashville, TN on March 21, 2019

The Nashville Scene is proud to host the 12th Iron Fork presented by US Foods. The 2019 Iron Fork event will showcase top local chefs battling it out in a head-to-head competition judged by top local foodies. The winning Chef will receive the prestigious “Iron Fork” award, a chance to compete in the 2019 World Food Championships and bragging rights for the next year! During the competition, attendees will sample award-winning cuisine, cocktails, beer and wine from a wide selection of Nashville’s best restaurants.
Cuban Sandwich Festivel
in Ybor City, FL on March 29-31, 2019

The Cuban Sandwich Festival is now back at Centennial Park in Historic Ybor City! Smackdown Sunday will feature over 100 Food, Cultural and Business Vendors. Enjoy live music, dance performance, domino tournaments and more, plus the best Cuban Sandwiches in the World!
Taste of Canada- First Place
online on April 1-15, 2019

Through the Taste of Canada, which will run from April 1 through April 15, any chef, home cook or pro team can enter WFC's online contest for the chance to win a golden ticket into WFC 2019! Winners will be chosen from each province, with first place receiving waived entry!
The Taste
in Inverness, FL on April 13, 2019

This is a one-day music, beverage and art festival that is also a qualifier for the World Food Championship (WFC)--the largest food competition in the world. This event invites top chefs and food trucks to compete in nine categories: Sandwich, Burger, Bacon, Chicken, Steak, Appetizer, Dessert and Chef. The chef with the highest score in the Bacon category will move onto the WFC in Dallas to compete for top honors. It's worth mentioning that 2018 Golden Ticket Winner James Cook of Cattledog Coffee Roasters placed fourth worldwide in the WFC in November 2018.
High On The Hog
in Winchester, TN on April 19-20, 2019

The 32nd High On The Hog is a Qualifier for both the Jack Daniel’s and the American Royal. This year, 70+ KCBS Pro and Backyard Teams will also compete for a chance to win a Golden Ticket to the 2019 WFC. HOTH is the major fund raiser for the Kiwanis Club and all proceeds benefit local charities. Our Goal is “To Empower our community, families and the children of Franklin County, Tennessee through our works of kindness and giving.” HOTH also features family fun with crafts, vendors and a large carnival. Sign up today!
Maryland Foodie Fest/ Restaurant Association of Maryland
in Aberdeen, MD on June 22, 2019

The Restaurant Association of Maryland, an official state partner of WFC, is inviting you to take part in their one-day, family-friendly food festival competition. The Maryland Foodie Fest is the exclusive gateway for Maryland chefs, home cooks and pro teams to qualify for the world's largest Food Sport event WFC hopefuls will have the opportunity to win a Golden Ticket to compete in the championships in Dallas, Texas this October in the following categories: Chili, Burger and Seafood. The Maryland Foodie Fest's Chili competition features both a Judge's Choice and People’s Choice winner, which means competitors will have two chances to qualify! The event will also include food samplings from restaurants across the state, live music, beer and wine and much more!
Texas Super Chef Series
in Port Aransas, TX on September 18-21, 2019

Live in Texas and wish to compete in 2019 World Food Championships? Then, start making plans now to compete in the 2019 Texas Super Chef Throwdown Series in Port Aransas, Texas this Fall! As the EXCLUSIVE Texas state partner, Port Aransas will award twelve Golden Tickets through this multi-day culinary battle.