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We're excited to see the field of competitors who have already won their golden ticket and registered to compete at the 2018 World Food Championships. And we are always proud to announce our special guests and celebrity judges participating in our judging events across the nation - we're sure the championship food certainly helps! Best of luck to our 2018 competitors!


David Crabtree

COMPETITION: World Seafood Championship

For David Crabtree, being a chef is who he is, not just what he\\r\\ndoes. His passion for creating and sharing great food, which\\r\\nbegan as a young boy growing up in South Mississippi, led to a\\r\\n37-year career in the food industry and the position of executive\\r\\nchef at Island View Casino Resort.\\r\\n\\r\\nCrabtree, who joined the Gulfport, Miss. resort when it opened\\r\\nin 2006 during the area’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina, is\\r\\nresponsible for overseeing Island View’s culinary department with over 100\\r\\nback of the house culinary personal .\\r\\nIsland View operates multiple dining venues, including fine dining,\\r\\ncasual, buffet and specialty restaurants, as well as off property catering.\\r\\n\\r\\nHis professional experience includes holding positions of\\r\\nincreasing responsibility for casino resorts located in Mississippi\\r\\nand Louisiana, as well as serving as executive chef for Diamondhead\\r\\nCountry Club in Bay St. Louis, Miss. Following Hurincane Katrina,\\r\\nCrabtree also worked as a subcontractor for Belfor Property Restoration as a disaster relief caterer,\\r\\noperating a satellite kitchen in Gulfport, transporting hot meals for 400 people daily.\\r\\n\\r\\nCrabtree’s practice of using fresh, local ingredients was formed early in his career during apprenticeships\\r\\nunder Emeril Lagasse at New Orleans’ famed Commander’s Palace and Gerard Maras at Mr. B’s Bistro\\r\\nalso located in New Orleans.\\r\\n\\r\\nAn advocate for education in his field, Crabtree has served as an adjunct instructor at Mississippi\\r\\nGulf Coast Community College, Bossier Parish Community College and the University of Southern\\r\\nMississippi.\\r\\n\\r\\nCrabtree’s career accomplishments include more than 55 awards received from culinary competitions\\r\\nthroughout the southeast for his creative dishes and talents including ice carving and preparing “food\\r\\nas art.” When business allows he seeks out weekend festivals that offer food sport competitions as well as a car show ;he calls it the \\\"collision of his two worlds\\\".\\r\\n\\r\\nHe is a charter member of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Culinary Federation.\\r\\nSince the organization’s founding in 1991, Crabtree has held several board roles, including president,\\r\\nand was awarded Chef of the Year in 1992, 1997 and 1999 and member of the year in 1996.\\r\\nCrabtree received an associate degree from Delgado Community College in New Orleans and completed\\r\\nthe baker training program at Global Marine Drilling Co. in Lafayette, La. He also received his CWC\\r\\nCertification by the American Culinary Federation.\\r\\n\\r\\nCurrently residing on a small inherited homesteaded horse ranch in Saucier, Mississippi with his wife Mary, daughter Chantelle and son Troy, Crabtree enjoys power boating, fishing, hunting, wood carving and soccer, also a high school soccer official traveling throughout Ms to officiate games. He also is an avid classic car enthusiast, participating\\r\\nand winning in many car shows with his two mopars a 1973 Dodge Dart Swinger, and a 2010 R/T challenger.\\r\\n\\r\\nChef Crabtree is always striving for balance between , work , family and personal time . Always trying to avoid dead time as he fully believes each day is precious. \\r\\n\\r\\n