Competition mode: Wally BBQ at the World Food Championship
Our guy Wally BBQ recently returned from a trip to Dallas, Texas to compete in the World Food Championship, an international cooking competition now in its eighth year running. Called the “World’s Biggest Food Fight,” the annual WFC is the largest competition in Food Sport, where grand champions of previous events convene for a chance at winning the ultimate food crown and a share of hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money.
This year at the competition, WFC attracted to Texas more than 1,400 cooks from 42 states and 15 countries. Naturally, we caught up with Wally BBQ to ask him all about the experience.
Wally BBQ talks World Food Championship
House of BBQ Experts: Tell us a bit about your experience at the World Food Championship?
Wally BBQ: It was at a new location this year, in Dallas. Unfortunately we had some mechanical mishaps so we had a bit of a rocky start. It was the second year in a row that Canada was represented at that competition. In the end we placed 14th in chicken, 14th in ribs and 12th for brisket. All in all we placed in the top 14 of the world elite, so we are very satisfied with our performance.
We did the two competitions. First we competed in E.A.T. (Execution, Appearance, Taste) where we had to make recipes. We decided to go all-in and think outside the box, making a Wellington Brisket. The original recipe is a Wellington beef, which is a beef fillet surrounded by a mushroom duxelles. It’s wrapped in a flaky dough and served with a pink cooking. Although we thought the dish was excellent, it was less to the liking of the judges, who may be looking for something more traditional, we will work on it for next year!
The second competition was the the IBCA. It’s a competition we’re more used to where we cook and present our meats. In the end all of our meats made it to the final table, so we’re really proud! In this competition, all the meats presented get to the first table. The first set of judges eliminate half of the entrants, then they move to the second round and half of those entrants are eliminated by a second set of judges. What’s left goes to the final table.
Back to the drawing board
Wally BBQ: Unfortunately, we did not win. Basically it was more a question of local flavour, so we will definitely go back home and do some testing, talk to people from the mid-west and rework our recipes to more match the judge’s preferred tastes.
Wally’s big moment
House of BBQ Experts: What was the best moment of your year?
Wally BBQ: For me the best time of the year was really to compete twice on the American Royal circuit, the biggest competition in the world.
As well, we are also waiting on the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) to rank BBQ teams. Once they do, we really hope that Wally BBQ will finish in first place for international brisket!
(Editor’s Note: Wally BBQ indeed did finish in first place after our interview).
House of BBQ Experts: Have you set yourself a challenge for the coming year?
Wally BBQ: This year, we really wanted to finish first in Canada. In conclusion, it’s very difficult to compete with Western Canada because they’ve got several competitions, so the teams have more opportunities to collect points. Next year we want to finish in first place!
Wally’s plans for next year
House of BBQ Experts: Will you compete in new competitions next year?
Wally BBQ: We will certainly do some in Western Canada and we want to compete against new teams. There’s also something new in Nova Scotia that we’re going to try. In total we plan to do around 20 competitions next year.
House of BBQ Experts: What would be the best BBQ you ate this year?
Wally BBQ: Honestly, it’s the Wellington brisket that I presented at the WFC. It’s safe to say that with the quality of the meat you get for competitions, it’s almost impossible for a restaurant to offer the same level of food!
House of BBQ Experts: What was your go-to new accessory this year?
Wally BBQ: The new wifi controller on the new Yoder YS640S smoker series really impresses me. It is very stable and lights even faster. I really recommend it!
You have peace of mind with the alerts on your phone, and it’s also possible to set alarms for people like me who cook low and slow at night!
Rapid Fire Q+A:
Coal or pellets?
Wally BBQ: Pellets
Brisket or ribs?
Wally BBQ: Brisket
Rub or injection?
Wally BBQ: Rub
Smoking hot or cold?
Wally BBQ: Hot
Classic burger or stuffed?
Wally BBQ: Classic
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