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27July 2020

Statham’s work at SAW’s Soul Cooking area was already turning heads in the cooking world when he tied for the leading area at the Made South Slider Face-off a number of years back. That win came with a Gold Ticket into the WFCs that were then being kept in Orange Beach.

Two Alabama cooks complete in World Food Championships from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo. But when Statham was ready to money in his ticket last year, the WFCs transferred to Dallasand almost avoided him from contending. When it was just a drive from Birmingham to Orange Beach, Statham said he could validate going without

an expectation to win.”Even if it crashes and burns, we’ve got a couple of days at the beach, which is never ever a bad thing,”he justified. A trip to Dallas meant spending cash on airline company tickets, hotel stays and the like and raised the stakes

. “My partner wouldn’t let me off that simple,”Statham said. So they did fundraisers like offering pork butts and a raffle

where pals, household and fans assisted money the journey to Dallas.

“I was truly overwhelmed by the response,”Statham said. Once in Dallas, Statham remained in the Chef category up

versus 40 of the very best chefs on the planet. After 2 meals in the preliminaries, Statham was being in the top area with 10 finalists cooking for the win. “We cooked another dish and we hung on by what I believe was the closest margin they’ve ever had in the classification

but I think it’s just a testament to how strong the category was,”Statham stated. The meal he got ready for the win? Brunch Tart with Parmesan Herb Tuile, which gave Statham a final general score of 93.02

out of a possible 100, giving him$ 10,000 and a trip to Final Table: Indy. Cheek’s course to the final table was different. He has invested the past couple of years with his Sweet Cheeks Pit BARBEQUE group competing in backyard barbecue competitions. When he discovered the AFC and the ancillary competitors that could earn him a spot in, he signed up to compete in the hamburger ancillaries last year. After winning them all, Cheek had his Golden Ticket to Dallas completing in the Hamburger division at the WFC.”Our first year competing at WFC was extremely challenging being surrounded by a lot of accomplished chefs and past World Food Champions,”he said.”Kitchen area Arena was like absolutely nothing we had ever experienced, and it certainly was an adrenaline rush.” The Hamburger category’s opening round existed by Bo Jackson’s Signature Foods. Competitors were charged with creating a

cowboy burger and a second burger of their option. For the 2nd hamburger, Cheek went old-school with a double patty smash burger with caramelized onions, melted American cheese and BSB-Brown Sugar Bourbon bacon on a toasted brioche bun. “It’s just an old-school smash burger. Just a great ol’ burger with cheese and sautéed onions, maybe a little special bacon jam,”Cheek stated.” I knew it was good, but after taking a look at all of the other turn-ins … there were some incredible turn-ins, I mean they were stunning hamburgers. I didn’t know. I was like, ‘Well, we had a good time. It was an excellent experience. We’ll see what happens.'”What happened was that”excellent ol’ burger”earned a perfect score of 100 from the judges and moved Cheek to a substantial lead in the finals, where he

did a minor modification of the same burger to develop”The Hometown Smashburger “for the$10,000 win and a journey to Last Table: Indy. “That afternoon on the phase, I can’t describe it,”Cheek stated. “It was awesome!” At Final Table: Indy, Statham and Cheek will take on the winners in the other eight categories from the WFC in Dallas. The very first of three rounds

for the Last Table will be a Pork and Parisian Gnocchi meal that will cut the field in half. Those final five will have to recreate an intricate Duck meal curated by Chef Greg Hardesty of Studio C. The top 3 from that round will then have to recreate the Indiana-famous Sugar Cream Pie in the final round. For Cheek, that as a far cry from barbecue and burgers. “It’s an entirely various world for me,”he stated.”I’m so barbecue focused, I do not understand how to cook culinary, if that makes any sense. They began spitting off terminology

with pots and pans and various things that I don’t even understand what they’re discussing– I have actually got to Google all of this stuff. They discuss cutting stuff in different kinds of things. I do not understand what they’re discussing.”He’s been practicing cooking duck. Possibly a bit excessive practice. “Oh my gosh, I’m ducked out! My household’s ducked out. My pals are ducked out,”Cheek stated.”

I don’t wish to taste another duck today. “Cheek’s strategy entering into the Last Table?”Cook the very best item I can without a smoker,”he grinned. For Statham, he wishes to go back to SAW’s Soul Kitchen area with a win. One of

four areas of the SAW’s collection

of barbecue restaurants, the Avondale dining establishment has gone through a renovation and Statham stated those who have been away due to COVID-19 might not acknowledge it– though the food is still terrific. It was SAW’s Soul Cooking area that brought Sweet Tea Fried Chicken and Pork and Greens to the menu and stood apart in a city filled with culinary standouts. Having two Alabama chefs in the last 10 at the WFC

Final Table will add to the credibility coming off

Birmingham’s Highlands Bar and Grill being named “Impressive Dining establishment in America “and its pastry chef, Dolester Miles, called” Outstanding Pastry Chef “by the James Beard Structure 2 years back.”I think the nation is possibly taking a little bit of notification to us,” Statham said. “Certainly with(Highlands Executive Chef Frank)Stitt winning James Beard for best dining establishment and Dol being the best pastry chef in the country, people are starting to believe,’ Hey, possibly they can cook down there.’I think this is simply type of another feather in the cap, I guess. Hey, we know what we’re doing down here and we’re attempting to show the world that we do. Hopefully we can make some noise up there and make everyone look good.” Final Table: Indy will occur in Indianapolis at Ivy Tech Neighborhood College. It is hosted by Go to Indy and sponsored by Ivy Tech Culinary Center, Maple Leaf Farms

, Sysco, Red Gold, The Pork Board, and Culinary Crossroads. The 10 rivals are: Lidia Hadaddian, two-time Category Champ from Pasadena, California Jodi Taffel, 2019 Bacon World Champion from Altadena, California Matthew&Statham, 2019 World Chef Champion from Fultondale, Alabama Morgan Cheek,&2019 World Hamburger Champion from Muscle Shoals, Alabama Ryan Hegland, 2019 World Steak Champion from Lakeville, Minnesota Josh Cooper, 2019 World Seafood Champion from Tallahassee, Florida Kelli Fairchild-Cochran, two-time Sandwich Champ from Merced, California Evette Rahman, two-time Dessert Champion from Orlando, Florida Rocky Julianelle, 2019 World Open Chili Champ from East Haven, Connecticut Ryan Murphy, 2019 World Barbecue Champion from Kansas City, Missouri You can follow the competitors from the World Food Championships on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.(Thanks to Alabama NewsCenter)Source: yellowhammernews.com

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