A Foodies dream come true!
Gulf Shores, AL was the host city for the 2016 World Food Championship. The 2016 World Food Championships highlighted some of the most iconic cuisines around the globe. Categories included: Barbecue, Chili, Sandwich, Burger, Dessert, Bacon, Seafood, Steak, and Recipe.
The World Food Championships are the largest competition in food sport, where champions of previous events convene for a chance at winning the ultimate food crown and a share of $300,000.
The World Food Championships platform ranges from live-event integration and activations to a robust multimedia platform that serves culinary stars, home cooks, brands, and destinations. In three short years, WFC has awarded more than $1 million in prizes and money, spawned a TV series, garnered more than 5 billion media impressions and launched numerous professional careers for successful contestants.
Sure, I like to cook; but I like eating even more. I was super excited to be chosen as one of the Top Travel and Food Bloggers to participate in the Blogger Summit. The Blogger Summit focused on sharpening our blogging and photography skills. We also took field trips to some of the Gulf’s most notable food companies and restaurants, along with the first Blogger Invitational Championship.
A couple of the sponsors were Hormel Chilli presenting their #Brotorch Cooking trend and the Happy Egg Company, who educated bloggers on the difference between cage free and true free range. The Happy Egg Co. is a free range egg producer that believes all Americans should have access to truly free range eggs. The special thing about the Happy Egg Co. is that their hens; affectionately called “The Girls,” are free to roam outdoors every day.
If you are like me and love food; you should be nodding your head thinking how did I miss this opportunity to attend the World Food Championship, and how can I participate next year? I even got to taste some of the most expensive coffee in the world. I’m fancy yall!! If you want to know what $1200.00 per pound coffee taste like, check them out at Cup of Luxury.
The World Food Championships Bloggers’ Summit was jam packed with 3 days of being immersed into the world of food sport, upcoming trends in products, and additional on-site visits from the Gulf Shores Tourism Board and the University of Auburn Shellfish lab and so much more.
Day 1- Morning
DAY 1 began with teaching the 50 Summit attendees the art of food sport, the revolution of Oyster farming, the introduction of Hormel Chili’s new #BroTorch cooking trend; which took place on the beach and was unforgettable. Blowtorch cooking is the newest trend and foodies from all walks are now preparing dishes with a blowtorch. I was lucky enough to meet Chris and Ethan who came up with the idea of using a blowtorch to cook food! The friends have cooked Chili dogs, nachos, and potato skins using the BroTorch technology. Would you ever consider “Cooking with a BlowTorch?”
Day 1 – Afternoon
The afternoon consisted of Food Styling for Social Media with the help of Wickles Pickles and photographer extraordinaire Michael Sewell; who helped us learn practical tips for photography including: lighting, angles, colors and backgrounds to make our photos more presentable for social media and our blogs. Next on our schedule was to prepare a sandwich using sauces from Saucy Mama and the skills we mastered from Michael Sewell. Day 1 came to an end with Chef Roc and Chef Sal who flew all the way from Hawaii to bestow upon us their unique flavors and presented the art of garnishing the Island’s special blends with the help of Wilson Creek Winery.
DAY 2 – All About Seafood
We loaded up the bus at 6:45 AM and made our way to Murder Point Oyster Farm in Bayou La Batre, AL. Murder Point is a family owned business that raises oysters. Oysters are a significant part of the economy and they are exclusively grown in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Murder Point Oysters thrive in the unique conditions off Alabama’s coastline, which produces a full, rich, creamy taste with a light metallic finish and a drop of butter in each one. I learned the term #butterlove, which is what they call each oyster as they provide each oyster with love and care.
Murder Point Oyster Farm
Graham Shrimp Company
I thought I had died and gone to heaven after visiting Murder Point Oyster Farm, but it was just the beginning of my seafood journey while exploring Gulf Shores, AL. Next on our tour was Graham Shrimp Company. Graham Shrimp Company is a full line seafood distributor of shrimp, oyster, and crab products. Their fresh seafood delivers to restaurants in Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. All I needed was butter and lemon!!
Olympic Shellfish Company
After fresh oyster, shrimp, and crab; what in the world could be next? I was filled with so much excitement because I love, love, love, seafood. Next on our stop was Olympic Shellfish Company that has specialized in crabs for over two decades. The crabs are brought in fresh each evening and they are sorted and separated for distribution across the United States!!
Day 3 – Bringing it together
DAY 3 was sponsored by the Happy Egg Company and Swoon Talent Agency. The Happy Egg Co. is a free range egg producer that believes all Americans should have access to truly free range eggs. The special thing about the Happy Egg Co. is that their hens, affectionately called “The Girls,” are free to roam outdoors every day. In an industry where 95 percent of eggs come from caged hens that spend their entire lives in cages smaller than the size of printer paper; that’s a big deal.
Swoon Talent Agency
Last but not least; we were able to meet Donna Benner, Suzanne Clark, and Darie O’Connor to help us take our blogs to the next level. We were provided with practical information on what brands are looking for and how to make sure we are seen by the correct brand. Suzanne shared strategies on how to approach tv stations with ideas and how to get invited back on a regular basis. The panel was extremely helpful and open with their knowledge on how we can take our blogs to the next level.
IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN TO GULF SHORES, AL OR THE WORLD FOOD CHAMPIONSHIPS; THEN YOU MUST PLAN A TRIP TO SEE THE ULTIMATE FOOD BATTLE!