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<p style="text-align:right;">JEFF SCHEID</p><p>A competitor cuts tomatoes during at the World Food Championships behind Bally&amp;#8217;s last year. The event, which runs today through Sunday, moved from Clark County to the city of Las Vegas and Fremont Street this year.</p>

With such a daunting name, the World Food Championships may sound like the ultimate challenge between Iron Chefs, Michelin star winners and Guy Fieri’s grandma.

It isn’t quite that. However, most entrants are already winners of regional events. Today through the weekend, they will battle it out on the Fremont Street Experience for guts and glory in the categories of barbecue, chili, burger, sandwich, pasta, bacon and dessert, as well as a chef’s challenge and a potato salad heat.

There will also be a cook-off between the former NFL greats Earl Campbell and Bill Bates, demos from chefs like LA’s Ben Ford (son of Harrison) and an opportunity for anyone to become a Certified Barbecue Judge (you think it’s easy, huh?). The last one, and the Ultimate Bacon Experience are ticketed, otherwise all events are free.

There are over 30 Las Vegans taking part in the competitions, including Bar&Bistro’s Beni Velasquez, Comme Ca’s Daniel Ontiveros, Marche Bacchus’ David Middleton, Yellowtail’s Michael Chen, and Hash House’s Anthony Vidal, as well as a wide range of other professionals, amateurs, and at least one Le Cordon Bleu student.

Categories range from World Barbecue Championship to the Bacon World Championship, and with nearly 400 competitors battling in seven categories for $300,000 in prize money, this is serious business for those involved.

Much like that other competition that just ended with ‘World…’ in its name, the World Food Championships aren’t really so global. Still, we’re happy to see Team Estonia in the BBQ category, even if they have as much chance as the Jamaican bobsled team.

Go to for more information. CL