DALLAS, Texas, Dec. 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Home chef Laurie MacLean was one of 67 Texans gathered at Fair Park in Dallas for the ninth annual World Food Championship looking to take home the top ten of ten competitions. Categories. The veteran contestant took home the most coveted prizes – $7,500 in earnings and the title of 2021 World Soup Champion, giving her a seat in the $100,000 Ultimate Table Challenge at the World Aquatics Championships next spring.
Denton’s chef has taken on a field of highly skilled competitors, including former soup champion Rocky Julianelle. During the multi-day competition, the soup contestants faced a series of culinary challenges. They were tasked with making chowder, wowing the judges with their signature soup and incorporating class sponsor (Texas-based Bolner’s Fiesta Brand) into the third and final “infusion” dish.
For the challenge of structured dishes, soup competitors have created chowder. Each team was encouraged to be creative and put their own spin on what Chowder means to them while also incorporating Bolner’s Fiesta Brand Turmeric and Borden Dairy Heavy Whipping Cream. The guidelines, as defined by the WFC regulators, were “a thick soup or stew that may contain, but is not limited to, pork or bacon, vegetables, onions, potatoes and additional spices. Chowder may contain shellfish, fish, or any protein or combination of the competitor’s choice.” “. McLean served green chile smoked sausage corn chowder with corn fritters.
The next challenge, the WFC Special Dishes Tour, gives competitors the opportunity to showcase their limitless talent. With 90 minutes on the clock, they had free rein to make any soup, which for McLean was “bacon-cheeseburger soup”. She says the dish is “inspired by backyard culinary favorites: a bacon burger and loaded fries. This soup gives you a burger favorite in a comforting bowl! For extra fun, I served it with fried pickle chips.”
McLean’s exit from the opening rounds—the total of points for the Structured Dish and the Premium Dish—was seated eighth, and former champ Julianne is one point ahead of her.
In the final round, McLain’s goal was to outsmart the other nine contenders who advanced to the top ten WFC contenders. In this third and final round, each contestant was tasked with making whatever soup they wished to make. However, the challenge required them to incorporate Bolner’s Fiesta Brand Vanilla Bean fragrance. MacLean created the “Spicy Vanilla Ham Soup with Cornbread Pinwheel Twist,” which used pressure technology to cook pork in the microwave, using a microwave pressure cooker. She said, “It combines traditional pressure cooking methods with efficient microwave cooking, ensuring even heat distribution, improved food color, and faster cooking time.”
New for the 2021 FIFA World Cup, the organizers have boosted the competition by adding the X-Factor component, which rewards competitors with bonus points based on the difficulty level of the top ten. McLain’s X-Factor using microwave pressure cooking technology received a score of 3 out of 3.
It worked. Because McLain’s overall score of 92 out of 100 allowed her to leapfrog Jullianelle and all the other teams to claim her first win in the World Soup Championship.
For her next challenge, McLean will face the other nine Class Champions at the Final Table Football World Championships event in Lake Murray Country, South Carolina, scheduled from April 28 to May 1, and will feature three rounds of challenges inspired by local culinary experts.
But for now, she’s enjoying her success as she awaits her assignment for the $100,000 grand prize.
Stay up-to-date with all the news of the cooking competitions, by following the world food championships on Twitter (WorldFoodChamp), Facebook and Instagram (WorldFoodChampionships).
About the World Food Championships:
The World Food Championship (WFC) is the largest food competition in the world. This multi-day cooking competition and live event showcases some of the world’s best chefs vying for food, fame and fortune in 10 categories (Bacon, BBQ, Burgers, Chef, Dessert, Recipe, Sandwiches, Seafood, Soup, and Steak). In 2021, more than 200 culinary teams from 5 countries and 40 US states competed in the WFC main event. Champions from each class will now face the next challenge called The Final Table, which will take place in Lake Murray Country in South Carolina in late April (click here to request an invitation to this event). While contestants have to work their way into the WFC by winning a gold ticket in a previous competition, potential judges are welcome to attend the WFC’s online certification course that explains the EAT methodology. Certified judges then request and obtain available seats at the next scheduled WFC event. Click here to learn more about obtaining the certificate.
Laurie MacLean’s winning platter
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