Friday, November 17, 2017

Thrilla in the Grilla - A Grilling Contest for Veterans and First Responders

Second in a series of four posts about my food week in Orange Beach AL:
  1. World Food Championships 
  2. Thrilla in the Grilla 
  3. Grilling Demo for Pensacola Eggfest VIP party
  4. Pensacola Eggfest
The most rewarding thing I did at the World Foods Championships had to be helping our friends at Grilla Grills run the Thrilla in the Grilla, a contest
  • organized by Veterans
  • competed by Veterans and First Responders
  • table captained by Veterans and First Responders, and
  • judged by Veterans and First Responders
  • on Veterans' Day!

Earlier this year, Grilla Grills ran the online grilling recipe contest, Red, Hot, and Blue for Veterans and First Responders.  The contestants entered their recipe, told their story, and sent a picture of their dish.  A panel selected the Top 10 winners and Grilla Grills invited them to the World Food Championships to compete head to head.  

The contestants lined up for the final cooks meeting and waiting on the "GO!".
 The meeting was important because this contest varies in a few ways compared to most of the World Food Championships contests:

  1. First, the judging uses an open format instead of double blind, so they see which teams are cooking what as the clock.
  2. Second, the contestants only submit 1 entry in 2 hours, not structured AND signature.
  3. Finally, for an "improvise, adapt, overcome" theme, the contestants are given a mystery box of three ingredients that have to be used.  Each contestant got different sets of mystery ingredients.

We were lucky to have Michael McDearman as our emcee.  Michael is a well known competitive grill master and the Director of the Sam's Club National BBQ Tour.   Here he is interviewing Jason as he gloves up to get started.
Troy Winter seasoning his turkey breasts.  By seasoning from up high like this, he is ensuring better distribution of the seasoning.  If you season too close to the protein, the seasoning can have spotty coverage.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

World Food Championships 2017

A week ago today I was in Orange Beach, Alabama for the World Food Championships.

World Food Championships 2017 #wfc2017 #foodfight

My schedule for the hectic week was as loaded as my truck was.  I had 7 events taking place in 3 locations:
  • Judged the World Chef Challenge
  • Judged the Bacon World Championship
  • Judged the World Burger Championship
  • Conducted a grilling demo with friends, Big Green Craig and Moe Cason, for 200 people at the VIP party of the Pensacola Eggfest  
  • Judged the World Open Chili Championship
  • Officiated the Thrilla in the Grilla contest for Veterans and First Responders
  • Judged the final round of the Pensacola Eggfest
Looking back, I'm not sure why I thought this week was going to be a breeze.  It was not.  But the culinary experience was worth everything it took to make it happen.  

I'm breaking this into 4 posts:
  1. World Food Championships
  2. Thrilla in the Grilla Veterans' Day Contest at the World Food Championships
  3. Grilling Demo
  4. Pensacola Eggfest
This one is about the World Food Championships and how someone goes from an itch to enter a contest to winning $110,000 and a World Championship.

Last year, two of my friends, Josh Cooper and Craig Tabor, attended the World Food Championships with me in Orange Beach.  While still on the contest site - they told each other that they would be competing there in 2017. True to their word, both of them qualified and I was damn proud of them and their teams.

To compete in the World Food Championships, chefs and cooks had to have a Golden Ticket.  You earn a Golden Ticket through qualifying events across the country throughout the year.  You must compete in the category that got you into the big dance and those categories are:

World Barbecue Championship
World Chef Challenge
World Open Chili Championship
World Burger Championship
World Dessert Championship
World Sandwich Championship
Bacon World Championship
World Steak Championship
World Seafood Championship
World Recipe Championships (Chicken in 2017)

Here is what goes down during these championships.

World Food Championships 2017 #wfc2017 #foodfight
I ran into my friends, Chad Romzek of Kick Ash Baskets and Tim Shelburn, as they were waiting to get into the kitchen area.  Tim was one of Craig Tabor's Sous Chefs for this event. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

World Food Championship 2017 - Day 1

I am in Orange Beach, Alabama this week for two events.

Today was Day 1 of the World Food Championships.  This food sport spectacle reminds me of the days of the Coliseum.  The WFC pits 1500 highly qualified contestants against each other in the kitchen stadium (arena?) where they slug it out and the last cook comes away with their $110,000 share of $300,000 in total prize money.  

Here's what today was like in pictures.  The event runs all week through the weekend so come on out.  Admittance is free and there is a ton of things going on.  If you're in the area, it would just be fun for the heck of it.  If you are a foodie, this is one worth traveling for.  

There were two sessions today. 
  • World Chef Challenge - Structured (had to make paella) and Signature (whatever they wanted) rounds 
  • World Steak Championship - Structured (had to make kebabs) and Signature

Even though it's only the second year in Orange Beach, the Ferris wheel at The Wharf is already an iconic symbol of the World Food Championships to me.  Personally, I hope they keep it here after the three year agreement ends after next year.  

World Food Championships #wfc2017 #foodsport
When I arrived, crews were scurrying around finishing the final touches on building this temporary community.

If you don't see it get built, you really don't realize how much goes into a major production like this.  Tents built, power lines run, and all sorts of infrastructure don't magically appear.

Cooks start bringing in their tools, supplies, and knife rolls.

World Food Championships #wfc2017 #foodsport
Here is the field of battle - kitchen stadium.  It can host 40 cook teams at once.

Each team gets the same set up.  A Kitchenaid oven and stove top, a Bull gas grill, a microwave, a mixer/grinder, two tables, and an Orion cooler. 
The exception is the BBQ teams who cook on Saturday.  They bring their own rigs and of course, I went around to see who was already set up.  This is going to be a tight contest this year, there are a lot of good cook teams here. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Leftover Turkey Ideas: White, Black, and Green Chili

Thanksgiving is still several weeks away but I have already been cooking a few turkey recipes for clients.  That means I have also already been coming up with ideas for leftover turkey recipes.  This one is my spin on a classic - White, Black, and Green Chili.

I cooked this one in a Dutch oven over direct heat on a Big Green Egg kamado grill but you could cook it on a stove top in a heavy bottomed pot.  When using the grill, keep the lid closed when not stirring or whisking to keep the temperature under control.

White, Black, and Green Chili

Published 11/6/2017

This smooth and mildly spicy turkey chili is loaded with white beans, black beans, and Hatch green chiles.


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, washed and finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Ba'Cock Seasoning recipe, divided
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 quart turkey stock
  • 2 cups chopped turkey
  • 15 oz can Bush's Seasoned Black Beans, drained
  • 15.8 oz can Bush's Great Northern beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Albukirky Green Chile Seasoning
  • sea salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 cups heavy cream


  1. Preheat grill to 325-350°f.  Add the Dutch oven to preheat once the grill is stable.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the Dutch oven and saute the onion, celery, and carrots until tender, about 5-8 minutes.  Season with about 1 teaspoon of the Ba'Cock Seasoning while they saute.
  3. Make a roux by adding the remaining butter and once melted, sprinkle in the flour while whisking continuously.   Now slowly add the turkey stock while whisking until fully combined.  
  4. Add the turkey, black beans, Northern beans, bell pepper, cumin, Albukirky Green Chile Seasoning, and the rest of the Ba'Cock Seasoning.  Allow to simmer until thick and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes.  
  5. Remove the Dutch oven from heat and stir in the heavy cream.  Taste for seasoning and add sea salt to taste.  
Yield: 6 servings

The base of this great chili is a homemade turkey stock.  You can use store bought chicken stock but the turkey stock really sets it apart.  

The turkey carcass that I used for this stock was from this Dry Brined, Fire Roasted Turkey Breast with Maple Honey Bourbon Glaze.  I cooked this on my SABER® 1500 Elite SSE (sponsor) on Sunday.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Scenic City Eggfest 2017 - Ooltewah TN

[FTC Disclaimer]  We are proud to be sponsored by Certified Angus Beef®.

This weekend was the inaugural Scenic City Eggfest in Ooltewah, TN hosted by Elder's Ace Hardware and the Nibble Me This BBQ Team was there to cook.  

Photo credit:  Elder's Ace Hardware

Here are a handful of pictures from the event.  I apologize for the quality and quantity in advance, I didn't have my camera (we just used our phones) and I didn't have time to get out and get shots of the other great teams like I normally do.

Big Green Egg Eggfest
It's a Big Green Egg invasion!  Photo credit:  Elder's Ace Hardware

Monday, October 23, 2017

Fusion Mini Tacos - Teriyaki Pork with Thai Peanut Slaw

[FTC Disclaimer] We are proud to be sponsored by Smithfield's extensive line of Fresh Marinated Pork.  This is our 6th and final sponsored post for the year featuring these time saving products.

There is a fine line between fusion and confusion when blending cuisines.  These Fusion Mini Tacos tip-toe right up to that line and do a little dance. Fusion Mini Tacos take the tastes of Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand and serves them in a Mexican style.  

The light and crispy shell crumbles when you bite into it and contrasts against the tender pork.  Smithfield's Sweet Teriyaki Fresh Marinated Pork pairs exceptionally with the rich and nutty slaw, spicy chile paste, and aromatic cilantro.   These mini-tacos are fun, bursting with flavor, and will brighten up any tailgate or party menu. 

Asian Fusion Mini Tacos featuring Smithfield Sweet Teriyaki Fresh Marinated Pork Tenderloin recipe

The Smithfield Fresh Marinated Pork products are a smart foundation for a quick 30-minute meal and you can find plenty of inspiration at their Real Flavor Real Fast website. Smithfield uses only 100% fresh pork, packed with protein, for these and I've only gotten quality pork from them.

This recipe for Teriyaki Pork Mini-Tacos with Thai Peanut Slaw is crispy and delicious.
The 2 inch sized tacos were the perfect bite.

Teriyaki Pork Tacos with Thai Peanut Slaw


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Shredded Chuck Roast, White Beans and Rice

[FTC Disclaimer]  Certified Angus Beef® is a sponsor of Nibble Me This for 2017; however, this is not a sponsored post. 

I've been hung up on comfort food for the past week and things have been very hectic at home this week.  That means one thing:  Comfort food + hectic schedule = slow cooker (aka Crock-Pot®)  

Yeah, I used a crock pot.  In a perfect world, where I have nothing to do but cook:
  • I would have done a smoke/braise of the chuck roast on a kamado grill.
  • I would have done white beans in a pressure cooker. 
  • I would put some pretty garnish on top.
But life happens and you still need to eat.  We cook this kind of stuff on those days and this is what I cooked for dinner last night.

Lucky for me, I had an extra Certified Angus Beef® chuck roast, from my Food City, sitting in my refrigerator.   

Shredded Chuck Roast, White Beans, and Rice


  • 3.5 pound Certified Angus Beef® chuck roast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper, coarse ground, dustless
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • tallow or other high temperature oil for searing
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 15.8 ounce can great northern beans
  • 1/3 cup finely diced carrot
  • 3 strips bacon, cooked and finely chopped
  • 3 cups cooked rice


  1. Prepare the chuck roast.  Pat the roast dry and then apply oil to the surface.  Mix together the salt, pepper, and garlic and season the roast with this mix.
  2. Sear the chuck roast.  Preheat a skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat.  When heated, add oil to the pan and sear the roast for 5 minutes per side.
  3. Braise the roast.  Place the roast in a slow cooker.  Add the onion, beef stock, and allow to cook until fork tender, about 8-10 hours.
  4. Make the white beans.  Saute the carrot in a small pot until tender, 3-5 minutes.  Add the beans and bacon.  Bring to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Shred the beef.  Move the beef to a cutting board, break into shreds using forks and remove any visible fat/connective tissue. Taste the beef and season with more salt/pepper to taste. Return this to the sauce in the crock pot.
  6. Serve.  Place rice in a bowl, top with the beef and the white beans.
Of course, as soon as the picture was taken, I stirred it all together and dove right in.  It was just what we needed for dinner last night.