How did I get to the World Food Championships? How did I do? My journey to 3rd place and a perfect score on my first dessert at WFC.
My first time to World Food Championships was the best experience I could have ever imagined.
This post is written to not only explain my journey to The World Food Championships but to encourage you to go after your dreams. I always say “Do Your Best and Let God Do The Rest”! So, I worked hard, and God blew me away. The results left me speechless and in tears. I was overwhelmed, humbled, thankful, grateful, ecstatic, and blessed. Your time is right around the corner. Trust me; my life has not been easy. Do not lose hope that God wants to bless you too.
FIRST OF ALL:
I have so much to say about my trip to the World Food Championships. This post is one of a series of posts about my experiences. I will write as much as I can while I am on cloud nine about the entire week at the World Food Championships.
The pictures in this post were quickly taken with my phone. I had no time to grab a camera.
I could have never done as well as I did without the best team. A very special thank you to my husband, Jerry Roark and my sister-in-law, Marsha Roark Harper. You are only as good as your team. No matter what you are doing surround yourself with a fantastic team. You would never know it by looking at her, but Marsha is a three-time cancer survivor. She still has a low dose of chemo every three weeks to help prevent it from coming back again. She is my hero and a fantastic friend.
Top Ten In Desserts & A Perfect Score
Get Out Of Here! You would have heard me say this if you would have told me I would make it to the top 10 in desserts at the World Food Championships. After the first two rounds of competition, NOT ONLY was I in first place but I had a perfect score of 100 in my first round with a Caramel Apple Swiss Roll. A PERFECT SCORE? A Perfect Score has only been accomplished by a handful of people over the history of the competitions. YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! After the top 10 battled it out, I placed third overall in desserts.
The video below includes the announcement that I was in first place after the first and second rounds. He also announced that I received the only perfect score. You can forward to the end to see them announce #1 position after first and second rounds.
The video below was taken by my husband when the announcement was made that I was in first place after the first and second rounds with a perfect score. As you can see, I was overwhelmed.
Remembering my first and second round wins in the World Food Championships. I was truly overwhelmed. Again, I am thankful, blessed and thrilled to have a golden ticket to compete next year. The competition was fierce including chefs, professional teams, and Home Cooks. I cannot believe I ended up 3rd in the World in desserts and had a very rare perfect score, 100, in my first round. Thank you, God! He overwhelmed me way more than I could have ever imagined. Thank all of you for following https:recipesforourdailybread.com You support means the world to me. Lots of love!!I COULD HAVE NEVER DONE THIS WITHOUT THE BEST TEAM EVER Jerry Roark AND Marsha Roark Harper Special thanks to KitchenAid DoughEZ Gotham Steel Pans Michigan Apples Challenge Butter
Posted by Recipes For Our Daily Bread on Monday, November 13, 2017
What In The World is The World Food Championships?
Just in case you were wondering, it is the Olympics of Food Competitions. It is the cream of the crop, the best of the best, the World’s Best Food Competitors from, you guessed it, all over the world. Each year after winning a qualifying food competition event in the category they want to compete in at the World Food Championships, they are eligible to compete in the Ultimate Food Fight. This year it was held in Orange Beach, AL. I found out that it will be in Orange Beach until 2020. YEAH! Read more about the most beautiful snow white beaches of Alabama below.
What Is My Story? How Did I Make It To The World Food Championships?
Hopefully, this will be the encouraging part. If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you already know that I am just a home cook. I say ‘JUST” because I am not a trained chef. I did not even have a mother to teach me to cook. When I was 13 years old, my mother left my family. Being the oldest girl, I did a lot of the cooking. My favorite book to read has always been a cookbook. My family makes fun of me because I have so many cookbooks and read them like novels. The cookbooks help me learn and perfect my skills daily.
My Favorite Thing To Do
I started blogging six years ago to be able to organize and share my recipes with my family and friends. Blogging is not my first passion. Being in the kitchen and creating recipes is what I love to do. It is definitely what keeps me up at night. I have had many bad nights sleep because I was creating recipes in my head. I never get tired of seeing someone taste something I make and it puts a smile on their face.
Why Did I Wait for Now To Compete In Food Competitions?
My husband and I have been married since 1984. We have five children. My oldest daughter, Carly, graduated from medical school May 2017. She is an M.D. Pediatric resident. We have twin boys, Casey & Caleb, who are now 21. Casey is a senior in college in pre-med. As I type this post, he is in an interview for medical school. He dreams of being a family practice physician. His twin, Caleb, has had 17 brain surgeries. He has cerebral palsy and seizures. He is a BIG part of the reason why both Carly is a doctor and Casey will be in a few years. God gave us Caleb to slow our family down and teach us what is essential in life. He is the most loving person you will ever meet. He has to have hugs 100’s of times a day. Caleb also loves to cook. He has been baking with me since he could walk at 2-1/2 years old.
A huge thank you to Caleb for being my real sous chef and practicing with me at home over and over. You can read more about Caleb’s story.
At ages 4 and 7-1/2, my husband and I adopted our two youngest children. They are now 18 and 15. We experienced many difficult, challenging days with them but I am so proud of how far they both have come.
This year, our 18-year-old son, graduated from U.S. Army boot camp and school. Our baby girl is now in 10th grade and doing good.
Being super busy with medical stuff, sports and so much more, I had little time to do anything. Now that they are all doing well, it was just time for me to do what I enjoy.
When God Opens Doors, Take It! I’m A “Wild Card”
This year I found an article with The World Food Championships announcing they were taking a handful, one or two, Wild Cards in the Ultimate Food Fight 2017. I emailed the World Food to see if I might have the Burger wild card slot and was told “No” it was full. My heart was broken, but while praying about the situation, it hit me that I have some great desserts and a huge sweet tooth. Why not see if I could get the Wild Card for desserts? So I did! I am more than thankful for the opportunity to compete in the Olympics of Food Competitions.
Only 1 to 2 wild cards were accepted in each category. The Wild Card Division was set up for competitors who did not win a qualifying competition during the year. You have to win a competition during the year in the event you want to qualify in at the World Food Championships. I qualified for a Wild Card since I had never won any competitions ever.
Wild Card with “NO” #1 FOOD COMPETITION WINS EVER
Most people would think I was crazy and I thought that too, but I knew God opened the door and I was going to do my best. I started practicing up to 2 to 3 times a week. Each neighbor up and down both sides of the street tried my recipes a couple of times. They gave me terrific feedback. Besides my love of cooking, God blessed me with organizational skills. When you have 15 minutes to set up, an hour to bake, plus a ten-minute turn in window, this skill comes in very handy.
My Competitive Nature
Ask any of my family members, and they will tell you I am extremely competitive by nature. They often make fun of me. Well, I guess it came in handy this time. I finally found an outlet that I can be competitive in.
After making it to the top 10, I did not care if I came in 10th place in the final round. I did my best to reach out and encourage everyone in the competition. I looked at it as I had already accomplished way more than I could have ever imagined. Not only that, every competitor at World Food Championships that I met had a heart of Gold. They were some of the nicest people you will ever meet. During the competition, they put their game face on but afterward, they were all encouraging and very friendly. I love hearing some of their stories and encouraging them.
A very special Thank You for the encouragement I received from Tiffany Aaron and Helen Fields. Two veterans at food competitions which took me under their wings.
My Food Fight Journey Started In May 2017
That is correct! May 2017, was my first food competition. I have only been competing one year in food competitions. The bug hit me in May when I heard Hoda and Kathy Lee from the TODAY SHOW announce they were having a recipe challenge. I was excited and quickly entered a dessert. Who Knew, I would be One of Two people to make it to the finals and get an opportunity to prepare it live on the TODAY SHOW. YEAH! When I received the phone call from the TODAY SHOW, I at first turned them down. They were asking me to go to New York on the same day my oldest daughter graduated from Medical School (pediatrician), May 2017. I would never miss her graduation, so I told the producer ‘NO.’
SECONDS BEFORE HANGING UP THE PHONE
Seconds before hanging up the phone, I quickly asked, “can you have me back to Little Rock before 5:00 P.M.”? You can read the full story plus watch my TODAY SHOW VIDEO.
Remember what I said, “Work Hard, Do Your Best, And Let God Do The Rest.”
Get Your Family and Neighbors Involved
To practice for the World Food Championships, I would bake a couple of times a week for months. I took it up and down my street leaving it with neighbors for feedback. After a while I thought they might be tired trying the same thing over and over, so I took it to the local fire department. No matter what you do in life in order to do it well you have to practice. There is no difference with baking. Trust me, you will need lots of practice when you only have minutes to bake the World’s Best Dessert. You might even want to practice with a lot of noise going on around you because it is loud it the WFC kitchen arena. It is difficult to hear anything not to mention cooking outside in the humidity.
A very special THANK YOU to all my neighbors for tasting my desserts and giving me feedback. You were a very important part of me doing so well.
Below you can see the large kitchen arena set up with 50 kitchens under a massive tent at the Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama.
FIRST ROUND AT THE WORLD FOOD CHAMPIONSHIPS
My Caramel Apple Swiss Roll placed not only first but had a perfect score, 100.
SECOND ROUND AT THE WORLD FOOD CHAMPIONSHIPS
My Pumpkin Praline Stack Cake did well enough for me to finish in first place after the first and second rounds.
Third Round At The World Food Championships
My Fried Apple Spice Cake placed 4th which gave me an overall 3rd place finish. I am incredibly excited about my third place especially since this was my first time competing at the World Food Championships. Decorating my apple cake with delicious fried apples finally came to me the day before the top 10 finals. I also was able to taste my fried apples before stacking them on the cake. The butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and spices create delicious apples. They also turned out beautiful on top of my cake too. You can see the recipe for my Southern Fried Apples which are amazing on ice cream, waffles, pancakes, pound cake, and so much more. To me, it turned out beautiful and tasty.
Competitions I Have Placed In This Year
In May 2017, I was a Finalist on the TODAY SHOW for top dessert category in the Ultimate Cookoff Contest. Read all about my TODAY SHOW experience.
May 2017, I was a featured on the TODAY SHOW FOOD CLUB Breakfast Challenge.
In June 2017, I was a Finalist on KARK news in Little Rock with the top four BBQ sauce recipes in Arkansas.
In July 2017, Recipe Lion had a contest called Summer Potluck Recipe Challenge; I was a top 10 Finalist with TWO of my recipes.
In October 2017, I am a top 10 Finalist in the National Banana Pudding Contest.
WORLD FOOD CHAMPIONSHIPS November 2017, I place 1st after the first and second rounds. After the first round, I had a perfect score of 100. A perfect score has only been accomplished by a handful of people over the history of World Food Championships.
History of my recipe blog, Recipes For Our Daily Bread
My food blog, Recipes For Our Daily Bread, was started November 1, 2011. Six years ago, I started out blogging about the recipes I love the most. This includes my Southern favorites like fried chicken, white chocolate creme brulee, white chocolate bread pudding, sweet potato yeast biscuits, and on and on. The problem is my readers; you did not have time to prepare these semi-difficult recipes, and neither did I. So, I started blogging about the quick and easy recipes I used every day. When I changed to blogging about easy recipes, my blog started doing much better. I was able to pay the bills needed to support a blog. If you are surprised, blogging can get expensive including, web-site design, hosting fees, newsletter hosts, and many other expenses that seriously go on and on.
Orange Beach, Alabama
Do not look down on Alabama until you have experienced the snow white, PRETTIEST BEACHES IN THE WORLD. O.K. you may already know that I am from L.A. or lower Alabama, Mobile, Alabama to be exact. Orange Beach is just an hour from where I was born and raised. It is like going home to me each time I visit. If you have never been to Orange Beach to experience the whitest fluffiest sand and the out of the world fresh seafood, see the links below. I am going to leave a few links from my travel blog, Our American Travels, below this paragraph with pictures to prove to you how beautiful it is on the Alabama Gulf Coast.
Alabama has more amazing things than just football.
I know I had to get a good “ROLL TIDE” in somewhere. Seriously, If you love going to the beach, it will be tough to find a better place to vacation than Orange Beach and the beautiful Gulf Shores, Alabama area.
Orange Beach has one of the top 10 breakfast places in the United States. Seriously, Brick & Spoon is Fabulous and my favorite place to eat breakfast.
Products Used By World Food Championship Competitors
I got first-hand training, plus experience, and was able to talk to owners and creators of several products that sponsored the Olympics of Food Sport. Would you love to hear all about the brands that the chefs, professional teams, and home cooks use during this competition? I cannot wait to share my favorites with you.
If you are a chef or a home cook or you know someone who loves to cook, sure to read my series of posts before Christmas.
As you can imagine, The World Food Championships have lots of brands who sponsor it. I am sure they are all terrific companies but being in the dessert category, I did not get to use many of them. My promise to you is that I will never write or recommend anything that I have not personally used. If you are a brand reading this, please see my WORK WITH ME page. If your brand is a good fit for my readers, I would love to try it out and write about it.
I cannot wait to write a series of posts on each of the following products I used during the World Food Championships.
This post contains affiliate links. I will make a small commission if you purchase these products BUT it will not cost you any extra money.
Please see my disclosure.
100% Free 30-page ebook Cooking Tips & Hacks including Quick and Easy Recipes
...So you can spend precious time with your family around the table enjoying a meal together.