Locals to compete in World Food Championships

A trio of Middlesboro residents is poised to hit the big time as they travel to compete in the World Food Championships, to be held in Orange Beach, Alabama.

Team Redneck Riviera members Travis Moody, who is the head cook, and sous chefs Richard Smith and John Day will be getting some help on their travel expenses via the Middlesboro Food City Store.

It all started when Moody decided to enter the Taste of America Contest, hoping to win a Golden Ticket. He won a spot in the Burger Division.

John Rich, from the popular country singing duo Big & Rich, decided to sponsor the guys through their Redneck Riviera Whiskey – a main ingredient the team will be using in its entries. Food City also signed on to sponsor the team, and will be presenting a check for $1,000 to the guys on Oct. 17 at 12:30 p.m.

“Without the help from John (Rich) and Food City, it would have been a more difficult journey…people don’t realize how much it costs to compete in competitions, and this is the World Series of Food Sport,” said Moody.

The first competition consists of creating two separate entries. The first is structured, meaning it is required, and will consist of a burger stuffed with cheese filling – a ‘Juicy Lucy.’

The team will then create their own signature entry in which they can be free to do whatever they choose.

“I’m looking forward to competing against all these professional chefs…I think we have a great chance of winning. We’ve been crafting two burgers that no one is expecting,” said Day.

Team Redneck Riviera will also compete in an ancillary category of duck, sponsored by Culver Ducks, who are providing the 40 teams with fresh duck breast.

“You know, out of everything I’ve cooked or eaten, duck isn’t one of those. So, this one will be a challenge,” said Moody.

If the guys make it to the Top 10, they plan to make an avocado spread from Walmart.

The World Food Championship (worldfoodchampionships.com) is the ultimate food competition. Held at the Warf in Orange Beach, the event is set for November 7-11.

Top chefs/cooks from all over the world meet to compete in 10 different categories that include BBQ, Bacon, Burger, Chef, Chicken, Chili, Dessert, Sandwich, Seafood and Steak.

Forty teams within each category are then narrowed down to the Top 10, who compete to win $10,000 in their specific categories.

The ultimate winner will be named the World Food Champion and will come away with $100,000.

For those who cannot make the event, you can follow the guys on their Facebook posts and live videos taken during the journey.

For more information about the event, or for anyone wishing to attend, visit online at worldfoodchampionships.com.

For more information about Redneck Riviera Whiskey, visit redneckriviera.com.

Information for this story was provided by our friends at The Big One.