The World Food Championships are moving to Dallas. Pictured here, ZestFest contestants gorge on chicken wings.

The World Food Championships are moving to Dallas. Pictured here, ZestFest contestants gorge on chicken wings.

Cooper Neill/Staff Photographer

The World Food Championships calls itself "the largest competition in food sport," where chefs and home cooks battle in the kitchen while foodies watch. After stints in Las Vegas, Orlando and Orange Beach, Ala., the World Food Championships will move to Dallas this year.

The move is semi-permanent: They've made a three-year agreement with VisitDallas, with the opportunity to extend it if Dallasites eat it up. 

The World Food Championships will take place on the Reunion Tower lawn Oct. 16-20. Notably, that date coincides with the last weekend of the State Fair of Texas, which runs several of its own food competitions.

"Our event gets bigger and better each year, and we truly believe that relocating to Texas is going to help us expand Food Sport and the WFC [World Food Championships] enterprise in ways never before possible," Mike McCloud, president and CEO of the World Food Championships, stated in a press release. The World Food Championships has been in operation since 2012 and has given out $1.8 million to winners, according to its website.

Gino Lopez competes in a wing eating contest during ZestFest at the Irving Convention Center. It's one of many food festivals in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Gino Lopez competes in a wing eating contest during ZestFest at the Irving Convention Center. It's one of many food festivals in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Cooper Neill/Staff Photographer

Phillip Jones, president and CEO of VisitDallas, said in a statement that Dallas is "the perfect destination" for the event.

Dallas is already home to food festivals like Chefs for Farmers, Park and Palate and ZestFest; barbecue fests Meat Fight and Smoked; and competitive cooking events at the State Fair of Texas. At the World Food Championships, the focus is on culinary competitions decided by more than 400 "professionally trained judges," says spokeswoman Keela Greenlee. (You can be one; details here.)

The World Food Championships event in Dallas will include cooking competitions in categories such as barbecue, burgers, seafood and steak, as well as a festival for Dallasites and tourists who want to watch. Events include chef demos, mixology competitions and a steak taste test, among others. 

McCloud said in a statement that he hopes the attractions "will delight foodies from all walks of life."

Ticket pricing to the World Food Championships was not yet available, but past events have ranged from $15 per ticket for general admission to $250 for a "feast" event. Anyone who wants to compete can register here. Members of the public can become licensed judges on May 5 in Dallas.

Check out a list of all upcoming festivals in Dallas-Fort Worth here.

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