World Food Championships

Four chefs cooking in three separate competitions

The Restaurant Association of Maryland is a state partner for World Food Championships.


World Food Championships is the largest competition in food sport, where grand champions of previous events convene for a chance at winning the ultimate food crown and a share of hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money. This event is also the springboard for many up-and-coming culinary stars and home cooks as they seek TV fame through many well-known food shows and acting opportunities.

RAM hosts 10 qualifying competitions each year. In order to be invited to compete in the World Food Championships you must earn a "Golden Ticket" by winning a qualifying event. Competitions are open to anyone, including "home cooks" who may not be professionals in the food service industry. If you can cook, you can compete!



Upcoming Competition: Surf & Earth at OCHMRA Expo

Surf & Eartn competition flyer

Date: March 3-4, 2024

Location: Ocean City Convention Center

The OCHMRA Trade Expo in Ocean City is the largest annual hospitality convention in Maryland. This year will mark the expo's 50th anniversary, and to celebrate, RAM is hosting two culinary competitions with two opportunities for chefs to win a Golden Ticket to compete at the WFC finale in Indianapolis, IN. One competition will feature local seafood provided by Maryland's Best Seafood, while the second category will highlight local produce supplied by Maryland's Best Agriculture. Seasoning bundles for both competitions will be provided by McCormick For Chefs

Previous Competition: U.S. Oyster Festival

Flyer: 57th annual US Oyster Festival

Date: October 21, 2023

The 57th annual U.S. Oyster Festival took place at the St. Mary's County Fairgrounds on October 21. This event featured the 44th annual oyster cook-off on October 21, where the winner received a seafood Golden Ticket to the WFC finale in Dallas, TX. View more information on their website. 

Previous Competition: Apples, Apples, Apples!

Flyer: Apples, Apples, Apples

Date: Sept. 29, 2023

Winner: Casey Dowling, Victoria Gastro Pub

RAM and Maryland's Best asked chefs to submit their best apple-based recipes via social media. Chef Casey Dowling of Victoria Gastro Pub took home a Golden Ticket to the World Food Championships finale for her Autumnal Apple Salad recipe, which featured julienned honeycrisp and granny Smith apples, wet walnut vinaigrette, dried cranberries, crumbled goat cheese, and maple fig butter.

Sponsors: Maryland's Best


Previous Competition: Farm Fresh

Flyer: Farm Fresh in Baltimore

Date: August 6, 2023

Winner: Dave Rolls, Chef4Health

RAM and the Department of Agriculture took over Baltimore's favorite farmers market for a summer vegetable showdown! This competition was held at the intersection of Holliday Street and Saratoga Street, and featured local produce provided by our farmers. Chefs utilized local, fresh products offered at the market to create their best vegetarian summer dish. 

Sponsors: Maryland's Best


Previous Competition: Cooking With Fire

Flyer: Cooking With Fire

Date: June 20, 2023

Winner: Ryan Wittington, Ocean City FD

The event was held at the Maryland State Firemen's Association Convention to allow local firefighters to compete and qualify for the World Food Championships finale in Dallas, TX. Walter Townsend of Salisbury FD and Michael Hill of Ocean City FD Station 2 were great competitors, and we enjoyed their company and culinary skills.

Sponsors: JJ McDonnell and Maryland's Best


Previous Competition: Battle of the Bridge

Flyer: Battle of the Bridge

Date: March 5-6, 2023

Winner: Christian Costantino, Common Ground Hospitality

The OCHMRA Trade Expo in Ocean City is the largest annual hospitality convention in Maryland. Here, RAM hosted a two-round culinary showdown with four chefs from each side of the bay bridge. 

Sponsors: MD Dept. of Agriculture, Baywater Trading Co., The Bay Mushrooms

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