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Challenge 1:  Biscuits, Peaches And Grits

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Chef Jack Mac

Old Hickory Golf Club Chef Is One Of Top Two World Food Champions

Distinctive St. Charles and St. Louis regional Chef Jack MacMurray III just competed in The 2022 World Food Championship, the highest stakes food competition in the world. This contest showcases the best of the best squaring off to crown champions in multiple food categories. Then the category champions meet at the Final Table to determine the World Food Champion.

Jack finished in first place among five competitors during the Second Challenge round regarding preparation of bass, and then went on to place second in the top three during the Final Table round -- separated only by a half point from the winning spot. This year's competition began with more than 300 teams of competitors from 40 states and 10 countries. 

"I learned about people, the culture and their heritage. I'm proud and grateful for this opportunity," says the executive chef who heads the cuisine at Old Hickory Golf Club in St. Peters. 

The top spot of this 9th World Food Champion competition was awarded by judges to Preston Nguyen, The Culinary Code personal chef from Texas. He was the youngest champion competitor thus far at age 19.

"It was the most pressure I've ever experienced in food sport during my two decades of competing, and the most intense when it comes to executing perfectly," confides Jack. 

This year's final round was held in South Carolina. Final round competitors vied for points regarding dishes that showcased peaches, fish and quail. Jack says dishes had to be equally balanced in flavors and excellently presented for maximum appeal.

Jack also competed in the 8th Annual World Food Championships during 2019. He entered this 9th Annual Main Event at its newest location of Fair Park in Dallas, Texas, looking to land a respectable Top Ten finish in the bacon category. Turns out he left Dallas with the most coveted prize of all — $7,500 in winnings and the title of 2021 World Bacon Champion, which gave him a seat at WFC’s $100,000 Final Table Challenge.

During the multi-day competition in Dallas, the bacon competitors faced a three-competition challenge that allowed them to display their creativity and cooking abilities.

For the first dish, a “structured” challenge, competitors created hors d’oeuvres while also including Beeler’s Pork Hickory Smoked Bacon. Each team was encouraged to put their own spin on what hors d’oeuvres meant to them. Jack served up Blissful Bacon Bites. The next challenge, the “signature” dish round, gave competitors the opportunity to showcase their talents with no limits. With 90 minutes on the clock, they had free rein to craft any recipe, which for Jack was his Bacon Bliss.

In the third and final round, each competitor was tasked with creating any dish they wished to make. The challenge, however, required them to incorporate Hershey's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. Jack recreated his signature dish Bacon Bliss, which is a smoked bacon and Hershey’s chocolate wrapped pork belly over smoked bacon jam served over a smoked bacon and Hershey’s chocolate pancake, topped with Szechuan glaze with Hershey’s chocolate and smoked bacon bits.

Starting his career in 1993 in Vail, Colorado, Jack cooked for US President Gerald Ford and other dignitaries. He's been an executive chef in St. Louis for nearly 20 years, and a cooking instructor at the Kitchen Conservatory and Dierbergs School of Cooking.

Among Jack's other titles is the 2009 Mardi Gras Cajun cook-off Champion and the 2010 Taste of St. Louis Battle Chef Royale Champion. 

"I'm definitely planning to go back to the 10th competition to win a hundred grand," says this already winning chef. 

  • Challenge 3:  Quail, Four Ways
  • Challenge 2:  Lake Murray Striped Bass
  • Challenge 1:  Biscuits, Peaches And Grits
  • Chef Jack Mac Murray

The mission of the World Food Championship is about celebrating and elevating chefs of all walks of life. Home cooks, professional cooks, classically trained chefs, self-taught chefs and up-and-coming chefs all compete in this unique culinary contest. Chef Jack Mac says these food presentations have to scream 'eat me!'

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