Is “Top Chef” at the top of your viewing list? Then you’ll want a ticket to be an audience member when Missouri cooks vie for a shot at a spot in a  worldwide cooking competition—with you taste testing their dishes in different categories!

Photo by Freepik

By Peg Cameron Gill

A lot’s on the line as the World Food Championships (WFC) Show Me Series comes to Waynesville for the second annual Route 66 Hogs and Frogs Cooking Contest Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. Global glory and a shot at a delectable six-figure prize await.

The name’s a nod to hogs, as in motorcycles or pork-producing livestock, and Waynesville’s City symbol Croaker. (Of course, frogs’ legs are a food dish, too.)

Both professional and home cooks will vie for the chance at a Golden Ticket — that will send one talented culinary creator to the World Food Championships in Dallas this November. Contestants will have just 60 minutes to create their best Hogs or Frogs dish.

Photo by Or Hakim, Unsplash

Competitors will serve bites for paid attendees to try. Will one you sample be a world champion  winner? 

Everyone also gets to vote for their favorite bite. The winner will be named Best in Show, and take home the coveted Waynesville Croaker Crown. They’ll carry this honor for a year.

The competition takes place Saturday, Sept. 23rd from 4 to 7 PM at Waynesville Roubidoux Park Pavilion 1. It’s actually an event-within-an event—it’s part of the Route 66 Hogs & Frogs Festival. You can view highlights of the 2022 event here. You can get 2023 tickets here.

Photo courtesy of Waynesville Chamber of Commerce

The WFC Show Me Series is the official qualifying event platform of the WFC in Missouri. Last year the festival inaugural event in Waynesville produced two top ten winners. Out of 18 Missouri competitors, Kimsha Rosensteel of Honey Chile’ Please finished 8th in the World in the Rice and Noodle Category, and the Students of the Waynesville Career Center finished 7th in the world in the Bacon category. Mary Tromblee of Drachenfutter received a Special EAT Class award for placing 12th in the world in the dessert category.  

Your ticket gives you access to the Show Me Series chef battle arena inside the Route 66 Hogs & Frogs Fest. Come cheer on your favorite culinary competitor as they battle for epic epicurean fame.

Photo by Immo Wegmann, Unsplash

Take a look at 2022’s amazing Golden Ticket winners!
Kimsha Rosensteel
Rice/Noodle Category, WFC Debut, Top Ten
Finished 8th in the world

The Students of Waynesville Career Center
Ryan Henderson, Shaun O’Brien, and Alexis Shea
Chef-Instructor Jon Dye
Bacon Category, WFC Debut, Top Ten
Finished 7th in the world

Mary Tromblee
Dessert Category, WFC Debut
Finished 12th in the world

So shake a leg—a frog’s leg that is—and check out this feast of a fest.

For three delicious dessert recipes, click here.

For hundreds more events, visit Missouri Life’s Event Calendar.