The Event Manager for the Kleefeld Honey Festival's Chili Cook-Off calls the sudden turn of events, beyond exciting.
In February it was announced the Kleefeld event would be a qualifier for nationals in Edmonton and that the Edmonton event would be a qualifier for worlds. But Gord Meneer says the top two cooks in Kleefeld will now head straight to the World Championships in Kissimmee, Florida.
"Our team put together this event a couple of years ago and now to see it get to a point where we're actually going to a national level is beyond exciting," says Meneer. "It's just incredible and we're ecstatic to be able to provide this."
The Kleefeld Chili Cook-Off will see the area's best chili cooks battle to win the taste buds of judges and the public alike on August 8, 2015. The first place winner will receive $2,500 cash, a golden ticket to the World Food Championships in November and a $1,500 travel voucher to get there. The second place winner will also receive a ticket to the World Food Championships, $1,000 cash and a $500 travel voucher.
Meneer expects a positive return from this change.
"We see more community involvement, we see a lot more families and community members getting involved with our event to hopefully make it bigger and better," he says.
The entry deadline is the end of June (visit www.kleefeldpark.ca). Meneer says they have a lot of entries already and with more than half of them being local, there's a good chance a local cook represents Canada in Florida.
"We're thrilled to be able to provide a chance for two Kleefeld Honey Festival competitors to represent Team Canada at the World Food Championships," says Paul Lucas, Events Edmonton's General Manager. "We love the energy and charm that Kleefeld brings to CFC."
Meneer says this year's event is sponsored by the Canadian Food Championships and Earl's Meat Market.