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Food Fight Write at the World Food Championships

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Clyde Sea World Beauty and the Beets

photo courtesy Orlando Fun and Food

What a crazy week it has been in Beetsland. I just wrapped up a three day bloggers’ summit at The World Food Championships, now in its 4th year. This year the competition has moved from Las Vegas, Nevada to Celebration, Florida. Fifty bloggers were selected from around the world to participate in Food Fight Write, three days of learning about the world of food sport, visiting local food venues and then ending with a cook-off featuring Kansas City Steaks. Today, as it is FiveThings Friday (a.k.a. Friday Favorites) I am going to share my five favorite moments of our summit. Easy enough, right? These are in no particular order by the way:

1. Watching the World Food Championships come to life.

World Food Championships building Kenmore Kitchen Arena Beauty and the Beets

The Kenmore Kitchen Arena on November 2, 2015

Over 1100 professional and home cooks from 40 states and 17 countries have gathered to compete for their share of $350,000. This is a mega event and all the cooking takes place in the Kenmore Kitchen Arena. We watched it get built right down Market Street in Celebration, FL. Fifty cooking stations were set up for the competition taking place November 4-10.

Kenmore Kitchen Arena World Food Championships 2015 Beauty and the Beets

The Kenmore Kitchen Arena on November 4, 2015

World Food Championships Kenmore Kitchen Arena Beauty and the Beets

2. A group field trip to a local farm.

Long and Scott Farm Zellwood Beauty and the Beets

Day 2 of our summit was spent on all day field trip- our first stop was to Long and Scott Farms, a local farm in Zellwood, Florida. We took a hayride around the farm, tasted corn fresh from the field and watched cucumbers being packed up for shipments to become pickles. Simply amazing.

Fresh Corn Long and Scott Farms Zellwood Beauty and the Beets

3. Lunch with Shamu.

World Food Championships Lunch with Shamu Beauty and the Beets

Our second stop on our field trip was to Sea World Orlando where we dined right next to Shamu and friends. We were treated to a delicious lunch where we learned all about how Sea World serves sustainable seafood throughout its parks. As a bonus we also dined with animal experts from the theme park. Our table dined with Jon Peterson, who is an Animal Care Supervisor. We learned all about some of the animal rescues he has led and his role on camera in the Sea Rescue TV Show. And we got to experience an up close and personal show with three killer whales!

Lunch with Shamu at Sea World Orlando Beauty and the Beets

Sea World Orlando Dine with Shamu Beauty and the Beets

Sea World Orlando Beauty and the Beets

4. Learning to bake with Manuela Kjeilen from Passion 4 Baking.

Manuela Kjeilen Passion 4 Baking Beauty and the Beets

We toured some beautifully appointed estates in ChampionsGate, FL as part of #TheInspiredHome tour, a sponsor of the World Food Championships, and we got to witness some culinary demonstrations in the gorgeous kitchens of these homes. Manuela, from the blog Passion 4 Baking, flew all the way to Florida from Norway to teach us how to bake delicious cupcakes. She has over 1.3 million followers on Instagram, stars in her own TV show and has published nine cookbooks in three languages. It was an honor to stand next to her and learn some helpful tips about baking as we all know I am a terrible baker.

Passion 4 Baking cupcakes The Inspired Home World Food Championships Beauty and the Beets

5. A pizza party with Emily Ellyn from Food Network.

Emily Ellyn Retro Rad Chef World Food Championships Beauty and the Beets

Emily Ellyn is the Retro Rad Chef and is from Orlando and was also on hand at #TheInpsiredHome tour. She has appeared on numerous TV programs including Cupcake Wars and Cut Throat Kitchen , among others on the Food Network.  I have never had the pleasure of meeting her face to face until now and she is bigger than her personality, an absolute hilarious and entertaining doll. She hosted a pizza party for the bloggers and taught us some lessons on Periscope. Emily is serving as a judge in the final table competition and served as a host to the bloggers. And guess what I didn’t get? Any pictures of the pizza!!

6. SIX things on FIVE Things Friday? Yes. Riding the Manta roller coaster.

Manta Orlando Fun and Food Sea World World Food Championships

photo courtesy Orlando Fun and Food

As part of our visit to Sea World Orlando we had an opportunity to ride Manta, the flying coaster. Riders don’t sit upright like every other coaster in the world, on Manta riders are turned towards the ground, as though flying through the coaster. It is a feeling unlike anything I have ever experienced. But I did it. So I am adding it as one of my favorite parts of our summit.

The Manta Sea World

photo courtesy of Sea World Orlando

There is much more that we experienced and ate including our own cook-off where we were competing for some cash! While I did not win the bloggers steak competition, I did win a cash prize for pitching a PR campaign to Kansas City Steaks. My team technically won the very first event of the World Food Championships! Anyway, stay tuned this weekend for more details on our summit and the 2015 World Food Championships. The competition events, by the way, are free and open to the public as is the giant tasting tent, all located in downtown Celebration, FL. Stop by and get inspired or just come over and say hi!

Group at Manta

photo courtesy of Sea World Orlando

Thanks for stopping by on this Friday and I hope you all have a great weekend!! Tomorrow I will share a special Saturday post with more information about the World Food Championships and the very first bloggers’ cook-off!

*special thank you to Orlando Fun and Food and Sea World Orlando for providing some of the photos used in this post*

lisa keys

Saturday 7th of November 2015

Wasn't this just so much fun. I am still here competing in the WFC. I made top 10 in the sandwich category.

Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood

Friday 6th of November 2015

How cool! I always wanted to go to Sea World - when i was little I was sure I was going to be a marine biologist. We went to Disney as a kid and my parents promised me we'd take a day to go there, but we ran out of time. Whether we ACTUALLY ran out of time, I'll never know ahahahah


Friday 6th of November 2015

Sea World is my favorite among all the theme parks here in Orlando. !!

Helen Corbin

Friday 6th of November 2015

Really sounds like a great time!!!!!!!!!


Friday 6th of November 2015

Next year you will have to come down to cheer me on!!! No?

Shea @ Dixie Chik Cooks

Friday 6th of November 2015

Love your recap!! Can't wait to do it again next year!


Friday 6th of November 2015

Aw me too! Safe travels and see you next year!! congrats!!!!!!!


Friday 6th of November 2015

Wow, I'm slightly jealous that you got to watch the 'World Food Championships.' That sounds like so much fun!!! :)


Friday 6th of November 2015

We got to COOK and COMPETE in the World Food Championships!! Woot woot. I didn't win.