World Food Championships 2017 Thrilla at the Grilla Top 10 Finalists

Thrilla at the Grilla Top 10 Finalists

The Thrilla at the Grilla Competition will be held at the 2017 World Food Championships in Orange Beach, Alabama on November 11th.

Each finalist will be cooking on a Grilla Wood Pellet Smoker in a “Chopped” style competition in which they will have 1.5 hours to complete a meal for the judges. They must also incorporate ingredients from randomized mystery baskets, which they will receive moments before the competition.

We want to wish all of our competitors good luck & happy grilla’n! See you in November!

Meet World Food Championships Thrilla at the Grilla contestant: Bill Yeates

Bill Yeates Bill has previously competed in the Seafood division at the World Food Championships as the head cook for the Bayou Boilers and is back to take on some BBQ. With no professional training, he considers himself a backyard cook. When he’s not cookin’ on the grill, he’s busy working as the owner of Spirit Professionals competitive cheer and tumbling gym in Louisiana. #WFC2017

Featured Recipe: Grilled & Blackened Seafood Delight with Kickin Corn Maque Choux


  • Alaska Salmon Filets – About 1 ½ pound-skin on
  • 1lb Large Alaska Prawns – peeled and deveined
  • 6 larges Alaska Snow crab legs – pre-cooked
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream 4-6 tbs
  • Unsalted butter
  • 1 small red onion – diced
  • ¾ green bell pepper diced
  • ¾ red bell pepper diced
  • 1 lime
  • 5 ears fresh corn
  • 2 small or one large jalapeno pepper-diced (no seeds)
  • 1 tbs fresh dill
  • 1 tbs of each – salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbs blackening seasoning
  • ¼ cup water
  • Olive oil


Recipe: Kickin Corn Maque Choux
In sauce pan on grille reduce cream by ½. De-silk corn leaving shuck on. Lightly coat corn with olive oil, salt and cracked black pepper. Grill for 20-30 minutes. Cut corn from comb. In separate sauce pan melt 2 tbs butter over moderate heat, add diced onions and diced peppers and sauté until tender. Add corn, pinch of cayenne, and cream and cook 1-2 more minutes. Set on side. Blackened Salmon, Prawns and Snow Crab Cut Salmon filets into 6 4-6 ounce portions pat dry and season with a little salt and liberally with blackening seasoning on both sides. On medium – high heat ½ tbs olive oil and melt 2 tbs butter. (use cast iron skillet on grill). Sauté salmon until 2/3 done one side then flip (internal temp should be about 140 degrees when done, allow to rest.) Season shrimp with blackening season and grill until done. Use meat from snow crabs legs and get meat out as one piece from each leg. Season same as shrimp grill. Drain skillet leaving just a little butter and oil. Add Corn Maque Choux back to skillet with ¼ cup water season to taste with 1tsp of blackening seasoning. Add lime zest and splash of lime juice to taste. Heat until water evaporates. Plate Kickin Corn Maque Choux with Salmon, Prawns and Snow Crab. Sprinkle dill and parsley on top. Serves 6

Meet World Food Championships Thrilla at the Grilla contestant: Troy Winter

Troy Winter Troy has competed at the World Food Championships for the past six years. He is the owner of Mr Troy’s Carolina Twisted Sauces and has competed in various BBQ competitions, including over 50 KCBS events and Food Network’s “Bakers vs. Fakers”. #WFC2017

Featured Recipe: Smoked Chocolate Bacon Pecan Pie


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup dark corn syrup
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ¾ cup bacon (crumbled)
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 4 tablespoons or ¼ cup of butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 package refrigerated pie dough
  • 16 oz heavy cream
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup bacon (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Smoked Pecan Pie

Recipe – Pie:
1. Bring Smoker to 350 degrees.
2. Mix 4 tablespoons butter, ½ cup brown sugar, and ½ cup white sugar in mixing bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, mix 4 eggs and 1 tablespoon cornstarch together and add to mix.
4. Add ½ cup dark corn syrup, ½ cup light corn syrup, ¼ cup bourbon, 1 cup chopped pecans, 1 cup bacon, and 1 tablespoon vanilla to mix.
5. Place pie dough in 9 inch pie pan.
6. Lightly flour dough.
7. Evenly place ½ cup chocolate chips in pie pan.
8. Pour mixture into pie pan.
9. Smoke at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until center is firm.
10. Cool and top with bacon whipped cream (see below).

Bacon whipped Cream:
Combine ingredients (16 oz heavy cream, ¾ cup white sugar, ¼ cup bacon – finely chopped, and 1 tablespoon vanilla) and blend at high speed until mixture thickens. This recipe can be divided into 6 mini pie pans or custard dishes or served as one whole pie.

Meet World Food Championships Thrilla at the Grilla contestant: Bill Porterfield

Bill Poterfield Bill’s passion for cooking began when he took the role as scout master for his son’s Boy Scout troop. While cooking for Air Force troops during deployment, he perfected his outdoor cooking. He has competed in KCBS and his cooking slogan is “I may not be the best, but I have cooked for some of America’s finest”. #WFC2017

Featured Recipe: BBQ Salmon with Bourbon Glaze


  • 1 Cup Jim Beam Bourbon
  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Yellow Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Blues Hog Dry Rub Seasoning

BBQ Salmon

Recipe: Preheat grill to 350 degrees F. I used a pellet grill. Carefully dry your skinless salmon fillet with a paper towel to remove any moisture from it. Brush each side with olive oil and dust with Blues Hog Dry Rub Seasoning and set aside. In a bowl combine the remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly. Place salmon on the grill for approx 5 minutes, just long enough to start getting an outer crust. Cover the top of the salmon with the glaze mixture generously and let cook for approx 10 minutes. Reglaze the top side and carefully turn over and glaze the other side and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to over cook the salmon so depending on the thickness of your fillet as to how long you want to cook it. Recoat the top and carefully flip back over and recoat. At this time check for an internal temperature, you are looking for 145 degrees F. Continue grill until you reach this temp. Once temperature is reached serve and enjoy

Meet World Food Championships Thrilla at the Grilla contestant: Jason Schouweiler

Jason Schouweiler Jason has been cooking for over 20 years, with a primary BBQ-centric focus for the last 15 years. Married, with 7 children, he says he gets a lot of practice perfecting his craft while feeding his family and friends. #WFC2017

Featured Recipe: Whole BBQ Chicken

Ingredients – Chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken (4-5 lb) cut up
  • 3 T Meat Church Holy Gospel
  • 2 T Weber Kickin’ Chicken

Blue Cheese Dressing:

  • 1 C Real Mayo (Duke’s or similar)
  • 1 C Sour Cream
  • ¼ C Buttermilk
  • 1 T Worchestershire
  • 2 T Lemon Juice
  • 2 T Chopped Chives
  • 1 C Blue Cheese Buffalo


  • ¾ C Butter
  • 1 C Commercial Hot Sauce (we used Frank’s Original to keep it kid/family friendly)
  • 1 T Onion Powder
  • 1 T Garlic Powder
  • 1 ½ T Worchestershire
  • 2 T Lemon Juice
  • ½ t ground black pepper
  • 1/8 t cayenne

BBQ Chicken

Separate chicken into individual cuts (also works for leg quarters, pieces, or a whole bird already cut up by the grocery store. Combine rubs and season, allow to rest for 30 minutes, longer is better. Turn Silverbac on to 275, and grill chicken until 165, turning occasionally to cook evenly. For blue cheese dressing, combine all ingredients aside from blue cheese in a bowl, and whisk to combine. Fold in blue cheese and allow to sit in the fridge to marry for at least 2 hours. For the buffalo sauce, melt butter, add additional ingredients and stir to combine. Allow to come to a simmer, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, cool. Once chicken hits 160ish, brush with buffalo sauce, and flip to set sauce, and mark on the grill. ENJOY!

Meet World Food Championships Thrilla at the Grilla contestant: Mike Castaneda

Mike Castaneda Mike is a father of two and has been named one of the top ten cooks in America by Food Network. He loves doing anything creative and gets a lot of his inspiration from the American people and the melting pot of cultures and personalities that make this country so great. #WFC2017

Featured Recipe: Grilled Thai Peanut Steak


  • Ribeye steak
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cavenders Greek seasoning
  • Milk
  • Peanut butter
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Ginger
  • Cilantro
  • Scallions
  • Peanuts

Thai Peanut Steak

Recipe: Season your steak liberally with kosher salt, black pepper and cavenders to a medium rare. While steak is cooking heat 1/4 milk, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tsp soy, 1/2 tsp minced ginger in a pan. If needed add more milk to thin sauce or more peanut butter to thicken. Once it’s incorporated, add a dash of rice wine vinegar. After you steak is cooked and allowed to sit 5 minutes, slice your steak, spoon on your sauce and top with chopped cilantro, scallion and peanuts.

Meet World Food Championships Thrilla at the Grilla contestant: Mike Southerland

Mike Southerland Mike is the co-owner of Brothers’ BBQ and Brewing Co. in Danville, Kentucky. He has been cooking for over 15 years, and competing in local/national cook offs for the last 10. He says he loves to cook and always appreciates the opportunity to compete against others. #WFC2017

Featured Recipe: Red, White, and Blue Summer Breeze


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup Wilderness Trail Harvest Rum
  • 1/4 cup Blue Carcao
  • Juice of 1 lime

Blue Summer Breeze Recipe

Add 1 cup of water to one cup of sugar and bring to a boil. Chill and reserve for later. Halve limes and strawberries. lightly grill. Muddle strawberries and rum, add half of the simple syrup. Mix blue carcao, lime juice and half of the simple syrup. Fill glass with shaved ice, pour chilled mix on each side at the same time. Enjoy!

Meet World Food Championships Thrilla at the Grilla contestant: Danny Mounts

Featured Recipe: Steakhouse Wood Fired Pizza


  • 1 1lb Ribeye Steak
  • 1 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp Fresh Cracked Black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp
  • kosher salt

Steak House Mushrooms:

  • 8-10 White Button Mushrooms Quartered
  • 2 T Unsalted Butter
  • 1/3 c sliced Red Onion
  • 1/2 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Chopped fresh Garlic
  • 1 T A1 Steak sauce Balsamic


  • 1 8.5 oz bottle Bertolli Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 T light Brown Sugar
  • Pinch Kosher salt

Sour Cream Mixture:

  • 4oz Daisy Sour Cream
  • 1/2 tsp Grated Horseradish

Compound Butter:

  • 2 sticks Unsalted Butter
  • 2 small heads roasted garlic or about 15 cloves
  • 1 cup Fresh Flat Leaf parsley Leaves
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 Fresh Pizza Dough Crusts
  • 1 bunch Broccoli rob
  • 2c Chicken Stock
  • 3 slices thick cut Pepper Bacon
  • 12 slices Provolone cheese Slices
  • 1/2 c shredded Fontina cheese
  • 1/3 cup crumbled Smoked blue cheese
  • 2T diced Chives
  • 1 T Montreal Steak Seasoning

Wood Fired Pizza Recipe

Recipe: Rub the steak on both sides with the steak seasoning, pepper and salt. Allow to set at room temperature while preparing the other ingredients. For the Mushrooms, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and the rest of the ingredients and simmer for around 4 minutes or until the onions start to get soft. Remove them from the heat and reserve. For the reduction, add the balsamic vinegar , sugar and salt to a small sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and allow it to reduce until there is 1/3 c. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool and thicken more. For the Horseradish sour cream, blend the sour cream and Horseradish and set aside. For the compound butter, place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until parsley is chopped and all is blended smooth. Now, prepare the rest of the toppings. Heat the chicken stock in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Once it starts to boil, drop in the broccoli rob in and let it blanch for three minutes. Immediately remove the broccoli rob and drop it into an ice water bath. Cut off the heads and chop the leaves. Allow to drain on paper towels. Next, heat a skillet to medium high and cut the pepper bacon into lardons and allow to fry until the bacon crisps and turns golden, around 6-8 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Next, prepare your grill. This recipe can be done on a gas or charcoal grill but for this I’m using charcoal and hickory wood chunks. Light charcoal and allow coals to start turning white. Add to the grill and add a chunk of hickory. Grill the seasoned ribeye until medium rare and remove from the heat and allow it to rest. Place pizza stone over coals and allow it to heat to around 500 degrees. Roll out pizza doughs and spread 1/3-1/2 c of the compound butter on each crust. Next top each with provolone and the fontina cheese. Add the broccoli rob and steakhouse Mushrooms and place on the pizza stone and allow to bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden. Only takes a few minutes. After removing the pizzas , slice the steak and add it along with the bacon, blue cheese, chives and drizzle both with the balsamic reduction and sour cream. Finish by grinding the remaining 1T Montreal Steak Seasoning in a coffee grinder and using it as a finishing dust on the pizzas. Slice and enjoy.

Meet World Food Championships Thrilla at the Grilla: Geo Phelps

Geo Phelps Geo Phelps has participated in the World Food Championships since 2013 and won the World Chili Championship numerous times. His love of cooking chili comes from his father, who was a firefighter and often prepared his firehouse recipes for the family. Since then, he has crafted and perfected his own recipes, which he has used to win several local national cook offs and in his company, ChiliRocks Chili. #WFC2017

Featured Recipe: Smokey Chili Cheezy Lasagna


  • 1 lb. Filet Mignon
  • 2 lbs. New York Strip Steak
  • 2 lbs. Ribeye Steak
  • 1 lb. Ground Sirloin
  • 4 oz. Challenge Butter
  • 1 yellow onion medium – diced
  • 1 red bell pepper small – diced
  • 1 green bell pepper small – diced
  • 6 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 6 – 8 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1-2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tbsp. ground chipotle
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2-3 tsp. sugar
  • 1 bunch cilantro – minced
  • 1 small can Red Gold tomato paste
  • 3-14.5 cans Red Gold crushed tomatoes
  • 3 quarts beef stock – low salt
  • 1 tsp Goya Smoky Ancho Sauce
  • 4 oz Chili Rock’n Bloody Mary Mixer
  • Arrowroot as needed to thicken
  • 4 tbsp. better than bouillon beef base
  • 1 tsp. salt or as needed
  • 1 tsp. pepper or as needed


  • 8 egg whites
  • 12 oz. 1% milkfat cottage cheese
  • 8 oz. Challenge cream cheese
  • 24 oz. Ricotta Cheese
  • 4oz. shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese
  • 4 oz. shredded Queso Blanco
  • 4 oz. Parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz. Romano cheese
  • 4 tbsp. Parsley
  • 4 tbsp. cilantro
  • 1 tsp. pepper


  • 18 slices Cheddar Jack Cheese
  • 18 slices Cheddar Cheese
  • 36 slices Queso Blanco Cheese
  • 16 ounces Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese


  • 18 Lasagna Noodles
  • 2 tbsp. Challenge Butter

Cheese Lasagna Recipe

METHOD FOR THE SMOKY CHIPOTLE RED CHILI – In a small sauce pan, add a small amount of the Chili Rock’n Bloody Mary Mixer, Ground Smoked Paprika, Ground Chipotle, & Ground Chili Powder,and mix thoroughly. Place the steaks in the mix, and cover surfaces completely and allow to marinate for about 10 minutes while prepping other aspects. Once marinated, place the steaks over a medium heat on the Grill until evenly browned on each side, then set aside to rest in the remaining marinade for about 20 minutes while the broth is being prepared and the ground sirloin is being browned. Place the ground sirloin in a skillet with about a tablespoon of Challenge Butter, and brown the meat. In a large sauce pot over a medium to high heat add the butter, garlic, bell peppers, cilantro, & onions and sauté for a few minutes. Add about 2 quarts of Beef Stock, 4 tablespoons of beef base to the mixture along with the remaining Chili Rock’n Bloody Mary Mixer, and bring back to a boil, and stir. Add the chili powder and cook for five minutes to release the flavor then add beef smoked paprika, and cumin cook for two minutes. Add the Red Gold Tomato Paste and the Red Gold Crushed Tomatoes to the pot, and stir thoroughly. Add the browned ground sirloin to the broth, and stir thoroughly reducing heat to medium. Add the diced steak pieces along with the remaining marinade blend to the broth, and stir thoroughly maintaining medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for two hours then add the sugar and Goyo Smoky Ancho Hot Sauce and mix well. Start adding the chipotle to adjust the heat and smoke a little at a time and let it cook a bit before adding more to determine the heat level then add as needed then determine if more beef base is needed if not adjust with smoked paprika, salt, black pepper and/or sugar. Make a slurry of arrowroot and cold water mix with your fingers to dissolve and add to the chili pot to adjust the thickness but do not boil only simmer the blend.

METHOD FOR THE CHILI LASAGNA PREPARATION – NOODLES: Place noodles in a large pot of boiling with several tablespoons of Challenge Butter. Cook until the noodles soften, and remove from heat.

METHOD FOR THE CHILI LASAGNA PREPARATION – CHEESE SAUCE: Place egg whites in a large metal bowl for the Kenmore Tabletop Mixer and blend thoroughly. Gradually add the ricotta, cottage cheese, Romano Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Cream Cheese, Queso Cheese, cilantro, parsley, and black pepper. Run mixer on low and combine the ingredients a little at a time on medium until all have been added, then continue on medium until a very consistent mixture. Mixture should be very thick.

METHOD FOR THE CHILI LASAGNA PREPARATION – CHEESE LAYER: Slices of Cheddar Cheese, Queso Blanco Cheese, and Cheddar Jack Cheese Preheat GRILL with a Grill Innovations Grill Plate centered on the griddle until a temperature of 350F is achieved adjusting as necessary.

METHOD FOR THE CHILI LASAGNA PREPARATION – PAN LAYERING: Spread a light layer of butter in the base and sides of the lasagna pans. Spread a light layer of the chili on the bottom of the pan to stop the noodles from sticking and to flavor the noodles.. Cover the base of the pan with the lasagna noodles. Place a layer of Cheddar Jack Cheese over the noodles. Spread a layer of Smoky Chipotle Red Chili over the cheese slices. Place of a layer of Queso Blanco Cheese across the surface of the chili. Cover the cheese slices with another layer of lasagna noodles. Spread a thick layer of the cheese sauce across the surface of the cheese slices. Place a layer of the Cheddar Cheese across the entire surface of the cheese sauce. Cover the cheese slices with another layer of lasagna noodles. Place of a layer of Queso Blanco Cheese across the surface of the noodles. Spread a layer of the Smokey Chipotle Red Chili on the layer of cheese. Sprinkle a light coating of shredded Cheddar Jack over the chili. Place the pan on the GRILL INNOVATIONS GRILL PLATE in the GRILL and close the lid. Allow to cook for 30-40 minutes, and remove from the grill. Let the lasagna rest for about 5-10 minutes before cutting the slices. In the case of the caption, the triangle pattern was carefully sliced out of the loaf to show the precise layering of ingredients to give a full visual prior to that first bite! NOW, ENJOY THIS AMAZINGLY ORIGINAL RECIPE MERGING THE RICHNESS OF A RICH CHEESY ITALIAN FAVORITE WITH INCREDIBLE CHILI VARIATION!

Meet World Food Championships Thrilla at the Grilla contestant: Chris Cannon

Chris Cannon Chris works for a company that helps Veterans while he pursues his passion for BBQ competition. #WFC2017

Featured Recipe: Cajun Crab Stuffed Shrimp and Jicama Corn Salad


  • Stuffed shrimp
  • Lump crab meat
  • Red onion
  • Minced garlic Seasoning
  • Lime juice
  • Lime zest
  • Jalaoeno
  • Ritz Crackers
  • Bacon
  • Grilled red onion and jalapeno

Cajun Stuffed Shrimp

Pick cartilage from crab. Combine ingredients wrap with bacon. Grill till browned.
Remoulade Mayo, Chili sauce, Tiger sauce, Creole mustard, Lemon juice, Lemon zest, Scallions, Parsley, Minced celery, Minced garlic, Salt, Capers chopped, Salt, Black pepper. Combine all ingredients and chill Jicama corn salad. Jicama, diced Corn on the cob, Black beans, Carrot, Scallions, Cilantro, Basil, Lime juice, Lime zest, Cumin Red bell pepper, Grill red pepper and corn on the cob. Rinse black beans. Combine ingredients and chill.

Meet World Food ChampionshipsThrilla at the Grilla contestant: David McAlexander

Featured Recipe: Tequila Lime Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Pomegranate Salsa


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 4 limes
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 2 lbs. Fresh Baby Alabama Gulf Shrimp
  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Pomegranate
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 6 blue corn tortillas
  • 1 cup Napa cabbage, julienned

Grilled Shrimp Tacos

1. Submerge 6 wooden skewers in a bowl of room temperature water.
2. Preheat grill to medium heat.
3. Place the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together until emulsified
4. Peel and de-vein shrimp, Toss in the marinade until completely coated and set aside.
5. Remove skin and core from pineapple, then cut into 1/2 inch wide rings.
6. Sprinkle brown sugar on both sides of each pineapple ring and grill until caramel in color (2-3 minutes per side).
7. Cut pomegranate in half and working over a large bowl, whack the uncut sides with a wooden spoon until all the seeds fall out into the bowl.
8. Roughly chop grilled pineapple and add to the bowl with the pomegranate seeds.
9. Add pineapple juice and cilantro, and mix until well Incorporated.
10. Evenly distribute shrimp on skewers and grill 2 minutes per side.
11. Pour remaining marinade into a small saucepan, place on the hottest part of the grill and bring to a boil. Allow to thicken and reduce by 1/3, then remove from heat.
12. Lay tortillas on grill to heat for about 30 seconds per side. To assemble, evenly distribute Napa cabbage on tortillas. Drizzle each with about a teaspoon of the reduced marinade. Top each with 1 skewers worth of shrimp and a generous tablespoon of pineapple pomegranate salsa.

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558 E. 64th Street
Holland, MI 49423
Phone: 616-392-7410