Indianapolis to Host 2024 World Food Championships

Crossroads of America will take center stage in world food competition scene.

Culinary Crossroads, a statewide branding initiative focused on spotlighting Indiana’s culinary community, revealed the World Food Championships will move to Indianapolis in November.

Indianapolis will take center stage in the world of “food sport competition” as 1,500 competitors—home cooks, professional chefs, and barbecue teams—from across the country and around the world convene at the Indiana Farm Bureau Fall Creek Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center November 8–12.

Two chefs prepare food in a competition
Team Indiana chef Mike Gomez of Gomez BBQ is assisted by chef Ross Katz at the 2023 World Food Championships in Dallas.

Recognized as one of the world’s largest food sports competitions, WFC 2024 will crown champions in 12 separate categories during the five days of competition. Fans will be able to watch competitions and cooking demonstrations, experience a diverse selection of food offerings prepared by competitors, and shop among an expansive group of sponsors and exhibitors.

Lieutenant governor Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, attended the 2019 championships in Dallas and has supported the effort to bring the competition to town. “Indianapolis is the perfect destination for the World Food Championships, and we are very excited to serve up some great Hoosier hospitality to the competitors, sponsors, exhibitors, and food sports fans in attendance,” she says. “Hosting the World Food Championships will also highlight the incredible offerings of Indiana State Fairgrounds’ new Farm Bureau Pavilion and Ivy Tech Community College’s Culinary Center. They’ll see firsthand why we are the Culinary Crossroads of America.”

Culinary Crossroads director Larry Dickerson noted the collaborative effort to secure the championships. “We’ve had our eye on bringing the WFC to Indy since 2019 when the lieutenant governor accompanied us to Dallas, where the competition has been the past few years, and we set a goal to bring the WFC to Indianapolis.”

WFC’s founder and chief operating officer Mike McCloud pointed out that this spirit of cooperation and partnership impressed him and will help make Indy an ideal home for the leader in food sport. “This is an exciting day for WFC and food sport in general. Indianapolis is the place where champions are crowned in all types of sporting events and professional and amateur leagues. That reputation, in addition to the diverse culinary scene that has blossomed over the years, makes Indy a perfect home for our main event, where we crown the best cooks and chefs from around the globe in iconic categories of food.”

Culinary Crossroads shines a spotlight on the people, products, places, and services that define Indiana’s culinary landscape and help make Indiana a place where people want to live, work, and play. The organization creates collaborative chef dinners in Indianapolis and around the state, supports charitable causes related to the culinary community, and promotes culinary competitions and Indiana food sport competitors, including SkillsUSA at the high school level.