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Seven Lake Murray chefs to represent SC in high-stakes culinary competition

Lake Murray, SC 06/25/2021 - The World Food Championships (WFC) just completed the South Carolina Super Regional Qualifier and selected seven area chefs to make up the first-ever “Team Lake Murray Country,” a competitive culinary team that will represent the Palmetto State at the 9th Annual Ultimate Food Fight, scheduled for November 5-9, 2021, in Dallas, Texas. This is the first time a team from Lake Murray Country has ever been selected.

The qualifier was integrated into the Taste of Lake Murray, a food event that benefits the Lake Murray July 4th Fireworks Show. In addition to impressing WFC representatives, 15 chefs from the region were tasked with producing their best samples for almost 600 guests, all of whom got to vote on their favorite dishes of the night to create Team Lake Murray Country through a “people’s choice” process.

The seven chefs to receive the most votes earned a place on Team Lake Murray Country, where they’ll now go head-to-head against the world’s best for a chance at WFC’s $350,000 prize purse in November. Team Lake Murray Country now includes the following:

  • Kevin Schwab of Bistro on the Boulevard, New American cuisine by way of Texas and the Southeast in a relaxed, casual ambiance with fine-dining service and quality ingredients, nightly specials and an award-winning wine list. (1085 D Lake Murray Boulevard, Irmo, South Carolina 29063; 803-369-1332)

  • Henry Griffin of Griffin Chophouse, a classic steakhouse, burger and barbecue joint with a butcher shop, The Royal Butcher, next door. (924 East Main Street, Lexington, South Carolina 29072; 803-957-0863)

  • Arif Rizvi of RF’s Corner Grill, a “modern classic” with touches of Eastern influence and favorites like Duck Fat Fries, tacos and more. (712 West Main Street, Lexington, South Carolina 29072; 803-490-7800)

  • Brandon Velie of Juniper, locally sourced, in-season Southern ingredients, national reviews in a hidden-gem location. (640 East Main Street, Ridge Spring, South Carolina 29129; 803-685-7547)

  • John Worthington of Figaro the Dining Room, fine dining with an eclectic Southern twist in a historic bank building; the vault is the wine cellar. (1117 Boyce Street, Newberry, South Carolina 29108; 803-276-0101)

  • Jon Cooper of Alodia’s Cucina Italiana, authentic home-style Italian restaurant using generations-old family recipes. (101 West Main Street, Lexington, South Carolina 29072; 803-781-9814)

  • Eric Crissey of Columbo’s Restaurant, at the Doubletree by Hilton, American contemporary and fusion cuisine that belies its chain-hotel location. (2100 Bush River Road, Columbia, South Carolina 29210; 803-744-2200)

"We're excited to send our seven talented chefs to the World Food Championship," said Miriam Atria, Capital City/Lake Murray Country President/CEO. This is an amazing opportunity to showcase the regional bounty and notable dining of the Capital City/Lake Murray Country region and represent the state. We are thrilled to bring South Carolina's cuisine for the world to savor."

Next, Team Lake Murray Country will be assigned to their categories and learn about WFC’s E.A.T. Methodology, which is how more than 8,000 dishes are judged and scored at the main event in Dallas. More than 450 teams from 40 states and 10 countries are expected to participate in this year’s tournament, which will feature 10 categories of food and be filmed for a special TV show.

To stay up-to-date on all things Food Sport, follow the World Food Championships on Twitter (@WorldFoodChamp), Facebook and Instagram (@WorldFoodChampionships).


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