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Return of the Mac Winning Chef Takes 1st Place In World Food Championship

Indy’s Craig Baker Wins 1st Place In WFC, Advances To Final Table

Photo: Courtland William Richards

Chefs Craig Baker and Ben Hardy took home the grand prize in the “Best Chef Category” at the World Food Championships this past weekend.  Taking place in Orange Beach, AL the event features the nation’s best chefs competing in a multi-round culinary showdown. Their next stop is to compete for the ultimate title, and a $100,000 purse, at the Spring World Food Champion Final Table in April.

Baker has been a competitor for years. Baker’s 2017 World Food Champion journey started by earning an automatic bid and qualifying points by taking 1st place at the MOKB Presents-produced mac & cheese festival: Return of the Mac. 2017 was the first year Return of the Mac was issued qualifier status for the World Food Championships.

Return of the Mac Co-Founder and MOKB Presents President, Josh Baker said “This is a huge win for not only Craig but Indianapolis, our food scene and our event.  Return of the Mac has always sought out the best chefs for our food festival.  This particular win adds a new level of legitimacy.  We look forward to creating more qualifying opportunities for events like this as we take Return of the Mac on the road in 2018.”

Which dish moved the Indianapolis chef duo to the championship? The IndyStar writer Liz Biro breaks it down.

Return of the Mac to Add New Cities In 2018

Started as a collaboration between Chef’s Night Off and MOKB Presents, Return of the Mac celebrates all the things we love about mac and cheese. The food festival allows local chefs to highlight their twist on the classic food while fans enjoy unlimited sampling. Dishes are critiqued by local culinary experts in the quest for the grand prize and local bragging rights.  Attendees take part in a portion of the judging too by picking their favorites and contributing to the People’s Choice Award.

After three sold-out events in Indiana this year, Return of the Mac plans to hit the road with a multi-city expansion in 2018.  Dates will be announced soon and more info will be available on the Return of the Mac website.


Photos from Return of the Mac – Federal Hill Commons

Photos By: Joey Smith & Keith Griner

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