82 THE COASTAL BEND MAGAZINE • January/February 2018 TheCoastalBend.com Port Aransas named Texas home for international cooking competition World Food Championships state qualifying round to be hosted in Port A The Port Aransas & Mustang Island Chamber of Com- merce and Tourism Bureau announced that they have secured a partnership with the World Food Champion- ships (WFC) to bring WFC’s first state franchise to Port Aransas. The WFC is the largest competition in“food sport”and a launching point for many culinary experts as they aspire to achieve fame through nationally broadcast food TV shows and acting opportunities. The current qualifying process for WFC involves about 600 events throughout North America. The new state franchise plan will have 50 partners in each state who will conduct statewide events/competitions that will qualify for the final world championship in Orange Beach, Alabama. In addition, the Port Aransas & Mustang Island Cham- ber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau has appointed local chef Gail Huesmann, Executive Chef at Black Marlin Bar & Grill and consistent top qualifier for the World Food Championship, committee chair for the WFC planning task force. “Over the last several years, Port A has become one of the top foodie beach destinations in Texas and the United States. We are elated to be the exclusive Texas partner for the World Food Championships venerable brand, and to also host the state qualifier event for the WFC in the years to come,”said Jeff Hentz, President and CEO of the Port Aransas & Mustang Island Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. “With our recovery from Hurricane Harvey well under- way, having the opportunity to partner with a first class organization like WFC is truly a blessing for our destina- tion and community.”