Cambridge Square and de-facto Ooltewah Mayor and local business owner Steve Ray, have teamed-up to host Chattanooga’s first sanctioned World Food Championship. Branded the Ooltewah BBQ Brawl (The Brawl), the event will take place on April 15 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission to the event is free of charge. Cambridge Square
is a mixed-use community located less than a quarter mile east of I-75 off of exit 11.
The Brawl will be distinct from other professional BBQ competitions in that each of the 12 participating teams will be selling food in addition to their submissions to the judging panel.
The $3,200 prize purse will be split into two categories which include professionally judged submissions, as well as a People’s Choice Prize. As an added component to the celebration, The Brawl will feature the King-of-the-Cul-De-Sac steak grilling contest — a backyard grilling rumble to see who deserves the crown for the best overall steak and a $800 purse. Mike McCloud, president and CEO of World Food Championships will be on-hand to train the judging panel, and Chattanooga’s very own Celebrity Chef Jernard Wells will be participating as a judge.
"The BBQ teams are really pumped up to have The Brawl become a World Food Championship qualifier," said Mr. Ray. "That Golden Ticket and automatic sanction into the WFC doesn't come easy. And, having Mike McCloud here training people to judge the BBQ and Steak shows that this event will be fun, but also taken seriously by the competitors and judges."
The Cambridge Square Market — a subsidiary of Chattanooga Market — will be making a special appearance for the Brawl, bringing in local vendors and artisans from around the region to sell their wares. The Cambridge Square Market, which began operation in the spring of 2016, will officially open for its second full season on the public square at Cambridge on April 7.
"We are absolutely thrilled to be involved in this event, said Steve Brehm who oversees the Cambridge Square Market. “The Cambridge Square Market has already been a great opportunity for our vendors, and I think this event will really help build awareness for what we are doing there. I can't imagine a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than eating tons of BBQ, shopping with great local vendors, and hanging out in one of the hippest new spots in the Chattanooga region."
The Ooltewah High School Choir will be providing some pre-event entertainment and the Ooltewah United Methodist Church will be facilitating a children’s Easter Egg Hunt beginning at 2 p.m.; Cambridge Square’s Heaven and Ale will be providing the very best in craft beer libations; and the Ooltewah High Culinary Class will be volunteering in a number of capacities.
The Brawl’s primary sponsors include: Morning Pointe Senior Living, Miller Industries, Tennova of Ooltewah, Sweetwater Valley Oil, Auto Zone, Modernway Printing, Ooltewah Manufacturing and Fabrication, Brewer Media, Michelin Tires, Supreme Restaurant Equipment Sales, Republic Services, Auto Plus Automotive Supply, and Reinhart Food Service.
“This is going to be a really exciting day,” said Jim Cheney, marketing director at Cambridge Square. “We appreciate the hard work that Steve Ray has put into assembling a BBQ event of this caliber; we appreciate the leadership and vendors at Cambridge Square Market, and of course, we hope this will be a great opportunity to learn more about the Cambridge community and all it has to offer every day of the year.”