Alums Win Prestigious Competitions

Nov. 18, 2013 - by dphawkins

Alums Reach the Pinnacle in Prestigious Competitions

From BBQ to Dessert
By Katy Ward

Alum Wins World Food Championship

Four hundred fifty competitors. Seven competition categories. One World Food Champion. To some people, this might sound like a dream, but for MidAmerica Nazarene University MHR 160 (‘08) alum Dave Elliott, it is a dream come true.

Over the past four years, Elliott has been competing in BBQ competitions. Elliott is the pitmaster of Porky McBeef and the Cluckers BBQ team and competes in 10 to 12 competitions per year. His team has competed in the MNU BBQ Competition since 2011, winning the competition in 2011.

He qualified for the World Food Championship (WFC) last Labor Day by winning the dessert category at the Septemberfest BBQ and Ribeye Steak Cookoff Challenge in Omaha, Neb., using a modified dessert recipe  for peanut butter pie that his mom had been making for years.

When Elliott was notified that he was qualified to go to Las Vegas for the Championship, he was shocked.

“I didn’t even know it was a qualifying competition,” he said.

At first, Elliott didn't think he could make the competition work with his schedule. He and his wife, Renee, have a 15-month-old son. But his wife said to go and take his mom, Janet Elliott.

“She’s a great baker and I used her recipe to win,” Elliott stated. “I thought that it was only fitting that she come and cook with me at the WFC!”

The World Food Championships is the highest stakes food competition in the world. The four-day competition has seven competition categories: World Barbeque Championship, World Open Chili Championship, World Burger Championship, World Sandwich Championship, World Dessert Championship, Bacon World Championship, and World Recipe Championship.

This year’s WFC featured a tournament-style cook-off process for each of its categories. The competition was split into multiple rounds: an opening “Challenger” round, a Category Finals round, with category champions advancing to the Final Table. Elliott won 7th place in the first round of the Dessert categoryputting him in the Category Finals round. Elliott won runner-up in the Category Finals round, but the winner of that category could not compete on Sunday due to her religious beliefs. As the runner-up, Elliott moved to the Final Table round.

“It’s amazing [about winning]!” said Elliott. “There were a couple of professionals competing. My mom and I are not trained; not professionals. We never expected to progress past the first round and then we kept progressing each day.”

A panel judged each dessert. Some of the judges included journalist Robin Leach, MasterChef season one winner Whitney Miller, Food Network show host Ben Vaughn, and “Famous” Dave Anderson of the Famous Dave's restaurant chain.

“The judges ate our food in front of us and we watched them judge our food,” Elliott explained. “It was nerve racking. One took three bites and then was shaking his head. We were thinking, ‘What does that mean?’ ”

Elliott made his signature dessert, the peanut butter pie, during the first round. He also had to make cookies, so he made chocolate cookies with three or four kinds of chocolate and macadamia nuts. For the final round, Elliott asked his mom to bring her carrot cake recipe. Since his mom is a wonderful baker, he knew the carrot cake would be the best choice.

“We were stunned when we won,” Elliott said. “After all, I’m a BBQ guy, not a dessert guy.”

When Elliott is not competing, he spends his time as a business insights manager for Acosta Sales and Marketing and resides in Olathe with his wife and son. Elliott's mother is a resident of Overland Park, Kan.

The World Food Championship will be airing on A&E in Sspring 2014 as a six-episode show. Read The Kansas City Star story here.


Alums Win Emmys

Sheffer emmy2013smDonna (Schwenk ’92) and Greg Sheffer (’93)

Greg Sheffer (’93), owner/producer of INVERSION, a film and video production company, and Bryan Rich (’06), creative director/producer, won several Emmys at the regional Emmy Gala, Oct. 5. Sheffer won for historical documentary, cinematography and writing, and Rich won for historical documentary and cinematography; both were for the film Olathe—The City Beautiful,

 Bryan Rich Emmy2013smBryan (’06) and Jennifer (Blair, '05) Rich

According to The Mid-America chapter is one of nineteen regional chapters of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the standard-bearers for excellence in the television broadcasting industry and the gatekeepers of the prestigious regional EMMY® Awards.  Mid-America represents the most experienced and talented television professionals from all disciplines of the industry and from each of its television markets.

 

 

 

 

MNU News

Monday, August 31
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Prayer Walk 2015
Prayer Walk 2015 Seeks God's Direction

Prayer Walk 2015 Seeks God's Direction

Each year during Welcome Week hundreds of students, faculty, staff and Olatheans gather at MNU to pray for the new school year. See the gallery of photos on Flickr and join us in seeking God's…

Read More
CC Flags
MNU Rekindles American Heritage Week

MNU Rekindles American Heritage Week

In preparation for MNU’s 50th anniversary in 2016, the university is reintroducing programs and traditions that hold significant value to its students, alumni, staff and faculty. The Donald S. Metz…

Read More
Q in Haiti
New Passion to Serve Project Has $50,000 Goal

New Passion to Serve Project Has $50,000 Goal

MNU’s 2015-2016 Passion to Serve project will benefit four communities in Haiti. Students will guide efforts to raise $50,000 to install a soccer…

Read More
Prayer Walk 2014
Public Invited to Pioneer Prayer Walk 2015 Aug. 27

Public Invited to Pioneer Prayer Walk 2015 Aug. 27

MNU Associated Student Government invites members of the Olathe and surrounding community to join students, faculty and staff in Pioneer Prayer Walk,…

Read More
Hodges 7x7 2015
Creativity and Precision: Knitted Together

Creativity and Precision: Knitted Together

For MNU professor Abby Hodges, there is a beautiful similarity between spinning her own yard from sheep’s wool, and observing the science of the…

Read More
Overholt
Prof’s Research Finds Good News: Solar Events Unlikely Cause of Birth Defects

Prof’s Research Finds Good News: Solar Events Unlikely Cause of Birth Defects

Physics professor Dr. Andrew Overholt has made science headlines again, this time with his research on the effects of solar events on birth…

Read More
IMG 1889
SERVEteams Assist Drexel Church After Flooding

SERVEteams Assist Drexel Church After Flooding

Justin Barnes, a junior English and Intercultural Studies major from Olathe at MNU is lending his help this summer at Drexel, Missouri’s Victory…

Read More
FOE Team 2015
Foundations of Excellence Project Launches

Foundations of Excellence Project Launches

Faculty and staff chosen to be on the Foundations of Excellence task force studying MNU's first year student experience are in Asheville, North…

Read More
UO8A1215
Bringing a passion for the past into the present

Bringing a passion for the past into the present

History means something special to MNU graduate Sarah Wacker (’15). Her inspiration for American history stems from memories of her grandfather, of…

Read More
Sports
Pioneers Break Scoring Record in Opener

Pioneers Break Scoring Record in Opener

The Pioneers put up a program-record 80 points in the season opener vs. Culver-Stockton on Saturday...(click title for more)

 
Pioneers Back on Winning Track

Pioneers Back on Winning Track

The Pioneers were back in action Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Field...(click title for more)

 
Krohn Shines as MNU Beats Northwestern 4-1

Krohn Shines as MNU Beats Northwestern 4-1

Steffi Krohn came off the bench in the 19th minute and sparked the Pioneers with 2 quick assists and a goal in a 4-1 victory on Saturday...(click title for more) 

 
Latest Photos
Sand Volleyball Tourney at the Annual MNU Root Beer Fest - 2015r Fest - 2015 Photo by Josiah Crandall
Sand Volleyball Tourney at the Annual MNU Root Beer Fest - 2015 Photo by Josiah Crandall
Sand Volleyball Tourney at the Annual MNU Root Beer Fest - 2015r Fest - 2015 Photo by Josiah Crandall
Sand Volleyball Tourney at the Annual MNU Root Beer Fest - 2015 Photo by Josiah Crandall
Sand Volleyball Tourney at the Annual MNU Root Beer Fest - 2015 Photo by Josiah Crandall
Sand Volleyball Tourney at the Annual MNU Root Beer Fest - 2015 Photo by Josiah Crandall