San Diego Resident To Participate As Top 10 Judge At 6th Annual World Food Championships

October 28, 2017

She's known in San Diego's food circles as the Baroness of Barbecue. A certified master BBQ judge, podcaster, blogger, culinary industry maven, and all-around Renaissance woman, Ocean Beach resident Mercy Baron will participate as a Top 10 Judge at the 6th annual World Food Championships, taking place this November 8-12 in Alabama.

Born in New York and raised in Los Angeles, Mercy Baron has pursued many endeavors during her exciting life. A trained dancer and percussionist, Mercy traveled around the United States in her early 20s playing in bands before getting a degree in anthropology and becoming an archaeologist. In her 40s, Mercy became a successful plus-sized model and dabbled in acting, even making her own travel television show pilot. In 2008, Mercy moved from LA to San Diego to be closer to her son and grandchildren. She began doing food reviews and has written hundreds of articles, including many for the San Diego Reader. In 2012, Mercy became a Kansas City Barbecue Society Certified BBQ Judge and has used her credentials to participate as a judge in many competitions around the country. Just recently, she obtained her Master's certification in barbecue judging. Mercy also has her own San Diego Barbecue Blog - Baron's BBQ Beat - and hosts a food-related podcast at the Specialty Produce Network.

"When the CEO of the World Food Championships asks you to be a Top 10 Judge, you say YES SIR!'", commented Mercy. "I'm actually really thrilled to be participating this year in Orange Beach. I'll not only be judging the final table of BBQ, but I've also been asked to judge the final Chef's competition. That should be delicious!"

The World Food Championships pins teams and chefs against one another in various categories of cuisine, including barbecue, sandwich, burger, bacon, seafood, and much more. After several rounds of competition, a winner is crowned in each category, then all the winners compete to see who is crowned as the annual World Food Champion. In 2014, San Diego Chef Ricardo Heredia won the title in the Bacon category for the second year in a row, then went on to win the entire competition, being awarded $110,000 in prize money. This year, Baron is the only San Diegan that will be a part of the World Food Championships in Orange Beach, Alabama. 

Being that Baron has to front her own travel expenses for the nearly weeklong trip to Alabama, she has received sponsorship contributions to assist with the cost, including from OB Noodle House, Mother's Saloon, Raglan Public House, Beach Sweets, BBQ House, Te Mana Cafe, and Specialty Produce. Anyone wishing to contribute or send words of encouragement can email Mercy at [email protected].