Tuscaloosa chefs prepare for major cooking competition

World Food Championship

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Jon Turner and Cherri Koester were inside their comfort zone Wednesday morning inside the kitchen of the University Club where they’re perfecting recipes for the World Food Championships.

Burgers are just one of the several meals they’ll be judged on. “You’ve only got a 10 minute window to get it from where you’re cooking to the judges. One second late and they’ll disqualify you,” Jon Turner explained.

Turner is a University of Alabama grad student, Cherri Koester is executive chef at the University Club. They want to wow judges at the World Food Championships with dishes like their take on a “juicy loosey” burger filled with cheese.

“You want to cut that burger and kind of have the cheese ooze out. We’re coming up with our kind of signature take on that and we’re calling it a lava luscious,” Koester described.

One of their burgers will be made with mushrooms and ingredients from sponsors like Bo Jackson. “The year he went over the top and beat Alabama I was sitting down there as Big Al so I decided to go ahead and name it after him and bring a little bit of Alabama into it,” Turner added.

Besides burgers, they’ll also cook from categories that include steak and chili. “I’m hoping we bring more attention to the University of Alabama. And also it’ll give me more of an opportunity to show what I can do as a chef,” Koester concluded.

The chefs leave Tuscaloosa for the competition in Orange Beach, Alabama, on Tuesday.

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