Barbecue Events and Restaurant Openings

Somewhere along the way I became a barbecue blogger…not too sure how this happened but, it is not a bad thing. First off, in Sapperton (New Westminster, don’tcha know) the little grocer formerly known as Graze Market’s has been renovated and is now a barbecue house. As soon as I know more about this new barbecue house I will post.

Also, on Saturday & Sunday May 28th and 29th Cascades Casino will be the venue for the Canadian Festival of Chili and BBQ 2011.  Over 20 participating BBQ masters will be showcasing their food on the casino property.

This event began in 1987 by the late David and Pat Veljacic and over the course of its history it became one of the biggest food events in the Lower Mainland, with crowds of more than 20,000 attending.

The festival consists of two different contests occurring on the same day. First is the B.C. Chili Championship. This is the provincial championship for CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International). CASI is an international organization which promotes chili cook offs to raise money for charity.

The chili cooked is not what we normally consider chili, with beans and vegetables. It is Texas-style chili and consists only of meat and sauce with the meat cubed not ground.

The second event, The Barbecue, is also the B.C. Provincial Championship sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Association, the largest barbecue association in the world. This event is also a money raiser for charity.

In barbecue there are four categories, pork ribs, pork shoulder, chicken and (my personal favourite) beef brisket. Each category has a winner with cash prizes. After all is finished there is one Grand Champion and a Reserve Champion. The latter two qualify to cook in the previously mentioned events.

This type of barbecuing is not like grilling in your backyard. The meat is cooked for long periods of time at low temperatures over wood and charcoal fires. The barbecues range from small Weber “bullets” to large trailer-type smokers pulled behind trucks. The brisket will commonly cook for up to 10 hours to make a notoriously tough cut of meat into a tender and mouth-watering treat.

Judging in both competitions is by a double-blind system in which neither the cooks nor the judges know whose entry it is. Judging is done according to a recognized set of standards, including taste, texture , appearance and aroma.

To learn more about this event, you can check out their web site at: