May the best Butt win…
Pork butt that is, mmmm pork butt! The Bulls-Eye Canadian National BBQ Championships rolls into Whistler Creekside this weekend (August 3-5, 2012), and serves up 3 days of non-stop BBQ festivities. Pork butt (which is actually a shoulder and not a butt at all) is one of four categories to be judged as dozens of BBQ masters duke it out for the title of Grand Champion. With twenty plus BBQ competitions under my belt (literally) and having helped “grill and thrill” all across North America, it’s nice to celebrate BBQ – a backyard activity – in the world’s best backyard, Whistler.
BBQ Championships are just that– a competition where teams cook BBQ and are judged on taste, texture and appearance. The Canadian National Championships, like other BBQ competitions across North America follow a specific process and set of rules. Whistler falls under the jurisdiction of the Pacific North West BBQ Association (yes, there is such a thing) and, like at all sanctioned competitions, to be crowned Grand Champion a BBQ chef will need to prepare that weekend’s best in all four meat categories– Beef Brisket, Chicken, Ribs and Pork Butt. Timing, creativity, dedication and more than a few secret recipes come into play.
But this weekend’s events are not only for the serious, passionate (ok, maybe borderline-obsessive) BBQ fiends, anyone can have a good time over the 3-day Championships. Friday Aug 3rd features a BBQ Judging Class from 4–9pm and a musical throwdown by Whistler’s legendary Led Zepplin cover band A Whole Lotta Led at 9pm (tix $10 at Dusty’s.)
Saturday is chock full of food samples (with proceeds going to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation) mechanical bull riding, a free performance by fiddle-and-guitar duo Ruckus Deluxe and the more laid-back and fun BBQ competitions like the Back Yard Burger Championship and King of the Grill.
Local favourites “BBQ Bob and the Eh Team” will be there defending their 2-year King of the Grill title (Full disclosure, BBQ Bob is my boyfriend and I am the Eh Team. We were champs in 2011 but in 2010 we shared first place and a perfect score with another Whistler team, Pork’er After Dark.) Saturday night also features a Hog Roast at Dusty’s from 7-8pm (tix $20, get ‘em quick because this always sells out) followed by a performance by alt-country rockers The Matinée at 9pm.
The more serious BBQ competitors (like us!) will put our brisket and pork onto the grill around 10pm Saturday night so the meat can spend upwards of 14 hours making sweet love with the smoke all night long. Every few hours we’ll flip and spray the meat so most teams will spend the entire night camped out on-site at the base of the Creekside Gondola.
BBQ Bob Haselbach (holding ribbon) and the authour (second from right) celebrate a victory for “Best Backyard Burger”.
Sunday is all business, and well-worth showing up to watch and taste the wares. The judges start deliberating/eating at 11 am. Every competitor needs to bring their triple-A-game because there are $5000 in cash and prizes up for grabs plus an invitation to compete at the World Championships in Lynchburg , Tennessee and the World BBQ Champs in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each category of meat will be judged and awarded individually but to be crowned Grand Champion a BBQ chef must excel at all four.
Of course, you don’t need to cook a thing to be a winner this weekend. Come out and enjoy the sun, music, and taste some of the best BBQ in the country. And if you can’t make it this weekend be sure to check out BBQ Bob’s award winning meat (including his succulent pork butt) any day of the year at his Creekside eateries BBQ Bob’s and Roland’s Pub.