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A hog of a good time

Whistler hosts fifth annual Canadian BBQ Championships



What: Canadian BBQ Championships

When: Friday, Aug. 4 to Sunday, Aug. 6

Where: Dusty’s at Creekside

Whistler gives up the biggest prize money in the Pacific North West barbecue competition circuit at the Canadian BBQ Championships Friday, Aug. 4 to Sunday, Aug. 6 at Dusty’s at Creekside. But you don’t need to be a slow-cookin’ master to enjoy the weekend of festivities that range from a hamburger and cocktail contest to live music and plenty of championship barbecue sampling all around.

"Anyone can come down to Dusty’s to sign up," said competition participant and Whistler-Blackcomb Chef Bob Haselbach. "The weekend is a lot of fun."

Haselbach, recent winner of the B.C. Barbecue Championships, looks forward to the Bull’s Eye Backyard Burger competition where barbecue enthusiasts can concoct a burger creation entirely their own. Only imagination and "secret" ingredients are required for the fun competition. A grill, hamburger, buns and condiments are provided. The winner gets their burger featured on the Dusty’s menu for the year.

"My roommate, Martin Blais, is Dusty’s sous chef, so I keep threatening I am going to make a really complicated one – one with pockets of cream cheese in the centre of the patty – that he has to make 300 times a day on a busy winter rush," Haselbach jokes.

The burger competition is one of four events hosted on the Saturday that locals can try their hand at, with more than $2,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs, including barbecues from Kerrisdale Lumber.

Freedom reigns at the King of the Grill Anything Goes Grilling Contest. The only stipulation for the event is that the main component of the entry must be grilled or smoked and cooked on site – vegetables, fish, lamb, anything goes.

No vegetarians are allowed for the chili contest. The meat-only competition is a qualifier for the World International Contest in Terlingua, Texas.

Mixologists will be given an opportunity to strut their stuff with the first Grand Marnier Cocktail contest Saturday at 8 p.m. Build, judge or just hangout and watch.

After toasting the winner, Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dollz take to the stage with their rock and roll burlesque show at 10 p.m. Tickets are $7. The Hairfarmer’s play for free on Saturday afternoon.

The community is also welcome to become official barbecue judges. Participants must attend judging school Friday, Aug. 4 at 6 p.m. at Dusty’s. Pre-register by calling Josh Kearns at 604-905-2146.

Learn the secrets of whole hog barbecue at 7 p.m. on Friday with a barbecue hog demonstration. Advanced tickets for the Saturday night hog feed can only be purchased at the demonstration.

Sunday is for the true barbecue barons to shine with more than 50 barbecue smokers going head to head at the Canadian BBQ Championships, including locals Haselbach, Blais, Adam Protter, Dave Brownsberger, Mark Smith and Julian Wilson.

Competitors will compete in four categories: beef brisket, pork shoulder, pork ribs and chicken. In addition to cash prizes, the 2006 Canadian champ gets an invitation to the world championships in Lynchburg.

"I don’t want to get too excited about it," Haselbach said of entering this year’s competition with his new provincial title. "The competition is going to be a lot steeper for this one."

The public can also purchase a sampler ticket, allowing people to taste competitors’ entries throughout Sunday afternoon.

Entry fees for the Saturday events are as follows: the chili contest $25; anything goes $25; backyard burger $25; and cocktail contest $20.

Call Josh at 604-2146 for more information.

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