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Smokin bbq class

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It’s the boot camp of barbecue with Canadian barbecue champion and bestselling cookbook author Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuk returning to Whistler for another two-day barbecue intensive, including everything from grill to southern-style slow cooked, on July 1 and 2 at Dusty’s Bar and BBQ.

Day one on the Saturday is all about Supercharging Your Grilling Skills, grilling everything from meats to vegetables to even dessert. Shewchuk will share world-famous recipes along with insider tips on how to be the barbecue champion of your own backyard. The class is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $149 and includes wine tastings from Mission Hill Family Estate.

Day two requires more patience with Secrets of Championship Barbecue smokin’ out southern-style, slow-cooked barbecue from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This traditional way of barbecuing is the real deal. Shewchuk will share his champion tools, techniques, rubs, marinades, sauces and award-winning recipes throughout the day. Just for fun, the workshop includes a chicken and rib cook off with a panel of local celebrities judging the winners.

The Sunday workshop also includes Mission Hill wine tastings as well as a barbecue feast of pork sandwiches and Texas-style brisket.

Participants are asked to bring their own smoker or covered charcoal grill although loaners are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants should also bring an apron, cutting board, tongs and meat-friendly knives. The Sunday class is $249.

If you opt for the two-day package, priced at $299, the weekend also includes an evening soiree on the Saturday when barbecuers can join Shewchuk to fire up Dusty’s barbecue pit to prep the pork butts and briskets for Sunday’s lunch.

To register call 604-985-0234.

Discovering a new Milestone

It’s funny how if someone asks me what are my favourite restaurants in town (not including breakfast), I usually list off the three-digit-bill establishments. However, what my taste buds desire and what my pocketbook dictates isn’t always one and the same — even with the fabulous $30-$50 set-course dinners available right now.

I hadn’t even realized it, but one of the restaurants I frequent once or twice a month is Milestones. I overlooked it despite meeting my girlfriends there countless times before heading out to a movie.

Depending on whether the workweek demands one of their infamous Bellinis, more often than not, less than $20 is dropped for an hour and a half of great conversation, excellent service and satisfying (and generously portioned) food.

We usually stick to the appetizer menu with the occasional veggie burger with curly fries thrown in for good measure (that is all our stomachs can handle and the option of to-go containers sitting over a two-hour-plus movie isn’t all too appetizing). Milestones’ spinach dip is always a starter must. I don’t want to know how many calories are in that wonderfully gooey mess of cheese, spinach and artichokes, and I don’t care – I’ll put in that extra hike. The accompanying tortillas are fried on site and the salsa hand-cut — I could live off the stuff.

To my chagrin, they’ve taken the chicken lettuce wraps off the menu, but we found solace in the California Spring Salad, perfect for a light summer dinner. The sweet honey-mustard dressing is light with a refreshing mix of strawberries, roasted pecans and poppy-seed-speckled goat cheese thrown into a romaine and iceberg salad — again iceberg isn’t the dietary ideal, but harmless with all that water. And sometimes straying from the mixed field greens extravaganza is a bit of a breath of fresh air. Milestones is about keeping things simple, fresh and fast — we’ve never been late for a movie yet.

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