4 weeks after our Chicken win at Smoked to the Bone, we found ourselves at the biggest and most incredible event I could ever imagine participating in. Thanks to Steph Legari, Team Eatapedia was invited to participate in a true U.S.A VS Canada BBQ throwdown! Not only that, but it was at the U.S. Ambassador's residence on July 4th!
We were already excited, but then to find out we would be cooking alongside 2 other Canadian powerhouse teams, "Can't Stop Grilling" featuring Tim Brown and Mark and MIke Deman from Puslinch, Ontario and "Diva Q", featuring Danielle Dimovski, from Barrie Ontario. Man, we were going to rub elbows with HUGE names in BBQ! Together, we 3 teams would form Team Canada, and we would be squaring off against each other AND 3 huge teams from the US: "MilitaryChefs.com", John Woods from "First Choice Catering" in Memphis, TN and Big John Wheeler from "Natural Born Grillers", also out of Memphis. Our friend Ed Tang from Amberwood was called upon to help Team USA as they were down a couple members.
This was to be a two-day event, and while we were there to compete against one another, the primary focus of the visit was to bring authentic BBQ for the annual July 4th Party that the US Ambassador hosts every year. This is a HUGE event in Ottawa, very high fallutin' with diplomats, celebrities and politicians of all ranks flocking to the massive grounds in Rockliffe Park.
We prepped and cooked enough ribs, chicken and pulled pork to feed 4,000 people. A staggering amount of food was all trimmed and prepped as all the teams worked together in the hopes of making the Ambassador proud of us. At the same time, however, we were cooking our own foods in an effort to win at the competition. Here are some of the numbers:
Pounds of pork ribs — 1,480
Pounds of pork butt — 1,200
Pounds of chicken — 1,620
While we were serving the masses, the judges were tasting our food, and the winners were announced by the Ambassador to the thousands of his guests. In the end, Diva ! won 1st Place Pork, and we won 1st Place Ribs AND 1st Place Chicken! With Danielle's win and ours, Team Canada were successful in defeating the Americans, at their own game, and on their own soil.
It was an incredible event, so much experience, so many laughs, so many buckets of sweat, and it was simply magical to be a part of it all. I was extremely proud to be a part of this event.
1st Place Chicken
1st Place Ribs
Grand Champions (as Team Canada)
Video, including interviews with the winners: