Championship grillers unite at Creekside 

Smoke and Bones crowned top cooking team of the weekend

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOHN FRENCH - The reserve Champions at the National BBQ Championships was the team called Smokeys Bar-B-Que.
  • Photo by John French
  • The reserve Champions at the National BBQ Championships was the team called Smokeys Bar-B-Que.

Creekside is a really good-smelling neighbourhood every year around the August long weekend.

The annual celebration of all things barbecue kept Creekside busy through the weekend with the top grillers from Vancouver and Washington State converging on the stroll outside of Dusty's Bar and BBQ from Saturday morning until early Sunday evening.

Rookie grillers mixed it up on Saturday then on Sunday the pros fired up their grills for the Bull's-Eye Canadian National BBQ Championships.

The Pique's own G.D. Maxwell and the 41 other competition judges deemed Justin Kyllo and his Smoke and Bones team from North Vancouver the top grillers of the weekend while the same panel of refined eaters judged Smokeys Bar-B-Que to be the reserve champions.

"This is the big one," says Kyllo of his Whistler victory. "It is nice to be back on top."

Kyllo says that often when he competes his attention is split between two operations.

"When we go to other events quite often we have a big truck so we are the food for the event for the public so I have to manage the truck and my staff and to compete is hard," he says.

Kyllo just wanted to come into Whistler and focus on the competition so that is what he did this year in an attempt to make sure the overall winner last year, Wine Country Q, didn't take top spot two years in a row.

"It worked out," he says of his fifth entry into the national championships in Whistler.

Those honours are great but it was the team called Smoke Eaters that won the hearts of the regular every day citizens. The Smoke Eaters were the winners of the People's Choice award.

Each year the event organizers acknowledge the best new team to the event. The Rib Mafia from Washington State took the honours this year along with fourth place in chicken and seventh place overall out of 31 teams.

The Ravenswood winery in Sonoma sponsored the pulled pork competition and dubbed it Cork and Pork.

The objective was to make the perfect match between barbecued pulled pork and Ravenswood's Zinfandel wine. Certified sommeliers and BBQ judges gathered to determine the winners. The competition entries were judged on appearance (19 per cent), texture and tenderness (30 per cent) while the other 51 per cent was judged on flavour pairing with the Ravenswood Zinfandel.

Only one team was named in this winner takes all category and it was Bad Ass BBQ from North Vancouver.

Dave McKay and his team took home a huge bottle of Ravenswood wine for their efforts along with a trip for two to Sonoma Valley to tour the winery.

According to Joshua Kearns, the manager of Dusty's Bar and BBQ, the mouthwatering food and drink combined with the activities that take place each year make the BBQ championships a "must experience" for meat lovers. The event included (mechanical) bull riding, music from Ruckus Deluxe, Whole Lotta Led, The Matinée and Darren Lee and the Memphis Flash

Now, for the rest of the story. Here are the top three finishers in each of the various grilling events:

Pork shoulder

1. Mad Cow BBQ - Langley

2. Smokeys Bar-B-Que - Snohomish, WA

3. Beerbque - Bothell, WA

Beef brisket

1. Smoke and Bones - North Vancouver

2. House of Q - Vancouver

3. BBQ Bob and the Eh Team of Whistler


1. Sasquatch - Mission

2. Pork-a-holics - Langley

3. Smoke and Bones - North Vancouver


1. Smokeys Bar-B-Que - Snohomish, WA

2. Smoke and Bones - North Vancouver

3. Rusty's BBQ - Port Moody

The event was sanctioned by the Pacific Northwest BBQ Association and competitors followed the PNWBA rules and scoring systems. No detail is left uncovered in the PNWBA guide for cooks, which includes the rules and competition procedures.

The Whistler event is held each year early in the competitive barbecue season and a number of big events are still to come. The World Food Championships in Las Vegas are set for Nov. 1 to 4 and Jack Daniels will hold an invitational event in Lynchburg, Tennessee in October.

For additional BBQ Championships coverage, check here:

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