Real Southern Barbeque in Southern Alberta.
Lynwood Ranch, just South of Calgary hosted the first of three events for the Kansas City Barbeque Society's (KCBS) Alberta Cup Competition, 2016.
It was one of three sanctioned events in Alberta that agreed to offer BBQ teams an extra chance at winning some special prizes with their smoked brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork and chicken. It all happened at Lynwood ranch on 14 and 15 May, 2016, and we were there.
This was Lynnwood Ranch’s second annual KCBS sanctioned BBQ competition and BBQ Feast. The KCBS BBQ Competition “Smokin Q” was started in 2015 after a friend, Bernie Kenny of BBQ on the Bow paid a visit to Gus & Wendy LeDuc at Lynwood Ranch. Bernie spoke of the need for more BBQ competitions in Alberta, and naturally this well known ranch came up as the perfect location to kick off the tour. (Bernie is on the lookout for more venues to have more competitions for his 150 qualified BBQ judges. It is a great idea to get the community involved, do some fundraising, and have a major tourism event with awesome food. Get in touch with him here.)
We, the Two Cowboys were ready to get on a plane to New Zealand for some prior commitments. But, we just couldn't pass on Gus' invitation to attend the event before the big day. There is no way we can leave without getting a taste of Alberta's legendary Barley fed pork at the BBQ Bash “Feast & Frolic”. This event preceded the competition the next day. With the help of the BBQ teams that were competing, Lynwood Ranch put on an amazing feast for almost 300 people attending.
I've learned one important thing from attending this amazing event: "This is serious business!"
As born and raised South Africans we can probably write the book on barbecue. We "braai" at least three times a week since birth. However, nothing could prepare us for what we were to experience.
The food flavours, sophistication and complexity we tasted could rival items from any menu in a five star restaurant establishment, anywhere in the world. Some of the meat smoking technology were space-age computer contraptions with minute tolerances and titanium precision. It was amazing to see the care and commitment that went into the most exquisite byte of flesh, jalapeño or burned-end. In contrast, the purists relied on perfect ingredients, traditional flavours, simple smokers and a lot of love and care for their art.
The biggest impression on us was seeing how much fun people were having. It was a weekend family affair for the teams, and also for the spectators. Folks travelled together, ate together and drank together. Everyone was made to feel welcome.
Hopefully, this is the first of many instalments we get to bring you of Alberta's barbecue underworld. It is definitely something people should know more about.
Lynwood Ranch is the place where you can lose your barbecue virginity. Gus and his team has a first class venue. He himself knows a thing or two about southern style barbecue. He is famous for his prime rib roast. Don't pass on an opportunity to taste one of the best. Gus, thank you for giving people a chance to cook great food.
Hendrik van Wyk
The Prime Rib
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