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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Traveling Cowboys: 2017 Feast and Frolicking and SmokinQ some BBQ at Lynnwood Ranch, Okotoks, Alberta

BBQ Feast

It's not BBQ. It is chef inspired gourmet cooking with locally sourced Alberta produce. Alberta Pork, Beef, Chicken, Alberta smoke and truly amazing Alberta BBQ talent.

Gus Leduc and his team at Lynnwood Ranch hosted the annual KCBS' Alberta Chapter, BBQ on the Bow, for the seasonal kick-off of Alberta's 2017 low and slow BBQ competitions. If this sounds like a mouthful, let me explain.

The Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and enjoying barbecue. It is the world's largest organization of barbecue and grilling enthusiasts with over 20,000 members worldwide. KCBS sanctions over 500 barbecue contests worldwide. The annual event at Lynnwood Ranch is one of three in Alberta where a team can earn a ticket to the annual World Championships in the U.S.A.

Here is the first of two videos to showcase the events of the May 12 weekend.

Feast and Frolick and SmokinQ

Video 1 of 2: Feast and Frolic

Video 2 of 2: SmokinQ


The Feast and Frolic precede the SmokinQ competition to give the BBQ teams a fantastic feast, a dance and a chance to be judged on the preparation of inspirational food items outside the KCBS criteria. Almost 300 people attended the event to sample from a series of starter dishes prepared by the teams. It was accompanied this year by Gus' own outstanding smoked brisket and "Alberta" salmon.

Competition day is known as SmokinQ. This year 35 teams competed with a fair number of newcomers to the "sport" of BBQ. I questioned Steve Alvarez (the KCBS representative in attendance) on why it is referred to as a "sport"? He clarified, "There is a lot of physical activity that goes into preparing good Southern Style BBQ. It can take up to 18 hours to have the food prepared perfectly and on time for judging". We here mistakenly thought that to eat BBQ was the sport!


The hospitality at Lynnwood Ranch was as usual, outstanding. There was nothing too much for Gus and Wendy when we wheeled in our Motorhome on Saturday afternoon ahead of the Feast and Frolic. They are the perfect hosts.

If there is one thing that stands out in the BBQ community other than the great food, it is the community and the friendships amongst the people involved. People from different locations, as far as Manitoba come to the event. They are from diverse backgrounds, varying levels of cooking skills and experience. All of them come together for a fabulous weekend around their love for a particular type of food. If you were ever looking for a real festival of food, then this is the single best place to experience it all first-hand.

We are glad we can be part of it all and tell the stories of the people involved.

Hendrik van Wyk
Brisket Cowboy

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We have a thousand photos. See all the event photos here.

Competition Time


It is Called a Braai

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