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BBQ masters bring the heat for KCBS-santioned competition in Raymond

Posted on July 27, 2023 by admin
Westwind Weekly News Phot BY Erika Mathieu BBQ competition: Pitmasters celebrate as they pass submit their meats to be judged during the Smoke Wind and Fire BBQ competition in Raymond this weekend.

By Erika Mathieu
Westwind Weekly News

This past weekend, over 20 professional barbecue teams from across western Canada and the U.S. came together to compete in the Smoke, Wind and Fire competition for Masters and Backyard BBQ-ers. 

The Kansas City Barbecuers Society (KCBS) sanctioned event was held alongside the Raymond Road Aces Carshow and the Three Sisters Market on July 21-22 at the Victoria Sports Park in Raymond. The weekend also included a movie night in the park on July 21, and beer gardens on-site hosted by the Raymond Ag Society. 

Community Development Director for the Town of Raymond, Greg Robinson said, “from the Town of Raymond’s perspective, it’s amazing to have them here. We’re thrilled that we’re able to put together all these other elements to make everything even better and even more worth the trip to Raymond.” 

Robinson explained competitive BBQ events of this caliber, such as the Smoke, Wind and Fire competition, are regional events which allow participating teams to earn points with the hope of gaining enough points to compete at larger events in the United States.

This year, Robinson and his team competed in the backyard category, placing fourth. He said the team’s prize earnings covered the cost of their meat.

“There’s still good money,” for amateurs who compete in the regional events, but said for professionals,  the larger competitions have higher stakes and bigger prizes. 

“There’s big money involved. Some of them have $200k-300k worth of smoking equipment and it’s pretty amazing. So for those guys, this is serious stuff. For those guys, that’s their life every weekend.” 

The masters Grand Champion title for the Smoke, Wind, and Fire BBQ competition was awarded to Janice Smella, of SmellaQue in Calgary. Her team won first place in the ribs and brisket categories, fourth in pork, and sixth in chicken. 

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