A pair of Alberta brothers who have mastered the art of southern-style cooking have hit the barbecue big time.
They’ve been invited to compete at the 38th American Royal World Series of Barbecue, which runs Aug. 31 through Sept. 3 in Kansas City.
At the end of August, Red Boar Smokery’s owner and pit boss Dylan Cave and Chris Becker will drive over 5,000 kilometres to Kansas armed with beef brisket thanks to winning a 2016 barbecue competition in North Battleford, Sask., that turned out to be a World Series qualifying event.
They also were named Best Rookies at the 2016 BBQ on the Bow in Calgary and collected 12 other awards at various competitions.
They’ll need all the barbecue street cred they can muster down in Kansas, which is reputed to be one of the best when it comes to southern style barbecue, says Becker — although it’s still very much a matter of debate throughout the U.S.
“Everybody thinks they’re the best, and everybody thinks they’re the origin of it,” Becker says. “Kansas City is definitely one of the biggest (cities) where barbecue is popular.”
One thing everyone in Kansas agrees on is the significance of the American Royal when it comes to barbecue competitions.
“It’s the world championship, so as far as the KCBS (Kansas City Barbecue Society) goes, it’s the top,” Becker told the Calgary Eyeopener.
There are generally four required categories in a barbecue competition, says Chris: pulled pork, pulled ribs, beef brisket and chicken.
Additionally, in Kansas there will be a few auxiliary categories that the duo plan to enter, including sausage and turkey.
The pair have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help finance the trip, because, among other things, contestants must supply their own meat (although a sponsor is supplying the turkey in Kansas).
“And it’s over $100 for a cut of brisket,” said Cave.
While the thought of competing against barbecue heavyweights from places like Kansas City, Tennessee and Texas might daunt some chefs, the Red Deer duo gained confidence when a customer from Texas, right down to his trademark Stetson hat, sat down for lunch at the Red Boar Smokery.
“After the meal, he was sitting there, wiping his mouth off and he gives me the nod and says, ‘That’s real barbecue.'” said Cave.
With files from the Calgary Eyeopener