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Oct 21, 2007 08:34 AM

BBQ rib chowfind at International Chefs Day

Predictably, at least half of the already limited offering of food ran out by 1:30 (despite the 3 pm advertised end time), but there were some gems at Yonge-Dundas square yesterday.

I don't care if I'm paying $2 or $3 for food samples if money is going to a worthy charity and in this case, it was for Second Harvest so I purchased tickets eagerly. I enjoyed the freshly-made waffles with apple and pecans, and the St. Anne's Spa pork on baguette. Someone else's pork on croissant was less inspired. There was also a lovely looking rare iron steak on blue cheese and salad greens that I didn't have room to try.

Being cynical by nature, I almost didn't line up for the ribs coming out of the huge locomotive-style smoker run by Earl of Bustin' Loose BBQ team and Rambo of Smokin' in the Igloo BBQ team.

Although $3 a plate (3 ribs per plate) I was really expecting disaster. Good thing I got in line right away, because they sold out by 1:30.

I was rewarded with really smoky, mostly-moist ribs with great outer and inner flavour. A little pink and not quite fall-off-the-bone. Not perfect but still up there with the best in GTA. Rambo says they smoke with a combo of apple, maple and hickory and use their sponsor's applewood "dust" liberally. The dust comes in sealed bags. I think I saw a Maple Leaf logo on their other smoker.

They don't do "ribfests" but intead travel to international competitions and cater fundraisers and even weddings. Hey, a girl can dream!

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    1. I just wanted to say thank you for your review of Dundas Sq & International Chefs Day downtown Toronto this past weekend. I am really glad you enjoyed my smoked ribs as well as the other foods you tested along the way. We would love too be back again next year to support Second Harvest if possible but we'll see. Not know what to expect we did limit our ribs to 120 racks of babybacks but we could have cooked & sold twice that. As it was we ran out of ribs in less than a 1-1/2 hrs The good thing about this event was 100% of all monies went to the Second Harvest & all products were donated free of charge. Food Tourist, you wrote the ribs were slightly pink in color & there is a good explanation for this. We cook using 100% wood or wood products such as Maple Leaf lump charcoal & as a result the meat will have a pink hue & it might even appear to be undercooked. Most folks cook with propane or natural gas grills & will not experience the pink hue unless they toss wood chips or chunks onto the hot burners too add a nice smoke flavor to the food. This is especially noticeable when doing smoked chicken & is such that some people will not eat thinking it's still raw which is far from the truth. Anyhow i wanted to explain the pink color in the ribs that you ate. Again thank you & if you or anyone else has any question about smoking food or bbq's in general i would be glad to help.

      Bustin Loose BBQ

      Sorry but my site needs to be updated real soon but please look around if you wish.

      3 Replies
      1. re: earlw

        Hi Earl,
        Without giving away too many secrets, could you please tell us which products you use to smoke? (Who were your sponsors?) And describe your sauce?

        1. re: Food Tourist

          One of my larger sponsors would be Knorr/Unilever foods which supplied the ribs & bbq sauce for the downtown event. We also have Maple Leaf Charcoal out of Que, Chicago 58 416-603-4244 in Woodbridge for our beef brisket & catering needs such as potato & coleslaw salads. One of the best place to find fresh chicken short of Maple Lodge Farms would be right here in Weston from Perfect Poultry Inc which just opened up last month on Toryork Drive 416-656-9666. Another place that helps me out is Bonanza Meats 416-745-3339 , they supply my pork shoulders & fresh Italian sausages made to order. Ontario Gas bbq's on Langstaff & the 400 hwy supply my team with some of the latest gadgets out here including our smoking woods & dry rubs. Rambo from Smoking In The Igloo brought along the Apple dust from their sponsor for us to try out i was really imprested with the results. You can find apple & papaya plus loads more at Ont Gas BBQ. If you recall, i use very little bbq sauce on my ribs, i am not a big fan of plastering lots of sauce all over the ribs & killing the real taste of the meat. In most cases i do not use any sause on the ribs what so ever. I do put sauce on my chicken but will brine them for 12 hrs in a salt water & sugar solution first, then place on grill. To answer your sauce question, i do like Diana's original bbq but make my own for the pulled pork or when in bbq competitions.

          Glad to help

          1. re: earlw


            Many thanks for all the contacts and info. I'll have to keep an eye out for you at other food events. Sadly, I didn't make this one.