HOME > Chowhound > Prairie Provinces >


Canadian Chili Championships in YYC

Just a heads up that they're going on Sunday at Crossroads Market:

Seems that the provincial championship is on Saturday:

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Thanks for this! might drop by on Sunday.

    16 Replies
    1. re: sweeterpea

      I wonder if this will be like BBQ on the Bow with no samples and competitors don't talk to the crowd? Snooooooooooore. I hope not. Might check it out. Thanks darell!

      1. re: TSAW


        That was our experience as well with BBQ on the Bow a few years ago. I kept joking that it wasn't the same without TV narrators to keep it interesting.

        1. re: darelleats

          Seriously, why does City Palate advertise the hell out of BBQOTB? It is the most pointless and annoying excuse for a "festival."

          If this is like other chili cookoffs, then nobody but the flucking judges gets to taste a thing. There is no point to advertising this for the general public.

          1. re: John Manzo

            While I agree, I figured it was worth mentioning in case anyone wanted to check it out.

            I seem to have a habit of finding out about food events after the fact and thought I'd try and prevent that from happening for others!

        2. re: TSAW

          Ya know why? It’s the the Calgary Health Board! The requirements you have to meet to serve food are very strict. It’s hard to justify the time or stress unfortunately. It’s pretty damn hard to walk around all that great smoked meat and not be able to sample a thing ain’t it???

          1. re: derfster

            "It’s hard to justify the time or stress unfortunately."

            i sure hope the organizers realize that with this attitude, BBQOTB will simply remain an obscure, joke of a "festival" in Calgary. :(

            1. re: nonlinear

              No kidding- if it's the health board, then why do SO MANY OTHER festivals manage to have broad, and sometimes downright excellent (as with the Folk Fest and Lilac Fest) food booths?

              1. re: John Manzo

                john - my thoughts exactly. :)

                if the hundreds of garage-based festival food vendors can do it, it can't be THAT hard - especially for a group dedicated to hosting a BBQ "festival."

                1. re: John Manzo

                  Johnny! In the case of BBQOTB the competitors have better things to do than serve food and jump through all the hoops to do so. That leaves the organizers to find food service for the festival like they do at other festival. I know that they’ve tried to find people to do it but for one reason or another it just never works out.

            2. re: TSAW

              Speaking as a competitor in BBQ on the Bow, as well as other competitions in Western Canada, I can tell you that most of the competitors would LOVE to sample out there food and "share the joy"... We cook a lot of meat and have a lot left over. Generally it's the health department that won't allow this to occur... Remember, most competitors are not professional caterers and the makeshift sites they work out of aren't exactly inspected commercial kitchens. While they take food safety seriously, the health dept's in general won't touch this type of event. (I am not from Calgary so have no specific knowledge of the situation there)
              It is absolutely a health department issue - the BBQOTB organizers are aware of the frustrations, I just don' t know if there's any way around it.

              1. re: Rob R.

                hi rob, i understand what you're saying, but i've had samples from just about every farmer's market and grocery store i've ever been to. I just can't believe this would pose such a problem.

                also, aside from the comments of you and the one other poster in the thread who is obviously affiliated, i've heard nothing but negative comments about the BBQOTB. i'm just saying that instead of trying to defend the failure of the event, and basically tell the public what to think, that maybe BBQOTB should instead listen to the public, address the issues and try to improve?

                1. re: nonlinear

                  I think it's because of the raw meat sitution, compounded by the fact that teams are handling 3 different proteins including chicken. That means cross contamination risks. There is no on site refrigeration, teams sites do not have their own dedicated handwash stations, free flowing hot water, etc - things that are all absolute requirements in a restaurant or commercial kitchen.
                  I don't think you will find many booths at farmers markets or Folk fest booths selling cooked meat that was prepared from raw state right there. If it's meat or other hot food, it's likely prepared in a commercial kitchen and hot held at the site. if it's anything else - health dept is less concerned.
                  However I can see there seems to be lots of other issues with the event (lots of negative comments above) for reasons that haven't been expanded on in this thread. Maybe they're not listening, but maybe they try hard to make sure there is a lot of other activities besides sampling - cooking demos, live entertainment, real BBQ food for sale, kids entertainment, bbq marketplace, etc. Could it be improved? Of course. But honestly I'm sure the sampling thing has been beaten to death over the years. It's the single biggest complaint from the public at these events and it's not just Alberta.
                  My whole point today was just to say that I'm sure the organizers are aware of the sampling frustration, and I'm sure there's very little they can do about it. I do appreciate the opinions!

                  1. re: Rob R.

                    I appreciate hearing both sides, thanks for your insights, RobR

              2. re: TSAW

                One more comment... Sounds like you found an anti-social BBQ team - a pretty rare thing! The only thing we like doing more than cooking BBQ is talking about BBQ... It's our favorite part of the weekend. (Well, other than the award ceremonies :-) If you come across someone that doesn't want to chat, keep moving!

                1. re: Rob R.

                  Darn health regulations! actually....all of the teams were anti-social, including one lead by a local politician. Wandering around watching and smelling became a major bore-fest.

                  1. re: TSAW

                    Following Health regs is pretty easy most of it is common sense. Look at the night markets in Richmond or Heritage festival in Edmonton. You should not use health regs as an excuse. But saw that they are having Holy Smoke BBQ as the cater which is good for that business.