The Similkameen BBQ King competition is once again bringing chefs from around the region to vie for the title in the Similkameen Wineries Association signature event. Last year

The Similkameen BBQ King competition is once again bringing chefs from around the region to vie for the title in the Similkameen Wineries Association signature event. Last year

Similkameen set to crown new king

Annual battle of the BBQ goes this weekend at historic Grist Mill

Ladies and gentlemen, start your grills.

A new Barbecue King is about to be named at the annual Similkameen BBQ King event this Saturday.

“We are so excited for our upcoming Similkameen BBQ King event which is our annual, signature event,” said George Hanson, president of the Similkameen Wineries Association. “It is held at the gorgeous Grist Mill and Gardens in Keremeos. It is an extraordinary evening and a very special Similkameen experience.”

The unique event is a competition where nine featured chefs compete for the coveted title by creating unique dishes for guests using organic ingredients from local farmers.

Attendees will go station to station enjoying the foods prepared by each chef, along with Similkameen wines specifically paired to go with each dish. All attendees will then get the opportunity to cast their vote for the best wine and food pairing.

The first hour of the event, from 5 to 6 p.m., will feature wine tastings from Similkameen wineries and appetizers from local chefs from Benja Thai, Branding Iron and Tree To Me. The competition kicks off at 6 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m. Competing chefs this year are Chris Boehm from Burger 55, Jason Hartl from the Delta Grand Okanagan, Natasha Schooten from the Grist Mill, Brent Pillon from Hillside Winery and Bistro, Lee Humphries from Local Lounge and Grille, Jeff Van Geest from Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek, Shayna Merritt from Shayna and Shulman Culinary Adventures, Justin Paakkunainen from Walnut Beach Resort and Adair Scott from Watermark Beach Resort.

The BBQ King title will be up for grabs as last year’s winners Karl and Jeremy Schorb, from The Branding Iron, are not participating. There will be plenty of competition though. Last year Hartl, and his cooking partner Ross Derrick, won best wine and food pairing. Grist Mill chef Schooten previously won media choice for best wine and food pairing.

In addition to the food and wine, there will also be live entertainment by Keremeos saxophonist and music educator Jonnie Bridgman who is joined by his band the Anja Jazz Trio. They will deliver innovative original jazz and unique interpretations of classic standards. Joining them will be special guest vocalist, Corrine Painter. A silent auction will held as a partial fundraiser for the Grist Mill, which is a Heritage B.C. site.

“We are starting to get in some absolutely amazing prizes for our silent auction, many of which are unique wine and food experiences themed around the competing chefs and our member wineries,” said Hanson.

The Similkameen BBQ King event is already over 80 per cent sold out and was completely sold out last year. Tickets are $80 and can be purchased at any of the Similkameen Winery Association member wineries, the Keremeos Visitor Centre or at the Grist Mill and online at Shuttle options are available from throughout the Okanagan/Similkameen.


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