The first annual Great Fraser River Salmon BBQ Competition is slated for Saturday, August 15 at 8 a.m., in picturesque downtown Hope. For all salmon loving foodies, critics and chefs, the competition remains open to fresh faces, new ideas and tried and true methods of barbecuing.
“This is one of the most exciting and new ideas I have seen since moving to Hope. With the popularity of foodies, competitions and salmon, I believe this will be a win-win event for all concerned. I am thrilled and proud to be a part of the first-ever West Coast competition for our iconic salmon — thanks for all you do,” said competition volunteer and Hope resident Sharlene Hinds.
Self-professed foodie and fish connoisseur, Donald Stokes, is seeking more teams to join the festivities and soon. At least five more teams would round the competition out nicely, according to Stokes, who aims to get 12 teams firing up the grill.
Stokes explained the different flavours, textures and colours of six species of salmon including sockeye, chum, coho, pink, steelhead and chinook, as he discussed various migrant patterns and quirky facts of salmon life. He listed the traits that make them unique including tenderness, colour and flavour.
There are endless combinations to consider when preparing salmon and each combination is as unique as the type of salmon used. Smoky wood flavours like applewood can really enhance the flavour, along with asian influences like miso, or even pesto. The sky is the limit when experimenting with BBQ and creating masterpieces on the grill according to Stokes.
“We will be judging on a few different components,” he said.
Blind judging and people’s choice will be a couple of the methods used to choose winners. Competitors will be judged on the appearance, texture, taste and of course proper temperature of the salmon.
“If the temperature isn’t right that’s it,” said Stokes.
It doesn’t matter how much preparation has gone into the fish, or how many hours it has been marinated — if the core temperature doesn’t measure up the competition is over, which can be a nerve-wracking component for contestants.
Stokes, who owns Rocky Mountain Recreation Co. is passionate about his work, and the competition which is a first ever of its kind in western Canada. The competition will be open to both amateurs and professionals. Falling on the same weekend as the Hope Chainsaw Carving Competition, it will be a rare and unusual treat.
“It’s never been done — and with the chainsaw carving, this will be something cool,” he said.
The event is sponsored by the Hope Lions Club, the Town of Hope, AdvantageHOPE, Hope Chamber of Commerce, Hope Shell, David Radmore & Andy Tepasse-ReMax real estate Hope, Eureka tents and packs, Earl Martin the wood carver and assorted small businesses.
For more information or to sign up for the competition please check out www.bcsalmonbbqcomp.ca or check out the Great Fraser River Salmon BBQ Facebook page.