International Chicken-Rib Cook-Off (Ottawa) – HOLY CRAP!

I was spending some time with my uncle in Ottawa and he mentioned that every summer, for at least the past 10 years or so, there has been a chicken-rib competition. My jaw dropped. I love chicken. I love ribs. And I love to compete. This is something that I just couldn’t miss.

There was a medical conference in Ottawa around the same time but as I was on-call, I couldn’t attend. BUT, I was able to get the weekend off so while other residents were going to a medical conference, I went to a meat conference.

To be clear, it ran this year from June 24-28 and generally they fire up their burners at 10am and they go until maybe 6-7pm.

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As you can see, it is packed. This is mid-day Saturday. It was boiling. But it smelled so good. As you can see, the stands rise meters high for each booth. They are each adorned with lots of banners and trophies proclaiming their superiority. Gaudy but I loved it.

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This is an example of what you get for $9 (tax included). 4 side-ribs. Pretty steep if you ask me. This rate was standard. $20 was for the full rack. Drinks were very expensive but Dr. Pepper was there providing free drinks to everyone. The only condition: the Dr. Pepper’s were warmed by the sun.

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Here we are digging in. Not great for the environment, especially with all of the styrofoam. Also, the garbage cans were gross with all the sauce and rib bones.

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The taste test begins. Each booth doesn’t really have a name so I can’t really describe where each of these came from. The far left one was wayyy to oriental in flavour. It tasted like sweet and sour ribs. The one to the right of it was slightly dry and a little favourless. Not impresssed. The 3rd one that is slightly brown was very VERY flavourful. It was reportedly the rib with the best sauce in 2008. The sauce was indeed very good, tangy, sweet, and not too heavy. The rib was a bit overcooked unfortunately but this made the sauce very very caramelized and delicious. The final rib on the right was the best rib of 2008. It was good, better cooked than the 3rd rib but just wasn’t as good with respect to sauce.

This was so much fun. I have to come back for another meat conference soon.

The International Chicken-Rib Cook-Off, Sparks. St., Ottawa, www.sparksstreetmall.com

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~ by Russ on July 12, 2009.

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