A year with Team Canada BBQ

Becoming a part of Team Canada BBQ started with a chat and some coffee. Mike Callaghan and Shawn Danko wanted to create a national BBQ team for Canada. They had both worked very hard and had done very well on the national and international BBQ stage as The Black Pig BBQ team. So as Mike and his wife Barb prepared for The World Food Championships, they invited my wife and I over to show us what they had created for the event. It was incredible to see what they were planning to do. After spending a few Sundays together with them they invited us join them in Las Vegas to compete.

In beginning of November 2013 while in Las Vegas competing at the World Food Championships, Mike and Shawn had finally received the official mandate from the Consulate General of Canada in the USA to form Team Canada BBQ the National BBQ team of Canada debuting at Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest in 2014. My wife and I were invited to join the team and come along for an adventure of a life time.

Our letter from the Consulate General

Our letter from the Consulate General

The next 6 months flew by, as we prepared for Memphis in May. Uniforms were created, sponsor dinners were planned and whole hogs were cooked, all in preparation for the team’s debut at Memphis in May. The team’s hard work paid off in the end. Team Canada BBQ won 1st place tomato based BBQ sauce, finish 5th in the seafood category as well as finishing 12th in the whole hog category.

Our first place tomato BBQ sauce win

Our first place tomato BBQ sauce win

 

1st place tomato BBQ sauce

There was no rest for the team as the Ontario members of Team Canada BBQ began a busy summer of vending, selling award winning sauce, competing and traveling many kilometers.

Our first BBQ competition was at the La Salle Smoke Off in La Salle, Ontario. The team cooked an amazing hog and took first place keeping the undefeated streak for whole hog in tack for Pitmaster Mike Callaghan. By winning first place in the whole hog competition, the team won a ticket to the 2014 World Food Championships. Team Canada BBQ also cooked and sold over 480lbs pork for the events happy guests.

1st Place Whole Hog Trophy from La Salle Smoke off

1st Place Whole Hog Trophy from La Salle Smoke off

A few weeks later the Team Canada BBQ trailer rolled into New Hamburg Ontario, where the Team cooked 2 whole hogs, 120 racks of ribs and over 300lbs of pork for Q’ing for Life. Q’ing for Life helps to raise awareness about organ donation in Ontario.

The two hogs for Q'ing for Life

The two hogs for Q’ing for Life

Mike with many..many racks of ribs

Mike with many..many racks of ribs

As the summer flew by in Ontario so did the kilometers that Team Canada BBQ traveled. The Team went south to Traverse City Michigan for the Sam’s Club BBQ tour. . A few weeks later the Ontario members traveled north to the town of Cochrane, Ontario to cook for the mayor and his guests at Smoke on the Water BBQ Championships.
In August, the team ended up in Ottawa Ontario for Smoke to the Bone for the last Canadian BBQ contest of the year. The Team did well finishing with a 2nd place chicken and a 2nd place pork.

Our 2nd place chicken & 2nd place pork trophy from Smoke to the Bone

Our 2nd place chicken & 2nd place pork trophy from Smoke to the Bone

Now almost 1 year later from the day Team Canada BBQ was formed all of the Team Members returned to Las Vegas for the World Food Championships to compete in the Recipe and BBQ categories. Finishing 3rd in recipe and 22nd in BBQ we ended this memorable year with a bang!

Follow along with social media accounts as we plan for Memphis in May 2015!
Twitter: @TeamCanadaBBQ
Instagram: & Facebook: Team Canada BBQ

Chef Sean Vooden

Chef Sean Vodden
Sean Vodden is the BBQ Chef for Team Canada BBQ, and one half of Uncle Richie's Hillbilly BBQ. Mixing BBQ with fine dinning is a true passion of Sean's.

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *