Live From the 2017 Port Moody Ribfest
It may well be that a cool, damp afternoon was the best time to visit this third annual Port Moody RibFest at Port Moody’s Rocky Point Park as Port Foody did on Saturday 22 July 2017. The moisture hanging in the air held in the sweet and smoky smell of fire grilled ribs slathered in tangy sauce. Mixed with the salty sea smell of Burrard Inlet and the occasional whiff of cedar from the nearby mill there is nothing quite like it. It was as easy to see as it was to smell why this distinctively Port Moody setting makes this event so popular with people from all over Metro Vancouver.
Following a successful start to the weekend on Friday 21 July, five award winning ribbers from across North America will serve up hundreds of kilograms of pork ribs, chicken, beef ribs, brisket and pulled pork for thousands of people by the time they pack up for their next festival on the at 21:00 (9:00 pm) on Sunday 23 July 2017.
This 2017 edition features a return of ribbers from 2016’s festival including: London Ontario’s Boss Hog’s, Saskatchewan’s Prairie Smoke & Spice, Hinton, Alberta’s Misty Mountain BBQ, Gator BBQ Company from Port Dover, Ontario, and Vancouver’s Smoke and Bones.
Little in the process of barbecue has changed since the colonial adaptation of Caribbean and traditional cooking techniques using indirect fire and smoke to cook tougher cuts of meat to make them more tender. What has continued to develop, and was on display at the Port Moody RibFest, is the incredible variety of tastes that can be achieved through invention in each part of the process.
Each of the ribbers here tend toward the saucy Texas and Carolina style ribs. The ingredients of each sauce is a closely guarded secret. While the sauces are the most discussed aspect of the barbecue on offer (they are also, next to the ribs and other meats, the most saleable item for each of the ribbers) what goes on before sauce is slathered is perhaps the most crucial aspect of the barbecue process.
As secretive as the sauces, so too are the types and mixtures of wood and temperatures used in the smoking process before the meat gets to the flaming grill. Even before the smoking, the meat is rubbed with yet another secret selection of spices. The results are as varied as they are delicious.
Port Foody had the chance to sample ribs ribs from each of the ribbers and each was, in its own way, a favourite. We’ll leave it to the judges to decide the best of the fest with the announcement to come Sunday evening.
Over the course of the weekend, the event will generate over $100,000 for the Rotary Club of Port Moody – an astonishing fact is that such a successful event is organized by such a small club of around thirty members. The proceeds raised used to support a variety of charitable initiatives in Port Moody.
Port Moody RibFest: 21 through 23 July 2017 from 11:00 (am) until 21:00 (9:00 pm). Free admission.