Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tending The Bar-Bee-Que

Getting jiggy with pork barbecue at the Fiesta Filipiniana in Towson.

Barbecue in the Philippines has a completely different meaning than BBQ in the United States. Traditional Filipino-style barbecue is typically chicken or pork cubes marinated in a secret sauce, poked onto bamboo skewers and then grilled for caramel perfection. Like American BBQ, the recipes are murderous secrets and the rivalry between camps is heated, fierce and blood-letting.

I guess when it comes to blood-letting, they figure that I'm the ideal person to get caught in the crossfire.

This week, while not spending my brain facilities focusing at the Mid-Atlantic Barista Jam, I'm occupying my mind with thoughts of Philippine Barbecue and standardizing them for a winner-takes-all battle on August 1st.

Somewhere along the way, certain people heard that I am now a certified BBQ judge by the Kansas City Barbecue Society and figured that I must be the right guy to write the standards for a Philippine-Style BBQ Competition. Great. One wrong move and some angered Filipino guy is going to come after me with a bolo knife. Yes, good deal indeed. At least I'm from Baltimore: The City That Bleeds, so I know how to handle things.

Developing standards for the competition is not without its' trials. BBQ is intensely personal and passionate. The recipes are guarded secrets prepared in seclusion and darkness. Recipes will be open for interpretation but the flavors should include a level of sweetness balanced by savoriness with hints of garlic and soy, I think. Categories will be: pork and chicken and they must be mounted on wood skewers.

So, if you're a bbq chef that thinks he/she has the chops to win the title of Filipino BBQ Champion, then get your stuff ready because on August 1st - it's on!

You can contact me directly for entry details and a complete copy of the rules and regulations.

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