Chefs ready to share best rib recipes with Syd­ney

‘Ev­ery sin­gle one here is the best rib­bers Canada has to of­fer’

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY GREG MCNEIL

The spirit of com­pe­ti­tion is ex­pected to be as thick as the sauce that sticks to ev­ery rib on a rack at the inau­gu­ral Ro­tary Ribfest.

Com­pe­ti­tion will be cook­ing Fri­day through Sun­day at the Joan Har­riss Cruise Pav­il­ion fea­tur­ing five renowned chefs who have put decades of ef­fort into recipes that are sure to make mouths wa­ter.

“The bar­be­cue sauce is my recipe and I cre­ated it in 1999 and con­tains Jack Daniel’s and a Greek oregano and some more im­por­tant in­gre­di­ents from Europe,” said Ge­orge Ke­fa­lidis, owner of Crabby’s BBQ Shack.

“I’m not go­ing to tell you any other in­gre­di­ents. It’s a se­cret.”

Ke­fa­lidis is a for­mer restau­ran­teur who cre­ated many sauces in his spare time be­fore fi­nally get­ting a sauce with “stick on it.” It’s now the only one he uses in com­pe­ti­tion.

“It seems like peo­ple love it. You can’t change the win­ning stuff.”

The other chefs in com­pe­ti­tion at the fes­ti­val will bring recipes from places like Florida and Alabama along with their pre­ferred method of prepa­ra­tion.

“Ev­ery­body else smokes their ribs,” said Ke­fa­lidis. “We do it on the old-fash­ioned Cana­dian bar­be­cue.”

His method in­cludes 24 hours of mari­nad­ing and then slow cook­ing for six hours be­fore the ribs reach the grill.

“That’s an old-fash­ioned tech­nique and I’m the only one that uses it in North Amer­ica but its a tech­nique that has given us over 400 awards the last 16 years and we stay very strong in the com­pe­ti­tion.”

While the chefs very much want to be the peo­ple’s choice this week­end, Ke­fa­lidis said they of­ten travel to­gether and en­joy each other’s com­pany.

“Ev­ery­body is very good and friends but as soon as it comes to the com­pe­ti­tion ev­ery­body takes it se­ri­ously. You are not go­ing to find any bad ribs here.”

He said all “rib­bers” in Syd­ney like their work and are com­fort­able giv­ing cus­tomers the chance to vote for the best ribs.

“It’s up to the cus­tomer’s taste,” he said.

“Some sauces are hot, some are sweet, some more gar­lic and some more smoky. It’s up to the cus­tomer to de­cide but ev­ery sin­gle one here is the best rib­bers Canada has to of­fer right here in Syd­ney.”

Be­sides ribs, the food fes­ti­val will also fea­ture chicken, brisket, corn bread, beans, ice­cream cakes and other items.

Live mu­sic, fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties and ven­dors are also part of the week­end.

All net pro­ceeds from Ribfest will be do­nated to the Hos­pice Pal­lia­tive Care So­ci­ety of Cape Bre­ton County.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to some­thing called the veg­e­tar­ian’s night­mare,” said Kevin Armstrong, a Ro­tar­ian and co-chair of Ribfest, about a com­bi­na­tion of chicken and ribs and other dishes.

“I’ll be there all week­end. I ex­pect I’ll try some­thing from each rib­ber.”

In the midst of sam­pling south­ern bar­be­cue, Armstrong will be among the 100 Ro­tar­i­ans from across Cape Bre­ton, joined by Kins­men and a host of vol­un­teers work­ing to make the inau­gu­ral event a suc­cess.

“We saw an op­por­tu­nity that all four Ro­tary clubs in Cape Bre­ton could par­tic­i­pate in be­cause hos­pice touches ev­ery­body,” he said. “It’s not some­thing in Syd­ney, North Syd­ney, New Water­ford or Glace Bay. It touches ev­ery­body.”

Ac­tiv­i­ties be­gin Fri­day at 11 a.m. and con­clude with awards on Sun­day at 7 p.m.

Visit syd­neyribfest.ca for more in­for­ma­tion.

GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Ge­orge Ke­fa­lidis and Fred­er­icky Ke­fa­lidis from Crabby’s BBQ Shack will be among the North Amer­i­can rib spe­cial­ists shar­ing their cre­ations at the inau­gu­ral Ro­tary Ribfest. The event opens Fri­day and con­tin­ues through Sun­day at the Joan Har­riss Cruise Pav­il­ion.

Armstrong

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