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End of Summer BBQ Party! – Postponed!

We’re going to Postpone this event, will let everyone know the new date as soon as we have one! Hold Tight!

This time were doin’ it slow & low! For one night only we are turning one of the city’s best pool halls into a Juke Joint servin’ up some of the best Booze, Blues & BBQ around! Join us as we eat, drink and smoke pork while listening to the sweet sultry sounds of a live blues band. Even better for those of you who want to know the secrets to how it’s done there’s a Chicken and Ribs BBQ class prior to the event. This promises to be the best end of Summer party ever! BBQ class and dinner event tix sold separately or together as a bundle. Class is 3 to 6 pm, dinner is 6:30 pm till whenever!

BBQ Cooking Class & Pig Roast! Monday July 16th

Yours truly and friend Chef Scott Savoie of the Culinary Adventure Company will be hanging out  on Monday July 16th at Fuel House Restaurant (53 Clinton St. Toronto) Dishing about all things BBQ, and the folks at Fuel have roasted a whole pig for us to consume. Come by and learn about BBQ, drink a few beers and chow down on some pork. Tickets are on $95, (I think there’s only a few left) and available here:

Porknography With The Pork Ninjas

277014_206632322700347_7834390_n.jpgI’ll be doing an ALL PORK! dinner at The Depanneur on Saturday February 18th, at 7:30 pm.  3 starters, 3 mains and 3 Deserts, all made with our favorite animal the noble pig.
Tickets are $40, and seating is very limited. More Details here
First Course – Pork Cheek 3 ways:
Served on mixed bitter greens with a home made smoked apple balsamic drizzle
Braised Pork Cheek
Guanciale Carbonarra on an edible spiced Chinese soup spoon
Guanciale Brushetta on brioche

Second Course – Pork Sliders 3 ways:
Served with Slaw and Mac ‘n Cheese
BBQ Competition Style
North Carolina (vinegary)
South Carolina (mustard)

Third Course – Bacon Dessert Trio:
Piggy Cupcakes
Candied Bacon Cheese Cake Ice Cream
Pig candy with chocolate

Adventures in Vegetarianism

IMG_0010.jpgIMG_0011.jpgIMG_0012.jpgSo I went to a Vegan restaurant for dinner last night, yes hell froze over – well not really.  Let me kill the suspense, before anyone gets concerned — I’m not turning vegan! If you’ve ever met me you’d know that I’m what Anthony Bordain would call a “serious eater” I will try anything, and I mean that. I’ve eaten calf brain ravioli, and pig’s reproductive organs in soup, and actually enjoyed them. You just never know till you try right? For this exact reason I’ve always been anti-vegan — these people only eat vegetables! there’s so many delicious things that they are missing out on.   I love my meat, and I love my vegetables, they are made for each other. I had mentioned to  Sheryl Kirby and Greg Clow that Every Monday I make an effort to eat more or only vegetables, aka “Meatless Monday” and Sheryl suggested a Monday dinner at a vegan restaurant; I should be fine right?  after about 10 minute of joking that i’d catch on fire upon entry to a vegan restaurant and maybe I should bring emergency pocket bacon we decided to go to “The Hogtown Vegan” there’s even a pig on the sign. I was slightly surprised to see the entire menu is meat analogues! unpulled pork, chicken wings, ribs, biscuits and gravy, burgers, mac and cheese. This was not what I expected.  We ordered nachos and chicken wings to start. The vegan cheese in the nachos didn’t suck, it reminded me of the cheese whiz or the kind of nacho cheese that 7-11 has that comes out of those pump machine, lots of avocado and beans on the nachos, and the chips were hot and fresh. I could eat these with a cold beer anytime.  The chicken.. well it was marinated battered deep fried tofu. Deep frying almost anything makes it taste better. The sauce was nice and had a strong umami character to it, I suspect that everything is doused in MSG to make it taste like that. Onto the Main dish: “Ribs” with sweet potato and collard greens. The “ribs” were chunks of tempeh that had (*you guessed it) – been deep fried and liberally sauced with a smokey Q sauce.  They kind or reminded me of the sauce remnants left behind from ribs that had been wrapped in foil and left to steam out and solidify – they tasted really good! but the texture was terrible, this was my first meat analoge tempeh experience, and I hope it’s my last. If you enjoy the McRib however this is something you might enjoy, even my worst overcooked ribs had better texture.  The sweet potato was generic, and the collard greens could were kinda oily, but i did enjoy them as they were the only thing that resembled an actual vegetable on my plate.  Sheryl had ordered the mac and cheese, and i had a bite and it was nothing to write home about and the pasta was overcooked, the topping for the mac and cheese however was inspirational it was brewers yeast, tangy and delicious. I’ll be topping my non-vegan mac and cheese with this in the future it’s awesome. 

So there it is: poor poor vegans are subjected to these terrible meat analogues because they dont eat meat.  We all love fat, sugar and salt – even if you are not getting it from an animal. If you ever had the idea that vegan food was somehow more healthy than meat, eat at the hogtown vegan I promise you’ll change your mind.  Now excuse me while I eat my brussel sprouts with a pork chop. 

Muskoka Cream Ale Blue Cheese Dressing


Here’s a nice simple salad dressing that you can use on a cobb salad, or a potato salad, using one of my favorite beers from Muskoka Cottage Brewery.

1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 lb bacon cooked and crumbled 
1/2 raw red onion
1/2 cup Muskoka Cream Ale
2 tablespoons mayo
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
pinch salt
ground white pepper to taste
2 teaspoons (kozliks) dijon mustard
splash of hot sauce

Cook and crumble the bacon, slice the onion and set aside/ ,
in a seperate bowl combine the liquid and powdered ingredients, and whisk until the beers flattens out.

Crumble cheese, bacon and onion mixture over your favorite potato salad or cobb salad and drizzle the beer dressing over top of the entire thing.

this dressing should not be made to far in advance it’s truly rocking when served super fresh!

Ontario Vinifera Showdown: Riesling vs. Chardonnay

best-tinted-moisturizer-showdown-review.jpgMy Favourite little wine bar, Cafe Taste will be hosting an awesome “Showdown” of Riesling vs. Chardonnay this Saturday August 6th from 1-4. As a self professed “ABC” (Anything But Chardonnay) you can guess where my money is going to be! Should be a very engaging event with 4 wine expert (2 for each grape) leading a debate before a blind tasting with paired food to crown Ontario’s best white wine grape. 

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Brockport BBQ Competion – Pork Ninja Kids Grand Champions

This past weekend in the lovely town of Brockport NY, the Pork Ninja Kids made their 2nd appearance on the BBQ Tour.  The Kids Que was a hotly contested event with 7 teams participating in the event. The Catagories were Burgers and Dessert. Siobhan and Beibhinn placed 2nd in the Burgers, and WON the Dessert Catagory. They also won the Grand Championship with the best over all score.  Congratulations Kids

Contest Mayhem!

Things have a been a little quiet around the blog here for the past few week, as I’ve been busy at various competitions. Tonight is the first friday in over a month where i’m not building a fire in one of my weber smokey mountain cookers and contemplating if i’m going to get any sleep at all over the next 8 hours. So here I am in front of my computer, for the first time in about 6 week happily doing laundry and organizing my severely neglected home. The last month has been a fun and learning experience. The KCBS contest circuit is HARD! and a whole lot of fun, it’s very strange to turn in food to judges that all of my friends and family claim is the best they’ve ever tasted and have it barely get a mention.  Certified organic free range happy animals does not seem to help get better results in a bbq contest, but we are going to keep cooking this way anyway and see if we can tweak our technique to see if it’s possible to win with this stuff. If it wasn’t hard it would not be worth doing right? My pulled pork got a 3rd place last weekend, which is the best it’s ever done, and my chicken is slowly getting more and more popular with the judges. 

Crossborder BBQ Battle This weekend!

crossborder.jpgWe’re locked and loaded for yet another BBQ contest this Fathers day weekend, at the Crossborder Blues, Brews and Que in Wilson, NY. This may be our smallest contest this season with less than 30 teams, and were hoping the smaller field size will give us a chance to experiment with our recipes a little, to hone our signature flavours for competition style bbq. As always you can follow me to find out how we do on Twitter 

We finally go around to setting up a Facebook Pork Ninjas Fan Page please “like” us!