Smokey Bros organizing amateur BBQ fundraiser

Competition will pit amateur BBQ artists against each other for title of grillmaster, proceeds to benefit Salvation Army hot lunch program.

Jim Brough

Jim Brough

Barbecuing is a staple of the summer season.

Heck, some people will man their grills even if it’s 20 degrees below in the winter.

But regardless, rain or snow or shine, a good barbecue is an essential piece of culinary equipment that can be used to cook just about anything.

Learning how versatile a barbecue can be is right up Jim Brough’s alley, and he has partnered with a few Cranbrook businesses to organize an amateur barbecue contest in June as a fundraiser for the Salvation Army’s school lunch program.

Jim Brough, the man behind Smokey Bro’s food truck parked at the Harley Davidson dealership, is taking the lead on organizing the first annual ‘Feed the Kids’ barbecue contest, which will be open to any amateur barbecue enthusiasts to compete for the title of grillmaster.

Brough has always wanted to do a charitable event to give back to the community, but chose the school lunch program after meeting with the Salvation Army and learning that the program distributes 20,000 lunches annually.

In Cranbrook and Kimberley alone.

“We want to make it a fun family event and bring awareness to this program,” Brough said. “People who are aware of the hot lunch program don’t realize that it’s 20,000 a year in Cranbrook.

“That’s a huge number.”

The event will be hosted at the Harley Davidson/RV Runners parking lot featuring nine local amateur barbecue artists who will be chosen from an application process. Brough stresses that it will an amateur barbecue contest, so no professionals chefs will be participating, but the contestants will have access to a full outdoor kitchen, including grills and fully-stocked pantry.

There will be an entry fee of $100 for any amateur barbecue artist who wishes to enter and there are no age restrictions. Contestants will have to grill one protein item (steak, chicken, pork, etc.) and one side dish.

The initial plan is to have three heats of three amateur chefs competing against each other, with the winner advancing to the final rounds.

Celebrity judges will include Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt, Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce Executive Director David D. Hull, and S/Sgt. Hector Lee, commanding officer of the local RCMP detachment.

Tentatively set for Saturday, June 4, 2016, the event will donate 100 per cent of proceeds to the Salvation Army. In addition to the grilling competition, Brough is hoping to have other things going on to keep the kids entertained such as a bouncy castle, an RCMP vehicle and possibly a vintage fire engine from Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services.

For more information, email Jim Brough at smokeybro@hotmail.ca or visit the event Facebook page.

Prospective contestants can pick up entry forms at Denham Ford, Summit 107, OK Tire, and Brothers Insurance.