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On a warm and sunny Saturday in May, eager participants welcomed Fraser Valley pit-master, Kevin Phenx. Kevin had set-up in the parking lot of All Saints, Agassiz to offer a 4-hour introductory BBQ School, attended by All Saints’ parishioners and folks from the greater community.
A few years ago, Kevin was looking for a hobby and chose to embark on a BBQ course taught by nine- time grand champion, Konrad "Teddy-Bear" Haskins. He followed that by enrolling in a course run by Pacific Northwest Barbeque Association. By this time he was hooked, and three months later entered his first competition, winning 3rd place in pulled pork, and 4th in ribs. Since then Kevin has become an award winning BBQ Pit-master, having won championships in BC, Alberta and Washington State – and he is still learning.

Kevin’s first instruction was on the subject of Food Safety – he talked about salmonella, botulism, E Coli and trichinosis, stressing that pork must be cooked to at least 142F of sustained heat in order to kill bacteria. Kevin also warned against storing left-over baked potatoes in the fridge wrapped in tin-foil – it is a recipe for disaster! Although bacteria does slow down when cold it continues to grow in the food.
The rest of the course contained happier content. Topics included:
• different types of grill equipment,
• knowledge of smoking and BBQ techniques (removing the membrane and fat was advised before smoking and slow cooking, as smoke cannot penetrate it).
• information on creating rubs and sauces. (Rosemary works well with any strong meat, as with the traditional lamb combination. Delicate fish like halibut is enhanced with the addition of oregano, among other herbs and rubs. Have you ever thought of using grated fresh ginger in a marinade? It’s worth trying.)
• the use of different ‘woods’, adding that hickory and maple are particularly suited to pork.

This fund-raising event included a lunch of succulent pork cooked by the participants and provided by Kevin accompanied by salads and desserts. A big ‘thank you’ is extended to Fran Froehlich for organizing the event, and to Anthea Lewis for all her work in the kitchen.
Kevin will be back at All Saints for a whole day on Sat. Oct. 27, 2012, when he will present a follow-up ‘Pit-master’ course – that will provide a peek into competition bbq-ing. Participants in that course will prepare meats for the 4th Annual Peace & Correctional Officers’ Appreciation Day on Oct. 28th.
Kevin’s recipes are available by clicking the link
For more information on recipes, classes and competing, visit Pacific Northwest Barbeque Association.
Images : Top, Kevin Phenix and All Saints' People's Warden, Rick Warda prepare some meat, Below, BBQ school students gathered in the All Saints' parking lot listen intently. PHOTOS: Anthea Lewis