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May 12, 2011

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Barbecue chefs getting ready for a grilling

THIS Saturday, Bubba's Texas-style Bar-B-Que and Saloon will kick off an outdoor festival rivaled exclusively by their annual Shanghai institution, the Chili Cook-off, with their inaugural Barbecue Cook-off.

The popular American-themed restaurant's event will be open to the public from 11am to 5pm and held at their newest restaurant in Pudong at the former Expo Village site. The gardens behind the restaurant are tree lined and ready for a major event such as this.

Teams of budding barbecue chefs will compete in a number of culinary-based categories, including Best Rub/Sauce, Best Sausage, Best Chicken, Best Pork, Best Beef and Best Team Theme.

"This event, modeled after barbecue festivals in the US and Canada, is really about getting friends and family together, meeting new people, listening to good music, enjoying a nice outdoor space and having a lot of live-fire cooking and cold beverages," says Kenneth Walker, founder of Bubba's and event originator.

A panel of judges from different cultural backgrounds will assess entries based on appearance, aroma and flavor.

"The judges' panel is from a mix of cultural backgrounds since the barbecues will be of different styles, including Thai, Chinese, Western, Australian, German and even Indian," adds Walker.

Currently there are more than 15 teams taking part, with a total of around 500 people expected to attend.

It costs 100 yuan (US$15.40) to enter the festival and children under 12 get in free. Expect live music, children's activities and, of course, plenty to eat and drink.

It's hoped the event will become an annual tradition in Shanghai, serving as a pleasant spring complement to the annual Fall Chili Cook-off.

Walker has been in Shanghai for seven years and opened his first Bubba's in the Hongqiao area in 2006 and now owns another branch in Expo Village. "Barbecue has been my hobby since high school. I had a dream to bring the truly authentic American-style barbecue to China," Walker says.

He explains they use only premium imported meat in his two restaurants and then add their own proprietary blends of spices and sauces to flavor before, during and after a slow-cooking process utilizing split apple wood logs from Chinese orchards.

House specials include the imported certified Angus beef served with baked potato or fries, side salad and jalapeno cornbread muffins (180-200 yuan).

Barbecue aficionados will be fully satisfied with Bubba's Just Meat menu served by weight and available for take-out. It includes smoked chicken quarter (70 yuan), pulled pork, honey-cured smoked ham, chopped beef, whole rack pork ribs and premium imported sliced brisket (120-150 yuan/pound).

Whole racks of beef short ribs, whole hams, brisket, suckling pig, leg of lamb and turkey can also be prepared by special order.

? Bubba's Texas SaloonAdd: 2262 Hongqiao Rd

Tel: 6242-2612

? Bubba's Expo VillageAdd: Suite 101, 1101 Xueye Rd, PudongTel: 2206-0338

More information about the event can be found at


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