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On the 21st of February Kazan Baran hosted their second annual BBQ Battle. Five teams were invited to compete. Each were given five kilos of pork and were asked to chop and marinade the meat, put it on skewers, provide their own side dishes and sauces and then rock up at 6-30pm with their own BBQ’s and then get cooking to feed judges and paying guests as well as being in with a chance of winning the esteemed prize of a private boat to Koh Phangan.
Visitors to the event were invited to pre purchase tickets that would entitle them to one kebab from each team, and a panel of five judges were invited to try each teams offerings and pick a winner.
As the evening got underway the first four teams turned up with their own BBQ’s and battled to get the provided coals to a grill heat in time for the start. The two chefs from Kazan Baran then staggered out of the kitchen under the weight of their own pre prepared BBQ that was hot and ready to go and becoming the fifth team.
Team one got busy cooking some tempting skewers with three types of marinated meat on each stick, one to a traditional South African recipe, one Teriyaki and one from the Philippines separated by pineapple and mushrooms. The skewers were served with South African yellow rice, shredded red cabbage and carrots, lettuce and slices of cucumber, lemon and tomato as well as a mini cup cake and a traditional South African milk pudding for good measure.
Team two arrived and had a little trouble getting their BBQ hot enough to roast two large cuts of pork that had been stuffed with cheese and herbs and wrapped in tin foil, no kebabs here, so slightly off from the guidelines given for the competition, however it was served with garlic mash.
Team three had some very large skewers on which to cook their marinated pork neck but they were not used during serving. Team four went for a similar approach and served up some delicious meat with a mustard sauce and a rich cheese sauce with gorgonzola. The home team cooked a traditional Russian style kebab on sticks.
So the judges were first to tuck into each dish. Team one then got busy serving the guests as team two struggled to get their large roasts cooked through. Teams three and four were also a little behind in serving and the home team having fed the judges and a few friends ran out of kebabs totally so hardly anybody got to try them, not the paying guests or the teams who had been given a complimentary slip for each of their competitors BBQ’s.
Thankfully well prepared team one managed to keep hunger at bay for the paying customers and had enough to make up for the home team’s complete lack of offerings.
Team two eventually produced the goods and it has to be said the meat was delicious, tender and moist and the filling was worthy of a prize however it really lacked any kind of BBQ properties and quickly ran out.
Team three cooked a few kebabs but then seemed to slow down to cooking one at a time so again, like the home team, many did not get to try their wares, and much was left uncooked as a few hours later the evening drew to a close.
The judges then all gave a speech congratulating all of the teams, although mistakenly thanked what they thought was Australian team one who were predominantly South African and went onto congratulate team two on their desserts that were actually provided by team one.
After some speeches in Russian, it became clear that the judges tastes were clearly in favor of the Russian style BBQ and the home team were announced the winners, after at least providing enough food for the judges if not the paying customers.
Clearly not wishing to make the competition looked rigged in favor of the home team the grand prize was awarded to team two and their rather impressive, but non BBQ’d or skewered roast pork dish.
Even though the evening was very disorganized and the serving times for the judges dishes was misjudged so some competitors offerings were delivered cold, most people seemed to have fun, and even though they missed out on a couple of the teams offerings, seemed to enjoy the hard work of the other three teams who had provided enough food, brought along plenty of side dishes and were more organized.
So it was congratulations to the winners of the prize who, although hardly sticking to the rules the rest of the teams had been given, perhaps they were given a different set of guidelines, who knows, but none the less, they did produce a very nice roast pork dish for at least most of the guests and most felt that even though what the judges based their decision on was pretty unclear it was jolly decent of the home team not to snap up their first place prize.