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    Categories: Food

Skillet

Wondering what to do this weekend? Check out the fourth annual Porkapalooza Barbecue Festival now up and running today and tomorrow at Northlands.

Thirty-eight barbecue die-hards, both professional and recreational, with spicy rubs and sweet sauces have turned up to create tender, mouth-watering dishes.

Most are from across Alberta, but some have travelled from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario to compete for the crown and its accompanying bragging rights.

A team from Darcy’s Meat Market in St. Albert is also competing today and tomorrow and they’ll be firing up their barbecue for a slow 12-hour sizzle.

Close to 14 food trucks will be on hand to feed the hungry crowds while celebrity chefs Diva Q and Chris Valckx will dominate the food stage with barbecue tips and tricks.

And on Saturday only, two of Alberta’s leading chefs, Paul Schufelt from Workshop Eatery and Andrew Cowan of Northern Chicken, dive into a Chopped Challenge complete with mystery ingredients.

The festival also features a kid zone with four bouncy castles, beer gardens that permit children and a retail market where Dad can buy himself an early Father’s Day present whether it’s jerky and sausage or a barbecue with all the bells and whistles.

And there’s a smokin’ hot lineup of country artists featuring the Porkapalooza House Band, Dirt Road Angels, Chris Buck Band, Rooster Davies Group and Nice Horse.

“It’s two days celebrating the culinary art of barbecue with music, competitions, beer gardens and a 200-foot wide kid zone. At its heart, it’s about family and inclusion,” said festival coordinator Kassandra Harvey.

Admission is free. Northlands is right next to the Coliseum LRT station and there is plenty of paid parking.

Sturgeon County oilfield worker Kevin Harling is pretty excited about a couple of new restaurants that opened at Lily Lake Resort, a 30-minute drive north of St. Albert.

Lily Lake Resort rents lodgings, campground spots and offers banquet catering. It was recently renovated and debuted Harry’s Den and Grill as well as Lily’s Restaurant on May 15.

“The quality of food is what got me. It’s not something you would expect from a family restaurant. To have something like this out of nowhere is refreshing,” said Harling.

Harling’s food expertise was developed in the military, eating at a variety of restaurants from greasy-spoons to five-star establishments.

He’s sampled the beef au jus, a mushroom flatbread and Eggs Benedict that were cooked to perfection.

“And the Hollandaise sauce is made fresh. The food is really good. I’ve eaten there four times in two weeks.”

For more information call Lily Lake at 780-921-3363 or visit lilylakeresort.com.

Anna Borowiecki: Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.