Gastown chef in action at the 2012 Gastown BBQ & Chili Festival | Photo courtesy of The Blarney Stone

Blarney Stone

One thing Blarney Stone does well is hosting a good time! This fun-loving pub creates a dynamic atmosphere with hearty fare and live entertainment – and, we can expect them to do the same with this year’s festival. There’s something for everyone on their menu, which includes a mix of authentic Irish food and a great selection of draft beer, scotches, and whiskeys. So, what’s cooking for the event? Head Chef Mike Carter is preparing to grill mouthwatering pork ribs with a side dish of coleslaw.


This casual taco joint offers a regular fix of tasty bites inspired by Mexi-Cali fare and the Los Angeles food truck scene. Their menu features small bites like cheesy nachos and mini tacos on corn tortillas with meaty options like chili vinegar braised pork, blacked Cajun ranch chicken, seasoned ground chuck, and more. This is Gringo’s first year partaking in the festival’s cookout action, so we’re excited to check out their barbecuing skills in action. Look out for their take on barbecued beef brisket served with an original coleslaw and potato salad.

Deacon’s Corner

Foodies with hefty appetites will love the wholesome offerings at Deacon’s Corner. An original redux diner, Deacon’s delivers classic diner food and all day breakfasts inspired by Southern style comforts. Ginormous Carolina style pancakes, pulled pork, cheese and jalapeno grits are just a few delicious made-from-scratch meals created by Chef/co-owner Virender Perhar. For this year’s cookout event, Deacon’s Corner will be grilling chicken wings with sides of coleslaw and potato salad.

Calabash Bistro

Calabash brings Island vibes to the city serving house-made Caribbean cuisine. The restaurant’s roots are authentic (Jamaican owned and operated) serving traditional and modern Caribbean dishes using ancient mixtures of herbs and spices, such as free-range jerk chicken, crab cake and goat, chicken or seafood curry. This is one of the only spots where you can enjoy savoury mains in a creative space – which moonlights as a music venue with weekly live reggae, hip-hop, and funk performances filling the room. We’re excited to see if Chef Cullin David will spice up their barbecued pork ribs entry with Caribbean flavours at this year’s cookout.

The Irish Heather

The Irish Heather has been offering regular patrons welcoming hospitality, hearty food and proper Guinness pours for 17 years. Along with an endless list of beer and whiskey, the Irish Heather has a love for comfort food with plenty of homestyle fare – like pot pies, steak, and juicy bangers – cooking at the kitchen. If there’s any indication that the Irish Heather has honed in on the art of cooking beef, it’s in the roast beer dinners served in their communal ‘Long Table Series’. We can’t wait to taste their barbecued beef brisket, coleslaw and potato salad!

Tuc Craft Kitchen

For fun, sophisticated comfort food, Tuc Craft Kitchen is your place. Tuc provides an atmosphere that’s comfortable and inviting – it’s almost like you’re dining at a friend’s house. Chef Roy Flemming serves a soulful array of modern comforts with global influences featuring rustic dishes like hangar steak bourguignon, herb roasted arctic char, and albóndigas with beef and pork meatballs. Tuc has a lot of heart and recently partnered with Meal Share to help feed the less fortunate. Look out for their tasty barbecued pork ribs, coleslaw and potato salad at this year’s event!

Who will serve the best? You can be the judge of that and taste what each restaurant has to offer at the Gastown BBQ & Chili Festival next Saturday August 30th and Sunday August 31st. Check here for a second list of participating restaurants.