Niagara College to host Craft Beer and BBQ Festival

Niagara College’s Brewmaster students are capping off their academic year by organizing a new festival – and the entire community is invited.

As part of Niagara College’s first-ever Craft Beer and BBQ Festival, the College will welcome craft breweries from throughout Ontario and some of North America’s top barbecue chefs to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus on Saturday, April 12.

Twelve Ontario craft breweries will be set up at the outdoor event, including Niagara Oast House Brewers (NOTL), Silversmith Brewing (NOTL), Black Oak Brewing Company (Oakville), Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. (Vankleek Hill), Left Field Brewery (Toronto), Gananoque Brewing Company (Gananoque), Collingwood Brewery (Collingwood), Mill St. Brewery (Toronto), Nickel Brook Brewery (Burlington), Sawdust City Brewery (Gravenhurst), Flying Monkeys (Barrie), and Railway City Brewing Company (St. Thomas).

Guests can sample food from some of the top grillmasters on the continent including NC chef professor and ‘godfather of the grill’ Ted Reader, and visiting barbecue chefs Dr. BBQ’ Ray Lampe, Eric Martinez, Timoth Grandinetti, ‘Diva Q’ Danielle Bennett Dimovski, Andy Annat, and Sue Torres. The visiting barbecue chefs will also host hourly cooking seminars on site for guests to attend, free of charge.

Guests will also have the opportunity to taste the ‘final exams’ of 23 second-year Brewmaster students who were tasked with creating their own beer as their final test before graduation. The students are a vying for the best beer and winners will be announced at the festival.

The College’s culinary students will also be in on the action, participating in a barbecue competition sponsored by Big Green Egg to be judged by a panel of expert barbecue chefs.

“I’m proud of the work our students have done to organize NC’s first Craft Beer and BB Festival which promises to be a wonderful community event,” said Craig Youdale, dean of NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute. “This event is a great opportunity for our beer and culinary students to work alongside leaders in the barbecue world and Ontario’s burgeoning craft brewery industry, including some of our own Brewmaster graduates.”

NC’s Craft Beer and BBQ festival will also include tutored tastings and tours of the newly expanded NC Teaching Brewery. It will be held, rain or shine, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. ID, as well as the purchase of a festival glass and tokens will be required for beer service.

Once the festival concludes 4 p.m., the excitement will continue inside for guests of the sold-out Chef Signature Series dinner featuring the visiting barbecue chefs on the same evening. The dinner event, to be held at the NOTL Campus cafeteria, is the final of the series of five events hosted by NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institutethis year. The events offer guests the opportunity to enjoy cuisine prepared by various top chefs in one sitting, while giving NC culinary students a taste for the industry as they work with the featured chefs to prepare the meal. Previous events featured chefs from NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, the Niagara region, Toronto, and the Ottawa Valley.

The Canadian Food and Wine Institute, located on Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, is the college’s centre for food wine and beer education. It is home to Benchmark, the college’s teaching restaurant, as well as the Teaching Winery and Teaching Brewery. It is also home to Junior Culinary Team Canada, to represent our nation at the 2016 World Culinary Olympics.

About the chefs

Ted Reader

Ted Reader is an award-winning chef and food entertainer, who’s parlayed his passion for food into a culinary tour de force that includes more than a dozen cookbooks, shelves of food products, live culinary performances, TV and radio cooking shows and appearances as well as culinary demonstrations, a catering company and teaching.

 Known for his pyrotechnic charm and fearless culinary spirit, it’s no surprise that GQ magazine labeled him the “crazy Canuck barbecue kingpin.” The dude just loves to cook!

Ted’s quest for creating real food for real people has seen this high-profile culinary barbecue guru demonstrate his flair for grilling in all venues from swanky ballrooms to the Pacific Ocean to a downtown Toronto parking lot. Today, he owns more than 100 barbecues, grills and smokers in all shapes and sizes and never goes anywhere without one in the back of his truck.

Ted began working as a part-time instructor at the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute in September 2013.

Ray Lampe

Ray Lampe grew up in Chicago and after high school spent 25 years in the family trucking business. In 2000 the trucking business had run its course, and it was time for Ray to try something new. He had been participating in BBQ cookoffs as a hobby since 1982, so he decided to take a leap and turn his hobby into a career. In 2000 Ray moved to Florida and began his career as an outdoor cooking expert.
Ray has written seven cookbooks and is currently working on his eighth. His most recent work is Pork Chop published by Chronicle Books. Some of the things Dr. BBQ does:
• He’s a contestant on the Food Network special Chopped Grillmasters;
• He’s featured on the Food Network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate;
• He’s an expert judge on the Food Network’s Tailgate Warriors with Guy Fieri;”
• He travels the country as the ‘spokeschef’ for The Big Green Egg grill and smoker;
• He’s a spokesman for The National Pork Board;
• He’s a featured chef on Fishing the Flats on Fox Sports Network;
• He served as Executive Chef at Southern Hospitality BBQ in N.Y; and
• He’s cooked in over 300 BBQ contests and won over 300 awards.

Eric Martinez

Eric Martinez started his career with Marriott in 1999 at the JW Desert Springs Marriott in Palm Desert, CA where, in 2000, he was invited to cook at the James Beard House. In 2001, he went to Hilton Head Marriott Beach and Golf Resort on Hilton Head, South Carolina, as the Executive Sous Chef and brought his Creole California flare to the low country cuisine scene. In 2004, he moved back to his place of birth and the New Orleans Marriott as the Executive Sous Chef there he transformed the city in the after math of Hurricane Katrina.

Eric promoted the city’s food and culture on national TV shows such as Good Morning America and Martha Steward Live. In 2008, Eric moved to the Des Moines Downtown Marriott as the Director of Food and Beverage/Executive Chef to champion the farm to fork movement for the hotel in the Midwest. In 2010, Eric moved to his current location at the Orlando World Center Marriott, the largest Marriott in the world, as Director of Restaurants/ Executive Sous Chef.

Timoth Grandinetti

Timoth Grandinetti, of Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar, brings to the table top-notch culinary experience and a fervent passion for seasonally-inspired, fresh, natural food. A creative chef with an engaging personality, Grandinetti has traveled extensively, while sharing his craft and skillfully showcasing his repertoire of chef-crafted, time-tested and uber-delicious “flavor bombs.” Chef Grandinetti is a fourth-generation culinarian; highly respected for his culinary prowess, professionalism, and passionate approach to foods and the dining experience.

Chef Grandinetti represented Missouri as a delegate of the Slow Food’s Terra Madre program in Turin, Italy. And a year later, as part of a partnership between the American Culinary Federation and the U.S. Navy, he was invited to Japan to facilitate culinary training for the U.S. Navy and Japanese culinarians. While overseas, he completed a stage at the Renaissance Tokyo Ginza Hotel, where he received world-renowned culinary training. Chef Grandinetti has been tending to the earth, nourishing souls, and cooking professionally since 1998.

Danielle Bennett Dimovski
Danielle Bennett Dimovski –aka Diva Q is host of the hit TV Show BBQ Crawl airing on Travel & Escape, Cottage Life channels in Canada and the Travel Channel in the U.S. She is Canada’s highest ranked competitive barbecuer on the KCBS team listing. The Kansas City Barbecue Society is the world’s largest organization of barbeque and grilling enthusiasts with over 25,000 members worldwide.
Her passion for BBQ knows no boundaries. She lives, breathes and eats BBQ, travelling all over North America competing in a variety of sanctioned BBQ competitions and eating anywhere BBQ is served. It doesn’t matter if it’s a one-man shack serving chicken over a hot charcoal-filled barrel on the side of the road, or a high-end BBQ joint serving ‘Q’ off of the latest in BBQ technology. She wants it all and she wants to know the stories behind these BBQ folks. Her larger than life personality is warm and inviting- a whole lot of fun and always amusing. Listening to her talk and demonstrating all types of BBQ makes people smile with her never ending insatiable appetite for all things barbecue.
Diva Q has won multiples of Grand Championships, is a former World Champion of Pork, current World Bacon Champion, Jack Daniels Grilling Champion, and has even won the US/Canada BBQ Showdown at the US Embassy in Ottawa Ontario. She has appeared on TV Shows including The Today Show, Marilyn Denis, TLC BBQ Pitmasters (judge and competitor) and more. She is a contributing writer for magazines Barbecue America, Char-Broil, and Smoke signals as well as to her own blog Diva
Like a kid in a candy store, each BBQ experience is treasured, savoured and discovered with gusto. She is unlike anyone in the BBQ world. She is a Canadian, a female, a mom of three and a dedicated wife. She crosses more demographics than any other BBQ personality ever.

Andy Annat

With an award-winning and world recognized reputation, TV appearances, radio interviews, awards he presents and work that benefits British cancer charities. He has written over 95 publications for major magazines, national newspapers and online resources. He has been featured in The Times, Channel 4 food and with The International Food and Wine Society. Worldwide demonstrator, butchery and live fire cookery expert, he has also established a reputation for BBQ catered events, including the Queen’s 80th birthday at Balmoral Castle, NFL American Football – corporate and VIP’ s at Wembley, Petronas Racing Team in Dubai, many famous actors and football celebrities, creating a new standard for BBQ in UK. Recently, he has redefined UK BBQ by establishing a collaborate with other world leading experts to promote BBQ globally, smoking and grilling in 28 countries over the last three years

Sue Torres

Born of a Puerto Rican father and Italian mother on Long Island, Chef/Owner Sue Torres proclaims, “My heart is Mexican.” Driven by this passion, Torres has been showcasing the rich depth of Mexico’s culinary heritage through a menu of progressive Mexican cuisine since opening her restaurant Sueños in 2003, and long before that at Arizona 206, Rocking Horse Café and Hell’s Kitchen.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Torres’ career combines working at New York’s finest restaurants – The 21 Club, La Grenouille, Isabella’s, Lola’s, Arizona 206, Rocking Horse Café and Hell’s Kitchen – with considerable time spent studying alongside Mexican cooking authority Diana Kennedy, touring the markets of Oaxaca with Susana Trilling, and an apprenticeship under Ricard Muñoz Zurita in Mexico City. In addition to learning from luminaries in the field of Mexican food, Torres has traveled to the homes and families of her kitchen staff to learn the craft as it’s been handed down through generations from mothers and grandmothers. She makes regular pilgrimages to regions such as Veracruz, the Yucatan and Puebla to learn the subtle nuances and intricacies that differentiate the culinary styles of each area. Torres also takes steps to showcase the full breadth of what defines authentic Mexican cuisine by employing tools such as the molina to grind corn into fresh-made tortillas, the comal to create guacamole to order, a smoker to explore Mexican barbecue dishes, and a plancha to prepare dishes over an open flame.

Torres has made frequent appearances on national cooking shows, including the Food Network’s Chopped and Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, as well as alongside the likes of Alexa Ray Joel and Blythe Danner in celebrity makeup artist Bobbi Brown’s book, Pretty Powerful (Chronicle Books, 2012). She receives regular accolades from food media and industry peers alike – including having her Shredded Beef Mini Tacos named by Time Out New York as some of New York’s best tacos, and her Torres Tots served at acclaimed New York speakeasy, PDT, amongst “America’s Most Decadent Potato Dishes” by the editors at Food & Wine, who dubbed her New York’s “reigning queen of Mexican cuisine.” Her recipes can be found in Food & Wine, Fine Cooking, New York Magazine’s In Season Cookbook, and The Hot Latin Diet by Dr. Manny Alvarez.

In addition to her commitment to Mexican cuisine, Torres makes time to give back through cooking classes, apprenticeships and charity affiliations, and has worked with The St. Jude Children’s Foundation, Wellness In The Schools, Autism Speaks, SHARE, and many more.

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