It was a cool and cloudy Canada Day, but the heat was on as four of Inuvik’s bravest cooks threw themselves into the fire for the second episode of Inuvik Chopped.

Dez and Paige Loreen aka “Team Eskimofo” cook up some smokies on Canada Day as part of the Inuvik Chopped BBQ edition. Team Eskimofo cooked “Miss Spicy Cream” – a cream cheese jalapeno dip with ketchup chips sprinkled in, “Totally Arctic Wieners” – smokies with mustard, and “Sugar Piggies” – bacon candied with marshmallow and sugar.

No canned meat this time. This was a barbecue edition. Contestants were given eight “mystery ingredients” and had to decide how to integrate them into a three course meal within one hour on the grill. In this edition, the mystery ingredients were bacon, smokies, pilot biscuits, mustard, ketchup chips, maple syrup, marshmallows and jalapeno peppers.

Then, after naming their dishes and taking a bite out of their creation in front of the camera, the cooks hand their fate over to guest judge Devon Burgess to evaluate the meals, based on creativity, presentation and the use of all eight ingredients. When the dust settled, reigning champion Bob Eldridge retained his crown with his “Sweet and Spicy Delight” — pizza surrounded with homemade garlic bread. Sauce for the pizza was made out of mustard, ketchup chips and maple syrup and topped with the smokies and bacon — and that was just the appetizer. For the main course, he prepared a curry stirfry out of the ingredients and his daughter Mila made the dessert using popcorn, maple syrup and marshmallows.

“It’s got whiskey and wine and dairy incorporated in it,” said Eldridge. “And all kinds of spices and lots of garlic.”

Eldridge and his daughter Mila edged out three competing teams — Natasha Kulikowski cooked up “John Candied Smokies” – smokies wrapped in bacon, stuffed with jalapenos and covered in a maple glaze and rolled in ketchup chips. She followed that with a “Bush Pilot Canapés” – a pancake-style bread made with a layer of marshmallow and chocolate, with maple syrup dripped onto it.

Dez and Paige Loreen, aka Team Eskimofo, fired up “Miss Spicy Cream” – a cream cheese jalapeno dip with ketchup chips sprinkled in, “Totally Arctic Wieners” – smokies with mustard, and “Sugar Piggies” – bacon candied with marshmellow and sugar; and former rivals united Evan Pound and Faye d’Eon-Eggertson combined all the mystery ingredients into one single bar, which they dubbed “Ultimate Canadian Summer Smokie-S’more” — smokies wrapped in bacon, coated in melted marshmallows and covered in sprinkled grilled jalapeno, pilot crackers and ketchup chips, then covered in a chocolate barbecue sauce that included the maple syrup and mustard.

“It’s kind of like a s’mores corn dog,” he said. “The marshmallows, when we dipped it in, created kind of batter effect.”

With Eldridge now holding back to back wins, Burgess noted he would have to come back to see if he could make it three in a row. Eldridge said he would happily compete again.

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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