Ilani BBQ Fest 2023 Guide

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You may know ilani Casino Resort in Ridgefield, WA as the premier gaming destination in Washington State.  Or maybe you know it as a great resort with lots of shopping, dining, and entertainment near Portland, Oregon.

But this weekend you should know it as the place to go for some great barbecue.  Because the ilani BBQ Fest is taking place this weekend!

This is a fun weekend that is a celebration of all things BBQ.  You’ll get a chance to sample and savor some amazing barbecue.  You’ll enjoy drink specials and live entertainment.  The event has two celebrity emcees, Chef Deanna Colón (Master Chef Season 10) and D’Andra Simmons (The Real Housewives of Dallas).

You can also see some of the nation’s top pitmasters show their stuff.  Headline chefs include:

  • Damaris Phillips (Food Network Star Season 9 Winner)
  • Rocco DiSpirito (The Restaurant star)
  • Kevin Bludso (The American Barbecue Showdown judge)
  • Jet Tila (Ready Jet Cook host)
  • Michael Symon (The Chew Co-Host)
  • Rasheed Philips (American Barbecue Showdown)
  • Aaron May (Guy’s Grocery Games judge)
  • Christina Fitzgerald (Food Network Star Finalist)

Supporting chefs include:

  • Stan Hays
  • Misty Banchero
  • Rick Browne
  • Fred Hopson
  • Mary Cressler
  • Sean Martin
  • Bruce Kalman
  • Mark Lambert
  • John Railey
  • Lynnae Oxley
  • Phil “The Grill” Johnson

ilani BBQ Fest is full of great events, too.

Bourbon & Barbecue Bites

Enjoy an evening of top-notch barbecue and bourbon along with award-winning pitmasters Kevin Bludso, Mary Cressler & Sean Martin.  It takes place at Michael Jordan’s Steak House on Thursday, June 8, 2023, from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.

Tickets to this event are sold out.

Party with the Pitmasters

Enjoy an intimate dine-around experience with your favorite celebrity chefs.  Top BBQ pitmasters will reimagine their famous barbecue dishes and you’ll enjoy delicious samples and drink pairings.  This event takes place at Cowlitz Ballroom from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on Friday, June 9, 2023.

You can buy a ticket to Party with the Pitmasters here.

BBQ, Beer, Bubbles & Bloody Brunch

You’ve never really brunched until you have this classic homestyle barbecue brunch.  It combines brunch favorites and world-renowned barbecue.  Throw in local craft beer, bubbles, bloody marys, and celebrity chefs Rocco DiSpirito, Christina Fitzgerald and Phil “The Grill” Johnson, and you’ve got yourself an event you’ll never forget!

It takes place at Cowlitz Ballroom on both Saturday, June 10, 2023, and Sunday, June 11, 2023.  You can buy a ticket for two different times:

BBQ Fest Saturday Session

This event takes place on the ilani rooftop.  It takes place on Saturday, June 10, 2023, and Sunday, June 11, 2023, from noon to 6:00 PM.  This Grand Tasting has cooking demonstrations, smoky favorites, drink samples, and more.  Celebrity chefs Rocco DiSpirito, Michael Symon, Aaron May, Kevin Bludso, Jet Tila, and Christina Fitzgerald will be there.

There are three different ticket options for this:

Lady Pitmasters Poolside Dine-Around Party

This dine-around event is a great way to meet inspiring women in barbecue.  You’ll interact with pitmasters, entrepreneurs, and champions, both behind the scenes and in front of the flames.  It takes place on Saturday, June 10, 2023, from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM on the Hotel Pool Patio.

You can purchase tickets for this event here.