MEAT MADNESS: Cornwall griller moves on in online cooking contest

MEAT MADNESS: Cornwall griller moves on in online cooking contest

**UPDATE: This story includes updated information concering Mat Drouin’s quest for the Meat Madness title.**

CORNWALL, Ontario – Mat Drouin knows how to grease the wheels when it comes to interviews with local media – use bacon fat.

The amateur Cornwall grilling artist was providing samples to a lowly journalist while in the heat of battle with other chefs as part of Meat Madness – an online barbecuing competition sponsored by Traeger Grills.

Drouin’s weapon of choice in this culinary war that mirrors the popular March Madness college basketball tournament in the U.S. is Maple Glazed Pork Medallions with Maple-Candied Bacon.

Trust us – it’s as delectable as it sounds.

Drouin has made it to the Elite Eight component of the competition, which includes cooking up your recipe at home and posting photographs of it online. Voters then select their favourite of two dishes that go head-to-head in each round.

The competition started with 64 people, but just eight remain going into Sunday’s 11 p.m. voting deadline. Another round is scheduled for the weekend.

Drouin had a nearly 600-vote lead on his opponent, Danny Venerus, who had plated up smoked citurs and polenta pork tenderloin. But Drouin isn’t taking anything for granted.

“In my last competition I had a huge lead – but then my opponent got like 400 votes in two hours,” he said.

Drouin’s love of the grill started when he purchased a Traeger wood-fired barbecue about six years ago. He fell in love with the food it created and so did his family.

“Now I’m the one they ask to cook the turkey on holidays,” he said.

Drouin loved it so much he went to work for the Traeger brand, working as a salesperson for eastern Ontario and west Quebec.

“I just had a huge passion for this,” he said.

Drouin’s friends and family are glad he did.

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