Interesting Vancouver Presents: Where Are They Now? Ron Shewchuk, IV12

“I love grilled asparagus and I use it as a metaphor because it’s so simple… the language we use in our conversations should be this simple.”

In celebration of Interesting Vancouver’s 10th anniversary, we reconnected with a speaker from each year to find out where they are now.

This week we’re featuring international barbecue champion and bestselling cookbook author, Ron Shewchuk. In his IV12 talk, he spoke passionately about creating his award-winning barbecue sauce, explaining how he teaches business communication in team building workshops using an unorthodox metaphor: outdoor cooking. Who would have thought that’d make sense? At the end of his talk, he shared a slow-cooked barbecue pork butt with the audience.

Speaking at Interesting Vancouver was one of the highlights of Ron’s career. Having never spoken to a more responsive and engaged audience before, he was walking on air for a week after.   

Since 2012, Ron took his brand of barbecue evangelism to Costa Rica (offering team building workshops and classes to the community), and was also one of the judges for their BBQ Fest Costa Rica contest. His time in Costa Rica ignited his love for Latin American cuisine, pushing him to fine-tune his empanada recipe. It’s absolutely mouthwatering!

A couple of years ago he taught himself how to build an authentic Jamaican-style jerk pit, and cooked some beautiful pork bellies with his friends from Johnston’s Pork at the Brewery and the Beast Festival. He also learned an important lesson that day — pork fat is highly flammable (luckily there were a lot of people around with water bottles, and in the end the pork was saved… it just had a nice charred flavour).

One of the biggest lessons from his IV12 talk was:

“No matter how dim you think the future is, every experience of life builds on the last experience…so we [can] never say: this is the best I’ll ever have.”

For his full IV12 talk, check out the video below:

*Feature photo by Trevor Jansen

The 10th anniversary for Interesting Vancouver is happening on November 10th. We’re currently looking for ideas on some ‘interesting’ speakers — share your ideas with us here.