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Baby back baby back baby back Ribbies

Calum Stenning

The southern US states have given many gifts to the world – blues music, Matthew McConaughey, and of course, the art form that is American BBQ.

The pork rib is the cornerstone of this “low and slow” style of cooking, and as part of The Commons food festival, fan-favourite Bao Stop are bringing their new venture, Ribbies, to Canberra.

Pack your wet wipes, bring a bib and (gentlemen) trim back your facial hair. Alright, alright, alright.

“We’ve taken some of the flavours from my background of cooking (Asian style), picked our best sauces, matched them to American style BBQ,” says Matt Forwood, the man with the plan and founder of Bao Stop and Ribbies.

Founder of Bao Stop and Ribbies, Matty Forwood

Founder of Bao Stop and Ribbies, Matty Forwood

“The American style is something that has always grabbed me – that low and slow (cooking method) is something that I think is very important. I think Australia is only just starting to get a touch of that now.”

“We noticed from the Night Noodle Markets that no one was really doing pork ribs,” says Matt. A gap in the market that will fit their new four-metre long pit smoker perfectly. And fuelling the fire? “We’re using a lot of Australian hardwood – peach and cherry – they have a really good long burn.”

The choice of wood is not one made without much deliberation. The wood can enhance the flavour of the ribs, and if Bao Stop’s popularity is anything to go by, the flavours will be full and well thought out.

Ribbies' brand new smoker

Ribbies’ brand new smoker

The ribs themselves will be free range and 100% sow stall free. They’re smoked for six hours before being served – it may be street food, but this isn’t fast food. Between the rub, the sauce, and the smoking, this is no small process; but Matt is looking forward to helping patrons get their fill of slow-cooked racks of meaty, saucy deliciousness.

“Last time we were in Canberra, the reception we got from Bao Stop was huge,” says Matt. “I really appreciate Canberra and the way the food scene has changed over the last five years – it’s something I’m excited by – so there’s no better place to launch the brand!”


Step One: Roll up your sleeves and perhaps tuck a napkin or two into your shirt.

Step Two: Choose your Ribbies. There will be two sauce options available at The Commons to accompany your rack of six-hour slow cooked BBQ pork ribs (mmm) – Char Sui Sticky Red Sauce or Biggie BBQ Hoisin Sauce.

Step Three: Dig in. No standing on ceremony here, get your hands dirty.

Step Four: Lick your fingers and bust out the wet wipes.

Ribbies come on a bed of rice topped with chopped spring onions and toasted sesame seeds so you have something to soak up the sauce. Delicious.

the essentials

What: Ribbies
Where: The Commons Street Food Feast in Commonwealth Park
When: Find Ribbies there from today until Sunday 18 December. Click here for full opening times.

This is a sponsored article. For more information on sponsored articles, click here.


Calum Stenning

Calum Stenning is Her Canberra’s newest and most male (read: only) intern. Three years spent living overseas has given him a renewed appreciation for Canberra life. Every day starts with coffee and the Sydney Morning Herald crossword at a favourite coffee haunt, as he is wary of the perils of dementia, and thinks crosswords are a viable safeguard. If he lives to a dementia-appropriate age (evidence says he won’t), he’ll let us know. More about the Author