SPARKS –After 24 years of competing in the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off, Chicago BBQ won first place for the first time. Today, they are proudly displaying that first place trophy at their booth!
Chicago BBQ owner, Tom Ferguson, says winning ‘Best in the West’ is “like winning a gold medal in the Olympics.” Ferguson took second place at last year’s Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off, and says he considers first place at the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off the most treasured award in barbecue.
Second Place winner, Sweet Baby Ray’s, is new to the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off this year. “It is unbelievable,” said owner Dave Raymond says of his second place award. “I am humbled and honored.” Raymond describes his barbecue as “mouth-watering, lip-smacking, bone-sucking, finger-licking good.”
In all, 24 barbecue teams and hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the country converged on Sparks and John Ascuaga’s Nugget for the six-day event that is widely considered to be the biggest, most prestigious rib-cooking event in the United States.
The top five winners were: First place Chicago BBQ, IL, $7,500; Second place, Sweet Baby Ray’s, IL, $3,000; Third place, Famous Dave’s, MN, $2,000; Fourth Place, Porky & Beans, FL, $1,000; and Fifth Place, Checkered Pig, VA, $500. The People’s Choice Award went to Back Forty, CA. The Best sauce award, also worth $500, went to Famous Dave’s. .
More than the cash prize, rib cookers say it’s the bragging rights they compete for at the cook-off. Cookers who do well in the competition generally see increased sales at the cook-off the following year.
Nugget officials estimate that more than 500,000 people attended and more than 101 tons of ribs were served during the event.
The 25th Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off is scheduled for Wednesday, August 28 through Monday, September 2, 2013. For reservations, event history and information call (800) 648-1177 or (775) 356-3300, or visit www.nuggetribcookoff.com.