Chicago BBQ Takes First Place Nugget Rib Cook-off - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Chicago BBQ Takes First Place Nugget Rib Cook-off

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Courtesy: John Ascuaga's Nugget Casino Resort Courtesy: John Ascuaga's Nugget Casino Resort

The 24th Annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off wrapped on Monday.

Many folks from around the world converged on Victorian Square in Sparks to polish of thousand of pounds of ribs the past six days. However, only one place can say they cook the best ribs in the world, Chicago BBQ Company.

"I'm delighted. I been coming here 24 years, said Tom Ferguson, owner of the Chicago BBQ Company. "I've won every place several times, but never won first place. Now I've won first place."

Ferguson said they took second place last year. He said he made a few tweaks to the recipe this year and it paid off. He said their stand sold between seven and nine thousand pounds of ribs during the six day event.

He said he will be back next year to defend his title.

More than 500,000 people come out every year. Event organizers said they had about that many again this summer.

We spoke with the John Ascuaga himself. He said the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off just gets bigger every year.

"I think we have some outstanding cookers from around the world. When we first started, we begged cookers to come in, now they're all lined up wanting to get in and we're at capacity."

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.                                                                

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

Written by Chris Ciarlo and John Ascuaga's Nugget

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