The smell of barbecuing and smoking ribs rose above the large backyard of the Madera Elks Lodge on Saturday as 14 teams competed during the lodge’s annual Rib Cook-off. The lodge supplied the ribs and the participants started in the morning with basting, rubbing and marinating. Judging began four hours later.
Patrons to the event could purchase tickets to taste ribs and select their own People’s Choice award. Judges for this year’s overall champion were Madera County District 3 Supervisor Rick Farinelli, school board trustee Bob Garibay and Future Farmers of America member Zach Buckley. The judges determined scores by presentation, texture and taste.
The top three award winners were champion Rich Chandler of Hashtag Ribs, second place, Pig League Ribs and third place Fresno State BBQ. The People’s Choice winner was the team 3 Bros. BBQ. Chandler received a new smoker valued at $200.
According to event coordinator David Ruiz, the event is a fundraiser for Elks’ projects. “This year we will be using the proceeds to support the Wounded Warrior project and our own Dictionaries for Kids project,” said Ruiz.