The back yard of the Madera Elks Lodge was filled to capacity with a record nineteen teams competing in the lodge’s eighth annual Rib Cook-off. Teams came from as far away as Morgan Hill to compete in this year’s event.
Beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, teams with names like The Nation, Bibs-n-Ribs, and 49er Ribs began firing up their individual barbecues, basting, rubbing, marinating, and grilling. Each team received the same amount and kind of ribs from the Elks.
During the day guests could mingle with the cooking crews and do their own taste-testing to later determine a People’s Choice Award. According to co-organizer Tom Buckley, this was the first time for such a presentation.
At 4 p.m., it was time for the official judging. This year’s judges were City Council Member and county supervisor candidate Gary Svanda,Superior Court Judge Ernie LiCalsi and Tribune columnist and reporter Leon Emo. After sampling 19 different entries, the scores were tallied. “It was hard,” said Svanda. “There was not one bad entry. Every bite I tasted was very good.” ...