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Back Forty is the Best in the West
by Tribune Staff
Sep 05, 2011 | 2874 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Dan McGee
Back Forty Texas BBQ owner Jeff Erb, and business partner Mike Warren hoist the Best Ribs trophy at Monday's award ceremony. Erb's wife Yvonne holds the "pig check," while Miguel Perez looks on and the Bud Girls help them celebrate.
Tribune/Dan McGee Back Forty Texas BBQ owner Jeff Erb, and business partner Mike Warren hoist the Best Ribs trophy at Monday's award ceremony. Erb's wife Yvonne holds the "pig check," while Miguel Perez looks on and the Bud Girls help them celebrate.
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SPARKS — After 20 years of competing in the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off, Back Forty Texas Barbecue won first place for the first time on Monday.

“To compete here is unbelievable,” said Jeff Erb as he received his trophy. “To come in on top is amazing.”

Second place winner Tom Ferguson and Chicago BBQ Company have attended the rib cook-off since the very beginning 23 years ago. 

“I can’t believe all of the ribs we feed you people on the West Coast,” Ferguson said.  He also announced that he plans to donate a portion of his winnings to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada.

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 Labor Day weekend event that is widely considered to be the biggest, most prestigious rib-cooking festival in the United States.                                                 

The top five winners were:

- First place, Back Forty Texas Barbecue, Pleasant Hill, CA., $7,500;

- Second place, Chicago BBQ Co., Burr Ridge, IL., $3,000;

- Third place, Bone Daddy’s., Midland, MI., $2,000;

- Fourth Place, Kinder’s Custom Meats, Concord, CA,$1,000; and

- Fifth Place, Porky N Beans BBQ, Port St. Lucie, FL , $500.

The People’s Choice Award went to Bone Daddy’s BBQ, of Midland, MI, for the second year in a row. The award for Best Sauce, also worth $500, went to newcomer Uncle Bub’s of Westport, IL.

Nugget officials estimate that more than 500,000 people attended the cook-off and more than 100 tons of ribs were served.

Sierra Meats, the rib distributor for the event, reports that 239,000 pounds of ribs were sold, up from 212,000 in 2010. An official attendance and economic impact report will be released in a few weeks.
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