As my regular readers will know I had made plans to attend and review 3 RibFests in 3 days, The first in Milton, the second in Brantford and finishing up on the Sunday by driving 2 hours east to Belleville. Ontario.
You may remember that a week before I posted a preview of the Belleville Quinte Ribfest for Big Brothers and Big Sisters the week before the event and I did an interview with Mike Cooper one of the organizers.
So lets talk about the Belleville event. And eventful it was! but more so after the fact.
1st the good news.
It was a gorgeous week-end and the 8 ribbers that were vending were top quality vendors. I was there about 3:30 on the Sunday afternoon and from what i saw it was not to busy, which was great if you were a customer and did not want to be waiting in line for long periods but the ribbers like the hustle of serving lots of hungry people.
Organizers came up with a fantastic idea that I hope will be added to other Ribfests and that is the Sauce Tasting Tent!
May be kind of hard to see in the last picture but what organizers had done was asked each of the Ribbers to supply a 4 lt. (1 Gallon) container of their sauce and they were put side by side by each next to each other with pumps in them like this one by the Horn Dawgs along with a box of plastic spoons.
And then the visitors could take a spoon and try a sample of each sauce one after another thus knowing which sauce they like best with out having to by the product first and at the same time vote for the best sauce on the spot.
I tried them all and I found one that I really did not like what so ever but I am sorry to say that I could not remember who’s sauce that was, maybe that is a good thing as I wanted to erase the taste out of my memory. Most of them were very tasty though and I found that out of the 8 there were 2 that I liked best.
One of them was Crabby’s BBQ Shack which also had a team in Milton that same week-end and I had sampled the Pulled pork from Crabby’s in Milton just 2 days earlier.
The other was Horn Dawgs and though it is no secret that they are friends of mine I can honestly say that their sauce is a favorite of mine. Crabby’s was up to par with them though.
I spent a few minutes talking with George the owner of Crabby’s BBQ Shack and found him to be very interesting to talk with and he gave me some back ground on his teams (by the way if your wondering how he could be in Milton and Belleville on the same week-end, they have 2 rigs and the one in Milton was run by George’s wife and daughter. In the future I hope to spend more time with George and perhaps do an in-depth interview with the man.
George also gave me a bottle of his Crabby’s sauce to bring home so one of these day I will have to start up my BBQ and give it a try (and yes I will report my findings on that!)
If your wondering who won the awards for best sauce you will have to wait as I took video of the awards presentations and with show them too you near the bottom of this post.
Ribs are the #1 draw for the public, hence the name RibFest (Duh!) So lets have a look at each of the teams showing off their tender mouth watering racks of ribs!
For those that do not know, the Ribbers smoke their ribs approximately about 140 racks at a time in their smokers that are built right into their rigs for approximately 4 and a half hours before throwing them as needed onto a charcoal or wood burning grill where they are finished with their wonderful original sauces.
This brings me to a subject that I do not like to talk about that happened at this show.
As I said I am friends with the Horn Dawgs and I have talked with Manda (pictured above) many times and she is a sweet girl that is working during the summer months so Ribfests and it is very hard work and has to cook in all kinds of conditions. During this show she had her picture taken by a local reporter for the Belleville newspaper and that picture is below.
Now I understand that a nice looking lady can help to promote a product or attract readers, and it happens all the time, I get that. But the headline that was used in this case was to me a little to suggestive. At first I thought that it would be some good publicity for the Horn Dawgs team especially since it was that week that Horn Dawgs announced that they had for the first time started selling their sauce to the public in retail bottles.
I wonder how the Belleville Newspaper that ran the picture on the front page with the headline Succulent Racks feels with the attention that it is receiving considering that it is a family oriented local community publication?
But then I notice that the picture had started to be passed on around on twitter and people were making a few comments about it, but still not too damaging. Then the Comedy Networks Tosh.0 website added the picture to their blog with a tame enough headline something to the effect of “I am Hot” but what disgusted me was almost 200 comments to that picture by the idiots of the world making very very rude and crude comments about this nice gal. I will not even link to that blog since I do not want others to read the comments or at least make it easy for you all to find it, though I am sure it could be found with some digging. It seems that many outlets have posted this newspaper pic and some have even used tags for the post that are un-called for and would be used more as search words for porn rather than for BBQ.
Someone even linked the Tosh link to the Horn Dawgs site which was quickly deleted by Donna and Rob, owners of the Horn Dawgs rig.
Donna & Rob posted this message on their facebook page…
Official Message: Horn Dawgs Smokin BBQ and Catering does not condone the headlines/comments a few recent website articles. Our employee Manda Slater is a great worker and fabulous person, the comments on these recent articles are uncalled for and not appreciated.
I agreed 100% with their stance and I guess we could of just kept quiet and let the picture and it’s comments just go away on their own but Manda deserved to be defended.
I had trouble deciding how I wanted to handle this for my blog so the following week at the Guelph Ribfest I decided to talk with Manda and see if she would be alright with my writing about it and she was very appreciative of her employers reaction and supported my defending her her in my forum.
To all of those people that made the rude comments I say they should be ashamed of themselves and next time before they make these types of comments to think for a moment on how they would react if the subjected person was a daughter or a girlfriend of theirs.
And though I do not usually censor any comments to my blog I am warning everyone that any rude comments directed at women, Manda or anyone else will not be tolorated and will be deleted. Just Sayin’
Edit Sept. 23rd 2011 (the Succulent Racks story even made it on to Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show
Back to the fun stuff!
Below is a picture of the Horn Dawgs brand spankin’ new 500 lb. Southern Pride Smoker which they will use as a second smoker to go with the 500 lb. Cook Shack Fast Eddy that they have built into their Pig Rig 2.0 that they started this season with.
The nice thing about the Southern Pride is that they can tow that behind a car and use it for catering jobs, not needing to thake the Pig Rig.
It has been estimated that attendance was approximatly 35,000 for the 3 days, not quite the numbers that some of the other Ontario Ribfest can bring in like Pickering that had almost 70,000 at the beginning of the season or Burlington which is on the Labour Day weekend and they are expecting 150,000 visitors over 4 days mind you they have 18 Ribbers this year.
Here is the video that I took of the awards ceremony for the ribbers. (if you just want to read the results I will post that at the bottom of this post.
Here are a few other sites from the Belleville show…
When your thirsty for something other than an adult beverage from the beer tent a great choice is some Alabama Lemonade which is a booth that is run by the good folks from Camp 31
Here are the awards from Belleville…
Best Sauce Celebrity Judged
1st – Camp 31
2nd – BlazinBBQ
3rd – a tie between Horn Dawgs Smokin BBQ and Crabby’s BBQ Shack.
Best Ribs Celebrity Judged…
1st – Blazin BBQ
2nd – Hawgs Gone Wild
3rd – Crabby’s BBQ Shack
Peoples Choice Sauce…
1st – Hawgs Gone Wild
2nd – Horn Dawgs Smokin BBQ
3rd – Jack the Ribber
Peoples Choice Chicken…
1st – Hawgs Gone Wild
2nd – Blazin BBQ
3rd – Jack the Ribber
Peoples Choice Ribs…
1st – Hawgs Gone Wild
2nd – Jack the Ribber
3rd – Camp 31
That is it for another year from the Quinte area, I hope that next year is not as controversial.