Fifty judges, festival goers get chance to sample some of the best of the best barbecue around

Ziggy Dick’s Barbecue Cook-Off and Festival this past weekend tantalized barbecue lovers’ tastebuds. Although North Carolina and Texas boast that they hold claim to the most flavorful styles of barbecue, Ziggy Dick’s competitors offered up their own signature barbecue recipes to bring champion homestyle barbecue flavors into every bite for festival goers.

Yet competitors kept their secret barbecue ingredients closely guarded. From spicy rib rubs, to mason jars of homemade barbecue sauces, cooks were totally mum when it came to sharing what makes their grilled meats a cut above competitors.

Making sauces and barbecue specialties until wee hours of the morning on, competitors were ready to move their extensive layout of barbecue foods to the judges tent at the fairgrounds, as Saturday quickly approached.

“No, we don’t give out our secret ingredients,” replied Christy Short, when asked for a hint about her barbecue flavors, as she cooked alongside her husband, Chris Short, as part of the Pig In or Pig Out Team, from Clewiston, Fla. The duo offered everything from pulled pork to barbecue chicken, as one of the first barbecue vendors who greeted hundreds of residents who arrived to bite into local and national champion barbecue specialties.

Blaine Brisson of Mr. B’s Barbecue almost held back on entering his secret recipe barbecue sauces at first. But when he decided to enter his specialties at the contest, his recipe for sauce took a sweet second place and his succulent barbecue chicken clucked in with a fabulous first place trophy, and a cash prize from judges.

“Of course, first place in the sauce would’ve been better, but I can’t complain,” said Brisson, who perfected his recipe for barbecue cooking professionally for the past 10 years.

Lang Barbecue Smokers took first place in the Barbecue Sauce Division, Team Cerner garnered first place in the Dessert Division, Moss Pit took first place in the Anything But Division, and the People’s Choice Award went to the cooking team of Fully Involved.

Roger Dick, a Naples Bay Rotarian, said in preparing for the competition, he asked professional and backyard entry competitors to keep Rotary charities in mind. All proceeds went to international health care projects such as polio inoculations and college scholarships at a local level.

The name “Ziggy Dick” came from Dick’s brother, when Roger was sick as a child. “He’d say to my mom, the baby Zick, when I wasn’t feeling well, and it stuck,” explained Dick during the competition, which is sanctioned by the Florida Barbecue Association in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Naples Bay.

Barbecue specialties entered by local and national competitors ranged from succulent racks of beef ribs, gator tail, pork rinds, pulled-pork sandwiches, barbecue sauces, desserts and salsas.

“I’ve been eating for four hours, and I’m stuffed,” exclaimed Linda Wallen of Golden Gate Estates, who served as one of 50 judges. All of the judges sampled from more than 24 plates entered in four categories of brisket, chicken, pork and ribs.

Even the youngest barbecue lovers were thrilled with the People’s Choice Awards Taste Test entries.

“I love it,” said 4-year-old Brady Webb of Naples, as he took another bite of his pulled barbecue chicken sandwich with a side of corn on the cob.

Ziggy Dick’s Barbecue Cook-Off and Festival results:

First Place Backyard Division Team Winners

Chicken: The Q Team

Ribs: The Moss Pit

Pork: The Moss Pit

Brisket: Rub-It-Right

First Place Professional Division Team Winners

Chicken: Mr. B’s Bar-B-Que

Ribs: Zoo-Wee Mama’s BBQ

Pork: Git-R-Smoked

Brisket: Smoky Dog

Reserve Champion: Big Papa’s Country Kitchen

Grand Champion: Git-R-Smoked

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