Ribfest produces a competitive spirit

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Dillon Prisner of the Ribs Royale Vegas team works to ensure the very best of their product is ready for the judging competition at Chatham's Ribfest on Saturday, July 6, 2013.
Dillon Prisner of the Ribs Royale Vegas team works to ensure the very best of their product is ready for the judging competition at Chatham’s Ribfest on Saturday, July 6, 2013.

When it comes to Ribfest, long days and hard work are something that Dillon Prisner expects.

As part of the Ribs Royale team whose award-winning ribs recipe originates from Las Vegas, this is Prisner’s first year at Chatham’s event.

The Ribs Royale team, like the others competing for top awards, take the challenge very seriously.

“We say it’s like going to war,” said Prisner.

It’s an experience the Ribs Royale team has been enjoying so far.

“Everyone has been giving us good feedback so far,” said Prisner.

The four-day event which took place in Tecumseh Park, offered Chatham-Kent citizens not only the chance to try a rack of ribs, but visit the beer tent and ride on one of the many amusement rides set up in front of the Chatham Armoury.

Entertainment took place everyday and included favourite New Star contestant and Chatham local Brooklyn Roebuck and many more.

Prisner, a London local, says the number of people working on a Ribfest event can vary from 5-14 depending on the size of a show.

In the hopes of achieving another title, teams take care of the smallest details. Each Ribfest team prepare their ribs in a particular way, looking to items like premium charcoal to cook over and cherry wood to set them apart.

While a rub, sauce and method of cooking are the obvious factors to producing award-winning ribs, they’re not the only crucial ingredients.

“Everyone works incredibly hard and that’s what we rely on,” said Prisner.

“It makes the job a lot easier on everybody else and we’re all one big family,” Prisner added.

Various categories like Best Sauce and Best Chicken exist at most events, but all the teams focus on the Best Ribs award.

“It’s called Ribfest, not Chickenfest,” said Prisner with a laugh.

Prisner gives an insight into the work that goes into the event, saying they can work up to 19 hours a day and usually have 900 racks of ribs on hand to cook.

In the end, Prisner ensures the public he’s cooking for are satisfied.

“We want to make everyone smile and have a good time.”

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