Community gathers around rib and chili cook-off in ReynoldsReynolds was transformed into a meat-lover’s paradise Saturday as the town hosted its annual Rib O’ Rama rib and chili cook-off.
By: Austin Ashlock, Grand Forks Herald
REYNOLDS, N.D. — Reynolds was transformed into a meat-lover’s paradise Saturday as the town hosted its annual Rib O’ Rama rib and chili cook-off.
Welcoming in seasoned contestants and newcomers alike, Rib O’ Rama brought in five rib cooks, two of which also cooked chili, from around the area, with contestants arriving at Reynolds Community Park as early as 9 a.m. to prepare for a day’s worth of grilling and cooking.
Engulfing the park and surrounding neighborhoods in an aroma of smoky, barbecue smells, the five contestants spent more than eight hours preparing their ribs for the 5 p.m. judging and all-you-can-eat picnic.
Jen Rogers of Reynolds Community Betterment, the event organizers, said in its three years, Rib O’ Rama has been a great way to bring members of the community together.
“All the proceeds go to support projects around Reynolds,” Rogers said. “So this is something I think the community really likes to support, and we couldn’t have asked for a better day for it.”
In its previous two years, Rib O’ Rama only featured the all-you-can-eat rib picnic, the rib and chili contest is the newest addition to the event, but Rogers said she hopes for it to continue.
“It’s just another way to grab the interest and add some fun to the day,” Rogers said. “It’s still in its infancy, obviously, but so far, so good.”
Rib contestants Steve Walmer and his brother Chris Walmer, of Reynolds, are no strangers to rib contests. The pair that makes up the Double W’s B.B.Q. Team and they have been entering contests around the region for the past few years.
“I've been cooking for years, and (Chris) got me into cooking ribs,” Steve Walmer said. “It’s just something fun to do, and we started winning awards and just kept on.”
The team uses a “3-2-1” process in which they smoke the rib meat for three hours, followed by two hours wrapped in tinfoil and one hour on the grill.
Hungry for ribs and chili, people were lined up across the park as ribs began to be served at the five contestants tents at 5 p.m.
Half bowls of chili and single ribs were sold for a dollar each, with the option of sides, dessert and a drink for an additional five.
Carol Skavlem of Thompson, N.D., attended her first Rib O’Rama on Saturday.
“It was a perfect day for this, and the food was great and the people were great,” Skavlem said. “I certainly would come back next year.”
However, much to the displeasure of those left in line, at 6:15 p.m. it was announced that vendors were out of ribs.
“We had two or three times more people than we expected, which is a good problem to have,” Rogers said. “We ran out of food, which, while it was good to see, is something we can fix for next year.”
Hungry Bear Barbecue’s Kim Waldorf of Park Rapids, Minn., Larry’s Tasty Bones’ Larry Breidenbach of Reynolds and Shaggy’s BBQ of Grand Forks made up the rest of the competitive field at Rib O’ Rama.
After two hours of rib enjoyment, winners were crowed and Larry’s Tasty Bones won for best ribs and Shaggy’s BBQ went home with the trophy for best chili.
People’s choice awards were also given out with the same results.
Call Ashlock at (701) 780-1137; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1137; or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.