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Louie's to host rib cook-off

Louie Vasovski (left), owner of Louie’s Food & Spirits in Lakeville, and his manager/bartender, Heide Nash, are inviting all amateur and professional cooks to enter the restaurant’s barbecue rib-cooking competition on Oct. 22. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
October 12, 2011 - "Who has the best rack?"

That's the question being asked by Louie's Food & Spirits in Lakeville.

The answer will come on Saturday, Oct. 22 when the local restaurant/bar hosts "Louie's Rib Fest 2011."

Louie's is inviting both amateur and professional cooks to pit their barbecue skills against each other in a mouth-watering rib-cooking competition that promises to be both hot and juicy.

The cost to enter the competition is $25 per team, each of which can consist of one leader – or "pit master" – and up to three assistants.

"There's about 12 to 13 people signed up right now," said Heide Nash, manager/bartender at Louie's. "I'm hoping for at least 15, possibly 20 teams altogether."

Entry forms are available at Louie's, which is located at 600 Lakeville Rd.

The entry fee entitles the "pit master" a spot at the all-you-can-eat buffet (more on that later) and six ice-cold beers.

Each team must supply its own cooking apparatus, propane or charcoal, sauces, rubs and marinades.

"We supply the meat," Nash said. "Each team will get four slabs."

Those slabs will be St. Louis Style pork ribs. This cut involves removing the sternum bone, cartilage and rib tips to create a rectangular-shaped rack.

Contestants will literally have all day to prepare their ribs for judging. Cooking will commence at 8 a.m. sharp and the meat must leave the fire roughly 10 minutes before the judging begins at 6 p.m.

Each judge will get one bone from each team. "They'll be judged on their taste, tenderness and appearance," Nash explained.

Judges include Addison Township Supervisor Bruce Pearson, Mike Mavis (Professional Touch Home Improvements), Bruce Boyd (Boyd's A-1 Painting), Terry Oles (Carpetiste), Geno Mallia, Sr. (currier for Oxford Bank), and John Healy (Durable Construction).

Trophies will be awarded for first, second and third places. A people's choice award will also be given for the best decorated cooking site.

But the judges aren't the only ones who get to sample the tasty ribs. The majority of this bountiful barbecue bonanza will become part of an all-you-can eat buffet for the public, which opens at 6 p.m.

Each diner can enjoy ribs, four side dishes, corn bread, dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage of their choice. The cost is $15 per person in advance or $18 at the door.

Kids 12 and under can eat for $5.

Prior to the buffet, parents are invited to bring their kids for free Halloween activities (4-6 p.m.) including spooky coloring, a candy hunt, and pumpkin decorating.

Each child who shows up wearing a costume will receive a trick-or-treat bag full of goodies. For more information about Louie's Rib Fest 2011, please call (248) 628-2440.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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