The third annual “Rib Ticklers Ball,” the Town of Cutler Bay’s fall barbecue event, took place on Saturday, Nov. 8, and Parks and Recreation director Etienne Bejarano said afterward that he couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.
“The event was a complete success,” Bejarano said. “The weather was perfect and the attendance was great. We had about 10 vendors in total.
“Everyone that competed had a wonderful time from the feedback that I received,” he added. “The Town of Cutler Bay Parks and Recreation Staff worked very hard to make this year’s Rib Ticklers Ball a complete success.”
Starting at 2 p.m. at Cutler Ridge Park and lasting until 7 p.m., the event featured area chefs cooking their favorite recipes for attendees to sample and purchase, while competing for awards in four categories — brisket, chicken, pulled pork, and pork ribs.
A Grand Champion was selected from those who competed in all four categories. Vice Mayor Ernie Sochin handed out the trophies.
“The winners were extremely happy with the outcome,” Bejarano said. “We could have not asked for a better day.”
The family-oriented event also had a bounce house and slide for the youngsters, a tribute to veterans and musical entertainment.
The panel of judges selected winners in the following categories: First Place for Brisket went to Big Pig BBQ.
First Place for Chicken was taken by Big Papas BBQ. First Place for Ribs was awarded to Miami Styles BBQ. First Place for Pork was earned by Big Papas BBQ.
The Grand Champion selected was Big Papas BBQ, a team not based at a restaurant but which competes regularly.
Chef Ernie Otero explained their history with the event.
“We’ve competed in the Rib Tickler’s Ball since the first year,” Otero said. “That was the first barbecue competition that we had ever competed in.
It just keeps getting better each year. We do a lot better. Last year we placed in every category and this year it felt really good to get a first in chicken and a first in pork. We took third in brisket and third in ribs and it was really great to get the Grand Championship. We had a good time out there. It was a great event and we intend to keep going back and entering competitions.”
Parks and Recreation director Bejarano praised the Parks and Recreation staff members for their efforts.
“I would like to recognize them for working very hard to make this event a success,” Bejarano said. “Fred Bobson, the special events coordinator, put together a complete show. Please join us for the upcoming Chili Day in Cutler Bay on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 at Cutler Ridge Park.”