Judging a rib competition is not a role that should be taken lightly.
Fortunately for those adjudicating this weekend's RibFest in Port Moody, there are strict criteria that must be followed before the winning pit masters can claim their prize.
According to a copy of the judging guidelines obtained by The Tri-City News, ribbers will be graded by a panel of eight officials, consisting of local celebrities, politicians and organizers (including Tri-City News publisher Shannon Mitchell).
The fare will be scored on a one-to-10 scale based on appearance, tenderness and, most importantly, taste.
"The organizers will tally all the judge scores, doubling the taste score so the taste score represents 50% of the overall score," according to the judging guidelines.
In order to ensure the contest is conducted fairly and without bias, teams will present their ribs to organizers in identical boxes so that "the judges will not know whose ribs they are eating at any time."
Last year, Prairie Smoke and Spice took home the People's Choice Award for best ribs and sauce, and the winners are back this year to defend their title. They are joined at Rocky Point Park this weekend for three days of feasting and barbecue by competitors Boss Hog's Gator BBQ, Misty Mountain BBQ, Smoke and Bones and newcomers Grizzly BBQ.
Sponsored in part by The Tri-City News, the event runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. Admission is free and there is a free shuttle between the Port Moody recreation complex and Rocky Point Park rolling every half hour. For more information, go to www.portmoodyribfest.ca.