'Best in the West' Rib Cook-Off Draws Nation's Greatest Eaters to John Ascuaga's Nugget

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Top Major League Eaters Pat Bertoletti and Matt Stonie Strive to Set New World Record, Compete for $5,000 in Cash Prizes

Top ranked Major League Eaters will battle cheek-to-jowl at the 7th Annual John Ascuaga’s Nugget World Rib-Eating Championship in Sparks, NV on Wednesday, August 29. The 12-minute, all-you-can-eat contest will kick-off the 24th Annual Best in the West Nugget World Rib Cook-Off. At stake is a $5,000 cash purse and the title of Best in the West Nugget Rib Eating World Champion.

Chicago native Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti, the #2-ranked eater in the world, will headline the competition, seeking not only to recapture the rib-eating title he last won here in 2009, but also to quash Joey Chestnut’s 2008 world record of 9.8 pounds of rib meat in 12 minutes. Another top-contender vying for his place in the rib-eating record books will be #6-ranked Matt “Megatoad” Stonie the 20-year-old from San Jose, CA who repeatedly out-eats veteran competitors two and three times his size. In recent bouts, Stonie has significantly increased the pressure on both Chestnut and Bertoletti.

Also competing will #11-ranked Erik “The Red” Denmark of Seattle, a rib specialist, Las Vegas’ Juan “More Bite” Rodriguez, and Michelle “Cardboard Shell” Lesco of Tucson, AZ. Comedian Drake Nelson of Reno will also join them at the table.

The contest will feature St. Louis-style ribs and will conform to the MLE judging model, where ribs are weighed before and after competition to determine the exact amount of rib meat eaten by each competitor.

The 24th Annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off features 24 of the nation’s top rib-cookers, each vying for the highly coveted first place trophy, cash prizes and the People’s Choice Award. This year, John Ascuaga’s Nugget anticipates at least 500,000 hungry BBQ-lovers will consume the more than 100 tons of ribs over the extended Labor Day weekend. For more information, visit http://www.nuggetribcookoff.com.

WHAT: John Ascuaga’s Nugget World Rib-Eating Championship

WHERE:    Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off (Main Stage)
John Ascuaga’s Nugget
1100 Nugget Ave.
Sparks, NV

WHEN: Wednesday, August 29, 2012

TIME: 6 p.m.


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Richard Shea
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