BONNERS FERRY — The Wild Game and Pork Rib Cook Off took place during the Kootenai River Days for the second year. It has been a slow start for the fledgling competition, with only two entrants this year, but that has not deterred organizer Lori Allen.
“I have talked to other people who have started similar things in other places and they say it can take 10 years before it actually catches on,” said Allen. “I think it will catch on, so we are going to keep persisting and hopefully other people in the community will want to come and participate.”
This year there were only two competitors, although there were four different prizes, donated by Two Tones Cafe, Oriental Garden, Larson’s Department Store, and Far North Outfitters.
“We hope to keep building this, so in the future we can do wild game and a separate rib cook off,” said Allen.
In hopes of bringing out more competition next year, they will be offering a $500 prize to first place, $300 to second, and $150 to third.
“We could get vendors so that people could come and sample the meat as it is cooked,” said Allen. “I think that would be a great thing for the community.”
This year the competition was between a moose burger and pork ribs, and the three judges, CJ Tuma, David Brinkman, and Dave Koon, were more than happy to sample the finished product and pick the winner, although they said it was a very close competition.
The moose burger, entered by David Allen was named the unanimous winner, with Anneli Skilton taking second with her ribs.
The thick moose burger concerned the judges at first, as they were worried it would be dry.
“That thing was as juicy as can be, and the little kick from the peppers and cheese — such a good flavor,” said judge Brinkman. “That pushed it over for us.”
“It feels good,” David Allen said about being declared the winner. “This is just for fun. We wanted to get out here because we are trying to get this started here in Bonners and hopefully next year we will have some more participants and it will be even more fun.”