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The 121st Humboldt County Fair in Ferndale is in full swing, and in this LoCO Video Report we take you to the grandstands for one of the fair’s biggest attractions, the Surf ‘n’ Turf Barbecue Competition.
Over the years the event’s gained popularity because famous chef Guy Fieri returns to the Victorian Village, his hometown, to take part in the competition.
“This is one of the best fairs you’ll ever go to in your life,” he says. “But now with this barbecue event that we’ve gained success with, it’s something you’ve got to come see. I have friends that come from all around the country that show up. It’s quite a deal.”
Around 15 chefs participated this year in hopes of being named the fair’s “King of the Grill” and of course to show off their cooking skills to the Food Network superstar.
“I get excited about it. I’d rather do this than anything else. And I like the competition, ” said Mike Ross of Southside Mike’s Bar-B-Que, who was preparing injected chicken thighs.
Contestants brought an unheard-of amount of meat, seafood, seasonings, and secret sauces. They even toted their own grills and smokers to get the job done properly.
Chefs from Humboldt Stump House Barbecue and Blasta Enterprises also show us what they’re cooking up and even tell us about their custom smokers made from old propane tanks. Some chefs even come in from out of the area to take part in the festivities.
Fieri gives these guys credit, saying they’re more than the average Joe backyard barbecuer.
“It’s fantastic; they really do a great job,” he adds.
Contestants are also there to socialize, promote their businesses and have a good time, but their main focus is keeping their eyes on the prize. A panels of judges then indulges in the elaborate concoctions to determine the 2017 winners.
If you couldn’t make it to the barbecue, there’s still much more fair left to come.
“We have to go out and support,” Fieri said. “The fair doesn’t happen if people don’t come down. Come down and experience it because these things can go away. And it would be a heartbreaker with all the history that we have going on, that this could ever go away. So that’s the reason I come back, so I hope everyone comes down and enjoys the fair.”