Friday, April 8, 2016

Rookies to cook ribs to benefit Benicia High's athletic department

(Originally published in the 4/8/16 edition)

Saturday, April 24 will be a day to honor Benicia High School's extracurricular programs. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., a classic car show will be held along First Street to benefit the BHS Panther Marching Band. As patrons gaze at the wonder of a 1968 Buick, Rookies Sports Bar and Grill will be hosting its Rib Cook-Off to raise money for Benicia High's athletic department.
   Rookies has been hosting its annual Rib Cook-Off for five years now. Bar manager Alex Storelee says her father, Rookies owner Rob, probably came up with the idea when the bar received a new smoker grill.
   "He decided a cookoff would be a good way to raise money for our schools," she said.
   Interested participants will be part of a team, who will have to pay a $50 entry fee.  Each team will receive two racks of traditional St. Louis pork ribs. Entrants will provide their own supplies and equipment, such as tables, chairs and cooking utilities. The teams will unload their vehicles and supplies as early as 6 a.m., as cars will not be allowed in the cooking area after 8 a.m.
   The teams are allowed to use whatever spices or sauces they want, but the ribs may only be cooked over charcoal or wood. Propane and bottled gas is prohibited.
   The judging will begin at 2 p.m. sharp. 
   "It will be a blind taste test judged on things like taste, tenderness and flavor," Storelee said. 
   There will be first, second and third place awards for winners.
   Additionally, there will be barbecue plate specials featuring meats cooked on the big red smoker that inspired the cookoff to begin with. There will also be a sports memorabilia raffle featuring items from Bay Area sports teams. Entrants can win paraphernalia associated with teams like the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors, including a signed photograph of Stephen Curry.
   "It's a fun day for everyone of all ages," Storelee said. "It's a way to support our local high school sports program as well as our local business."

   The cookoff will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 24 at Rookies, located at 321 First St. Stop by Rookies to pick up your entry form or look in the Herald for Rookies advertisements. All teams will need to send at least one representative to attend a kick-off meeting at Rookies, 6 p.m., on Friday, April 22. For more information about this event, contact the bar at 746-7665 or visit its Facebook page at

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