Fallon Star Press, Fallon, NV. - December 14, 2004
Susie and Norm Westgate of Susie’s BBQ pose with their cooker and one of the awards recently won at a cook-off held at Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas.
Susie’s BBQ takes top award in Las Vegas
By Rachel Dahl
Fallon Star Press Correspondent
In a competition, which was like something you see on the Food Network, Norm and Susan Westgate of Fallon recently participated in the Nevada State Barbeque Championship, held at Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas last month. The Westgates took first place in the brisket category, bringing home a beautiful trophy and over $1,500 in prize money.
“We were really surprised when they called out name,” said Norm. “When they were announcing the winners and they passed up some of the really good grillers who I didn’t think we could beat, I knew we couldn’t have won and then for first place they called us.”
Susie said by the time they got to the podium to accept the award, she was shaking and jumping up and down. “I don’t even know how I got up there,” she said.
Fifty-nine grillers were on hand at the competition, showing off their talents at grilling in four categories including chicken, pork ribs, pork butt and brisket. Norm said that brisket is the most difficult category, “but we beat the guy from Midland, Texas who won the last seven contests he has entered.
In addition to the first place brisket award, the Westgates were also the highest placing Nevada cookers in the competition, placing fifth overall, and racking up points by placing seventh for their ribs. “We beat two of the Sparks Rib winners,” said Norm, referring to the huge Nugget Rib Cook-Off held every year over Labor Day weekend.
The BBQ pit that Norm and Susie use is a stainless steel smoker made by Old Hickory that can cook 800 pounds of meat. They tow it all over the country, participating in competitions from here to Florida. They also do a good business in Fallon and are available for special events.
“We just keep working at this,” said Norm.
Last year at the state competition, Susie’s BBQ claimed eleventh place out of eighty-six cookers. “We are just going to keep getting better,” Norm, said.