Local ribber is chosen as best out of the 10 outdoor kitchens in attendance this year

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London Ribfest came to a messy end Monday, as meat eaters pitted grilled pork versus grilled pork to decide whose hog tastes best.

London’s own Boss Hog’s Smokin’ Chophouse was the big winner at this year’s event, taking home the top prizes for best ribs, decided by the people and the judges — an expert panel made up of local-media members, including Barbara Taylor from The London Free Press, and community leaders.

“We always get great support from London, because we’re Londoners, but to get two top prizes at Ribfest, we would never expect it,” said Tom Diavolitsis, Boss Hog’s owner.

The ribber said he thinks it was consistency that put his ribs in the top spot this year.

“The recipe is what it is. We stick by it, we believe in it, it’s the same thing every year. A lot of people change it up to try and get better, but I think it’s all about consistency and balance.”

A little extra effort didn’t hurt, either. Boss Hog’s ran short on meat Saturday. Diavolitsis said he was the last person in Victoria Park that night waiting for a pork shipment so that Boss Hog’s could make it to the finish line.

Boss Hog’s beat out the nine other ribbers at this year’s festival.

Ribfest owner and organizer Doug Hillier was delighted with the turnout at this year’s five-day feast. With the help of the prolonged sunshine, Hillier estimated that the annual event brought 220,000 people to Victoria Park between Thursday and Monday.

“It’s the best that Ribfest has ever been,” Hillier said. He took the festival over in 2009. Vegan options, which were added last year, were a hit once again at the festival.

“I’m pretty scared. I don’t know where to go from here,” Hillier joked.

Ribfest’s best ribs

People’s Choice:

Boss Hog’s, 1st Place

Kentucky Smokehouse, 2nd

Judge’s Choice:

Boss Hog’s, 1st place

Jack the Ribber, 2nd

Best Sauce: Louisiana Barbecue

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