Local Stories

Barbecue cook-off champ, Ernest Ramirez, feeds hunger

Barbecue cook-off champ, Ernest Ramirez, feeds hunger

By Norma Vasquez
El Gato
HOUSTON -- The smell of brisket, chicken and ribs helps fulfill the hunger that drives award-winner Ernest Ramirez to grill. Growing up in a farm in Southern Texas, Ramirez discovered his passion.

ernestramirez2-300x200.jpg Ernest Ramirez prepares for the judges
(Photo: Daniel Mendez-EGMN)

"The 70s were about real cowboys, going out with the cowboys and staying out there with them," said Ramirez. "That inspired me; seeing all that made me want to grill."

Upon moving to Victoria, Ramirez became involved with the Knights of Columbus and began cooking chicken. Ramirez later moved to Houston and began participating in cook-offs.

"I came to Houston and started barbecuing with a barrel pit because that's all I had," Ramirez said. "Eventually I did a cook-off in New Caney and bought a smoker pit. I won the whole competition and was like 'Wow! That's cool!'"

Grilling with a small grill is unethical in the world of barbeque, which is why Ramirez began building his own through his experience of being a welder. "The one I built took me ... around 4 years. It's an 8-foot rotating pit with a 20-foot trailer. I had no blue prints so I looked on the Internet," Ramirez said.

Participating in his first major competition in 2000, his team Drillen and Grillen came in second place out of 400 teams

competing in the reserve ribs. Ramirez continued competing and was named Grand Champion of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Cook Off in 2010.
Ernest Ramirez prepares for the judges - Daniel Mendez-EGMN

"When they called out the name it didn't sink in. When I saw my wife that's when it really did and a big load came off of me. It's an experience that's 'wow'. You want to feel it again so that's where the hunger comes from - it's the feeling of accomplishment," Ramirez said.

The win in 2010 did not only create the hunger but ...

Finish reading Barbecue cook-off champ, Ernest Ramirez, feeds hunger

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Local Stories

More in Local Stories

b464499b9c4ca622f57ef4805ae466ec

Dancer Unites Flamenco and Doctors without Borders

Latina ListaJuly 30, 2015
hat tossing ceremony at graduation

Oklahoma Graduation Rates Drop in All Student Groups

Latina ListaJuly 29, 2015
crowd

Forum Takes On Homophobia Among Latinos

Latina ListaJuly 28, 2015
SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Arizona’s Gila River leader says lack of broadband is harming tribal, rural areas

Latina ListaJuly 27, 2015
Cover-Ice-4

Deportation Protest Calls for National Reform

Latina ListaJuly 23, 2015
mexican-selling-donald-trump-pinatas-0622-4

Trump to visit Laredo on Thursday

Latina ListaJuly 22, 2015
stack of books on the dark wood background. toning. selective focus on the middle book

Opinion: Latinos Are The New Majority in CA, But Not In Our Textbooks

Latina ListaJuly 21, 2015
Flag of Puerto Rico, national country symbol illustration finance economy dollar

Puerto Ricans in Connecticut Sound Off on Island’s Crisis

Latina ListaJuly 20, 2015
6a00d8341c90b153ef019aff34e1b0970d

Oklahoma senator’s amendment would track homeless students

Latina ListaJuly 16, 2015