Appropriately for his name, Sweet parlayed his honey and sugar-based sauces into becoming this year's champ, claiming not only the overall title but also picking up the plaque honoring the Best Ribs.
"I couldn't be more pleased," a beaming Sweet said during the trophy presentation at Harvest Park Bowling Center during half-time of last week's Super Bowl. "Everybody seemed to be having such a good time."
The Wangeman/Boyd team, winners of three previous titles, did not get shut out, however, claiming the bragging rights for Best Tri-tip.
"I'm happy, because we've never won for tri-tip before." Boyd said as he scrubbed his grill clean after the judging. "The competition rose up and got better. Everyone raised it up a notch."
Gorilla Rilla, greets fans at last weekend's cook-off.
Earning honors for Best Chicken was the Brentwood Kiwanis Club, led by cook Len Del Chiaro, a first-time entrant.
"I was pleasantly surprised, because I thought my ribs were better. I'm not much of a chicken guy," he said, adding that next year he plans to "do it up even bigger."
In the dessert contest, top honors went to Jan and Becca Schults for their Mocha Hazelnut Mini-cupcakes, and second place went to Jeanine Freitas for her Mai Tai Upside Down Cake.
With the final tally still to come, organizer Chris Becnel said the event raised about $4,000 for the East Contra Costa Historical Society and the Brentwood Police Activities League. The total included more than $400 in raffle proceeds donated by special guest Gorilla Rilla. The grand prize, a brand new bicycle, was donated back to PAL by winner Lewis Diffey.
The event also benefited hugely by the donation of all the meat by Brentwood Fine Meats.
"They're awesome," said Becnel. "They've done it before, too. Everyone should patronize their business."
More than 100 guests enjoyed the cooking of 16 cooks from all around East County and as far away as San Jose. While good for the charitable bottom line, the profusion of talent made things hard for some of the judges.
"It's hard to be objective," said police Officer Matt Bell, "when your mouth is watering."