Three of the judges for the what is being billed as the biggest barbecue rib competition in the country are from Tucson.

Alan Zeman, formerly of Fuego Restaurant, is the head judge of the Nugget Rib Cook-off later this month in Sparks, Nev. He will lead a panel that includes fellow Tucsonans Albert Hall, chef/owner of Acacia Real Food & Cocktails; and Matt Russell, president and CEO of Russell Public Communications and host of "On the Menu Live" restaurant radio show.

  Other judges are nationally celebrated grill master Troy Black and a host of TV and media celebrities.

    The 23rd annual Nugget Rib Cook-off at John Ascuaga's Nugget Casino & Resort in Sparks, Nev., is expected to draw more than 500,000 people. More than 200,000 pounds of ribs will be seared, grilled, 'cued and slathered in sauce.

The cook-off starts on Aug. 31 and continues through Sept. 5 on Victorian Square in downtown Sparks. Click here for details.