Vendor Pays Tribute to Deceased Wife at 23rd Happy Harry’s Ribfest

Dennis Carrino used to own Porky N' Beans but he now runs Blazin' Broncos

FARGO, N.D. — You’ve probably heard the saying “happy wife, happy life.” One man who has gone beyond that at this year’s Happy Harry’s Ribfest to make sure his wife is proud of him.

Dennis Carrino and his wife Judy not only lived under one roof, they also worked together.

“When people say oh my God, how can you work with somebody seven days a week and live with them, I said ‘I never looked at it that way and neither did she.’ We enjoyed each other, we were partners, we were partners, we were lovers, we were everything. Oh, we were best friends,” Carrino said.

Above all, the two were a dynamic duo at ribfests.

Carrino ran Porky N’ Beans while his wife ran Blazin’ Broncos, until she passed five years ago.

That’s when Carrino went into retirement. Now he’s back in the game, running his wife’s old business at the 23rd Happy Harry’s Ribfest.

“Out of a tribute, we really redid the whole thing, redid the front and came out with a vengeance this year. I really think she’s proud,” Carrino said. “There’s a lot of things that happen and when I get into a corner, all of a sudden things work out well, I go ‘hey, thanks. You got me out of this one kid.'”

It can get tough for Carrino and all the other cooks at the ribfest because they marinate and grill ribs, pork and brisket 24 hours straight for four days.

That’s why some of them say if you don’t put your heart into the meat, you have to get out of the kitchen.

“When you work in a restaurant or you’re cooking food for the public, you have to have a passion for that. Not a lot of people have a passion,” Carrino said.

You could see that passion in all six vendors at the ribfest, which is why many who have come for the first time devoured that first bite.

“I wasn’t thinking, I was just going. I loved it so much,” said Nichelle Schwinler.

Those kinds of comments are all these ribfest vendors to put in all the hours.

“When you ask people ‘how’s everything?’ Oh my God. We love the brisket, it came off the bone and your sauce is great. That’s what fuels us to keep on going,” Carrino said.

And it’s all Carrino needs to carry on his wife’s legacy.


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