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BBQ_Mayor
07-22-2011, 10:47 PM
I was at a contest this year and found out there was an entry, I think it was chicken, that had the wrong garnish. DQ right?.........Nope. The judges couldn't tell what it was but it did not look like a typical garnish so they were trying to figure it out. It happened again in the ribs so the rep tracked down they team and found it was spinach. Still no DQ. They team was told not to do it again.
Really!? This stuff happens?!!
If garnish is not lettuce, parsley or cilantro, it should have been DQ'ed is my feeling. It was just poor judgement on the reps part to let it go.
Just makes me sick that I spent butt loads of money to have chit like this happen.
Rant done.

txschutte
07-22-2011, 11:21 PM
Should have been DQ'd. No room for discussion.

Sawdustguy
07-22-2011, 11:50 PM
Us Polocks were DQ'ed one time for turning in smoked BBQ Chicken. Why you ask? It's a long story but we got an apology from the reps the next time we saw them.

Rookie'48
07-23-2011, 01:05 AM
The way that I heard it though, the team had already turned in the chicken with no problems and only got questioned on the rib entry. Evidently the team said that they "didn't know" and the Rep gave them a verbal. I agree, they should have gotten a DQ :mad:.

QansasjayhawQ
07-23-2011, 02:01 AM
Yeah, definitely. Spinach (although a nice sounding idea) is definitely NOT an approved garnish.

Tough call for the rep due to the judges not speaking up about the chicken entry.

Wait - that normally wouldn't happen since no two teams entries should appear at the same table twice, if the table captains are doing their job . . .

huh?

Well, yeah, shoulda been DQ'd for sure.

Hub
07-23-2011, 06:22 AM
Garnish is a roaring PITA. Let's eliminate it and get on with cooking barbeque. Its about MEAT, not nesting and greenery.

Matt_A
07-23-2011, 08:39 PM
The rule of thumb I've lived by in the restaurant industry is: If it ain't gonna be et... it ain't on the plate. I haven't ever heard of judges eating the garnish, so it's something that really doesn't need to be there. (in my opinion). Are we here to judge the meat?

Muzzlebrake
07-23-2011, 09:41 PM
Garnish is a roaring PITA. Let's eliminate it and get on with cooking barbeque. Its about MEAT, not nesting and greenery.

completely disagree, garnish has its place and a purpose. In this case the only PIA is the nonenforcement of a very clear cut rule.

jbrink01
07-23-2011, 10:23 PM
What Sean said. If reps would grow a set and enforce rules, it would be a better contest world.

watertowerbbq
07-23-2011, 10:41 PM
The rule of thumb I've lived by in the restaurant industry is: If it ain't gonna be et... it ain't on the plate. I haven't ever heard of judges eating the garnish, so it's something that really doesn't need to be there. (in my opinion). Are we here to judge the meat?If you want to score well in a KCBS contest, your odds of doing well go up considerably if you garnish the box. It is what it is.

Rookie'48
07-24-2011, 02:05 AM
Unfortunatly I have to agree with Matt ^^^^^. From what I've seen & heard at the judging table, you can do a no-garnish box (KCBS) at your own risk.
Put me down in the "eliminate the garnish" column.

Yazoo's
07-24-2011, 07:41 AM
We cook a mainly Memphis style events where there is no garnish in the box. A thought to consider for the "no garnish" crowd- it takes a LOT of meat to make a box look good. Even though you put in "bottom meat" to raise up the good samples and make it look full, you can't put in poorer quality meat because you don't know which samples the judges will take, i.e., you may have to cook more meat.

ClayHill
07-24-2011, 08:45 AM
I have a similar story; I was judging my first KCBS contest this spring (on the eastern shore of MD). As a new judge and a competition cook I am very familiar with the rules. As our pork box came around I immediately saw a bed of kale under the meat, I thought of a DQ right away, but as a new judge I wasn’t sure of the procedure and when to speak up.........I was with some judges that have been around awhile and thought surly they would pick up on the blunder, but nope, so I said nothing thinking I was wrong. I did say something at the end after all the boxes was closed and a couple of them said it did look unusual but by that point it was too late. They all seemed to agree that they didn’t really pay attention to the garnish, which was pretty evident because they missed a classic.

AZScott
07-24-2011, 11:16 AM
Things like this should be a DQ all day every day. Any team that has not read taken 5 minutes to read and digest the widely available rules has no excuse.

ModelMaker
07-24-2011, 11:35 AM
Yeah, definitely. Spinach (although a nice sounding idea) is definitely NOT an approved garnish.

Tough call for the rep due to the judges not speaking up about the chicken entry.

Wait - that normally wouldn't happen since no two teams entries should appear at the same table twice, if the table captains are doing their job . . .

huh?

Well, yeah, shoulda been DQ'd for sure.


12) Garnish is optional. If used, it is limited to chopped,
sliced, shredded or whole leaves of fresh green lettuce, curly
parsley, flat leaf parsley and/or cilantro. Kale, endive, red
tipped lettuce, lettuce cores and other vegetation are
prohibited. Improper garnish shall receive a score of one (1)
on Appearance.

I really wanted to not jump into this one but when you start slighting the judges, I have to.
I was at the table. When the offending box was presented for appearence scoring I immediatly saw it had a unfamiliar garnish. After all box's were scored for appearence and I told the TC to have the rep inspect it and she said it looked unusual also.
She took it to one of the reps and she could not "exactly " identify it and took it to the senior rep who examined and tasted it and decided it was not spinach but "was not positive" what it was and let the judging proceed. Now all this had to happen while the tables' boxs were sitting waiting to be passed around and the rest of the turn ins were still coming in. The decision was made and judging moved forward.
When ribs came in they also had the same garnish (went to a different table and also was objected to). After rib turn in the senior rep went to the cook site and asked what they were using for garnish and was told spinach. She informed them it was a illegal garnish and to stop using it.
Now was it handled correctly, no. was it handled as fairly as possible at the time, I think so.
It is the teams responsability to know and abide by the rules.
It is the reps responsability to be able to identify the garnish that is listed as legal, any other is cause for a score of 1.
It is KCBS responsability to make sure reps know what garnish looks like (provide pics of ALL legal garnish)
It is the judges responsability to report suspicious garnish and was done correctly in this case.

Now the big question is how did this affect the contest?
The team was obviously a new team and the only other scores that would have been affected are those that scored lower than the uninformed newbies that had no clue.
Anybody want to claim injury???
Ed

mclancey
07-25-2011, 08:11 AM
I judged at the Western Maine BBQ Festival yesterday. For me, you could have put anything green in that box and I probably wouldn't have caught if it was Kale or Spinach or tree leaves. For the small time I have to look at the box, I'm looking at the meat, not the garnish. I also believe that it's a meat competition not a BBQ Salad Competition.

The one suggestion I have though (and I saw a few teams doing this), don't chop parsley (or any garnish) up into little bits. I picked up a rib and two sides of it were coated with parsley bits. I had at least 4 other entries where I had to pick parsley off the entry before I could eat it.

Also, when you chop it up you are releasing some flavor from the parsley, which then gets on the food, yuck.

The rib that was coated in parsley was the first rib we were presented, but it also ended up being the last I tasted. I wasn't going to take the time to pick off all that parsley and delay tasting all the other entries. When I finally got to it I had to just run my finger down two sides of the rib to knock all the garnish off, which in turn knocked off some of the sauce and seasoning. I didn't score down for this, but would it have tasted better, if it was the first one I tasted and didn't have parsley flavoring with seasoning and sauce scraped off? Probably.

Bunny
07-25-2011, 11:28 AM
It bothers me a little bit that no one could identify spinach.

deepsouth
07-25-2011, 11:52 AM
Garnish is a roaring PITA. Let's eliminate it and get on with cooking barbeque. Its about MEAT, not nesting and greenery.


not a competitive cooker, but if it was, i'd be screaming this from the highest mountain. i still don't understand the fascination with garnish.

Stoke&Smoke
07-25-2011, 12:12 PM
Should a rep be a rep, (or maybe at least be required to take a refresher?) if they cannot identify whether a garnish is parsley, cilantro, or green lettuce? Let's see, there's iceberg, romaine, boston bib, green leaf, and romaine, other than that, very few I can think of that qualify as legal. Spinach does not, in the least, resemble lettuce.

If they were a new team, they should have taken the opportunity to listen to the CD at the cooks meeting, something played at every contest I've attended, and that should be at every KCBS contest. And/or read the rules. AND, they should have been dq'd, not given a warning.

Ignorance is no excuse. And whether they were a new team or not shouldn't matter. The rules should be enforced consistently, and at all times, NO EXCEPTIONS. Anything less muddies the waters, and leaves doubt to whether judging was fair and honest.

Just my humble opinion...

chambersuac
07-25-2011, 12:14 PM
completely disagree, garnish has its place and a purpose. In this case the only PIA is the nonenforcement of a very clear cut rule.

Muzzlebrake, first let me say that I appreciate your opinions on the forum and think you know much more than I do...that being said, will you explain why you feel this way?

I have done only a few comps, so my knowledge is severely limited. However, I do know that many teams go to a LOT of trouble and time and stress to get a perfect "golfing green," etc. for their meat. Some teams (myself included) don't know how to do such a great job with the garnish. [That being said, I think the greenery looks nice]

Now, since garnish is not supposed to be judged, why go to the trouble? of making such a carefully crafted box? IMO, because it is judged (most likely subconsciously)...and it is possible for a better tasting product to lose due to appearance scores being lower.

Why NOT level the playing field and have everything turned in in a plain white box?

Curious what you think - I know that I could be far off base...

Hope this isn't a hijack...

smknwhlswife
07-25-2011, 12:20 PM
It should have been DQ'ed. It is the team's responsibility to read/listen to the rules if they want to play the game. No "warning" should have been given. If the Reps DQ'ed the chicken and then told they team, they would have changed their next boxes. And the team would have learned a valuable lesson.

The Reps should be turned into KCBS so they can be re-trained. Bunny- through your Rep training do you learn how to identify different lettuces and such?

CMALANGA
07-25-2011, 12:56 PM
Should it have been DQ'd. Yes. The rules are clear, and unless you've hit your head recently the contest reps and KCBS generally go out of their way to inform all teams, especially the new ones, what garnish is acceptable. Should a contest rep know what spinach looks and tastes like, I would think so. Do I like garnish in the boxes. Absolutlely not. We have to accept that it's just like the smoke ring, it's not supposed to be judged, but we all know it is. Until they change the rules we can complain about it, but it doesn't really matter. Look around at who consistenly places in the top 5, I'm willing to bet they put a lot of prep time into the garnish (as wll as their meats). So while I am annoyed that it's allowed I've reseigned myself to try to step up my game in getting a better looking entry, including the pusuit of a perfect putting green.

Bunny
07-25-2011, 11:47 PM
It should have been DQ'ed. It is the team's responsibility to read/listen to the rules if they want to play the game. No "warning" should have been given. If the Reps DQ'ed the chicken and then told they team, they would have changed their next boxes. And the team would have learned a valuable lesson.

The Reps should be turned into KCBS so they can be re-trained. Bunny- through your Rep training do you learn how to identify different lettuces and such?

Being a cook, rep, judge and Certified BBQ Instructors, Rich and I went to the grocery store long long ago and learned the names of all the greens. If you're going to play the game, learn the rules well. I tell judges to go to the grocery store and learn. I tell them to learn from their buthcher about meats. I tell them to memorize, eat, sleep and know the rules backwards and forwards.

The team should have been DQ'd and told on the chicken entry that they were DQ'd and they would have NEVER done it again. I guarontee!

boogiesnap
07-26-2011, 12:37 AM
it seems there are 2 camps.

the spirit of the rule and the letter of the rule.

there's another thread active where the OP states the RULE is no alcohol outside the beer garden, yet there are numerous posts suggesting to circumvent said rule.

if garnish is NOT JUDGED give the first time team a farkin break.

you really think some spinach is gonna make their meat taste better?

with that said, i personally know and would never risk bending or breaking ANY rules.

boogiesnap
07-26-2011, 12:41 AM
dan, yazoo summed it up nicely on the counterpoint FOR garnish.

Lake Dogs
07-26-2011, 08:45 AM
dan, yazoo summed it up nicely on the counterpoint FOR garnish.

I'm not certain it was so much an argument FOR garnish as it was a warning, kinda like "careful what you ask for, you might get it".

He's dead on. I'm not certain as to his reasons for mainly cooking Memphis style. I/we (the team) do the same for a number of reasons, one of which I frankly find garnish nonsense. It adds in additional things and complexities, and with that comes additional (if you will) randomness, like DQ's that dont happen, DQ's that happen wrongly, judges having to try to not take garnish into account when they should only see meat to begin with, etc. Basically it's foolish, and I dont have the time nor want to put the efforts forth to suffer fools. There's enough luck in competitions (like which table you land on [meaning against which opponents] and the judges bias at that table), to add yet-another layer is just nonsense IMHO. For goodness sake, let it be about MEAT. I agree with Hub completely, and I mean this as no slight to the founders of KCBS. They wanted to set KCBS apart from the other sanctioning bodies, and they certainly did. However, IMHO, KCBS is no longer a start-up sanctioning body. As one ******* said "they're the swinging ****". If so (and they pretty much are), lets clean up some of the silliness. It's novel; it's cute; but it's unnecessary and adds additional factors having nothing to do with barbecue.

For us, cooking the extra meat is not really a big deal. Heck, I'm already cooking 2 or 3 briskets, 3+ butts (if not more for the freezer), 4+ racks of ribs (because we like to eat ribs), and 16-20 pieces of chicken. For others however, with multiple smaller cookers, it could mean purchasing and bringing another smoker.

boogiesnap
07-26-2011, 09:05 AM
hance, i agree it wasn't an argument for garnish in an of itself, but has some very good points as to reasons why we might want to keep it.

monty3777
07-26-2011, 09:23 AM
In response to Dan, I also think garnish plays a role in keeping meat from shifting too much in the box. I think it allows us to determine almost exactly what the judges see and don't see when they open that box. Garnish can hold food in place during turn-ins and thus gives us a little more control over the product once it leaves our hands. Parlsy costs me between $5 and $10 per contest, and I always have a ton left over. 4 boxes takes me around 45 mins. When I'm cooking with Holy and Oly's then the two boxes I prepare take around 20 mins. Small price to pay in time and $$$ for the advantages garnish can give a cook.

HoDeDo
07-26-2011, 10:31 AM
The "empty white box" can get ugly in a hurry... with sauce/grease/juice, you name it...
And I know alot of teams that touch up the food in the box... add sauce, etc.

With no garnish, you had better set your sauce on the grill, because it will work its way off the meat and pool in the box over time.... which would be a DQ, per the rules for pooling.

The garnish keeps this from happening. (giving it a place to disperse, where it isnt pooled with the meat.) Garnish can prop up meat, even out a crooked rack, etc. It does have it's place. I spent a year doing "no garnish" boxes. Pretty erratic scoring in appearance. I can fill a box with meat, and Yazoo's point is spot on. Better cook more if you want the box to be only the "perfect stuff" The garnish is 80-90% covered anyway, but it does frame the meat, add contrast, and if you have quality product, can help frame it to really pop. If you have sub par product, it can help hide a blemish or two. Regardless of where you fall on the debate, it's here - so use it or dont. :)

DawgPhan
07-26-2011, 11:17 AM
Being a cook, rep, judge and Certified BBQ Instructors, Rich and I went to the grocery store long long ago and learned the names of all the greens. If you're going to play the game, learn the rules well. I tell judges to go to the grocery store and learn. I tell them to learn from their buthcher about meats. I tell them to memorize, eat, sleep and know the rules backwards and forwards.

The team should have been DQ'd and told on the chicken entry that they were DQ'd and they would have NEVER done it again. I guarontee!

Most judges are not experts on identifying lettuce and green leafed veggies and they shouldnt be asked to do so.

Garnish is not a question for judges, to be determined during scoring of appearance. It should be handled by reps or table captains prior to appearance judging. Judges should be judging the meat. They should not be looking for reasons to DQ a team because of garnish. Table Captains and reps should do that. If a table captain or rep does not DQ or find fault with the garnish prior to the box getting passed around for appearance and scores being written down, then they didnt find it. Changing scores after they are written down should not be allowed.

ModelMaker
07-26-2011, 11:34 AM
No one is allowed to open the box before presenting to the judges. If something looks fishy the judges should ask for the rep, AFTER ALL SCORES ARE RECORDED.
If deemed illeagle all scores are changed to a 1.
Ed

Rookie'48
07-26-2011, 01:34 PM
If deemed illeagle all scores are changed to a 1.

Important note - ONLY the KCBS Contest Rep has the authority to issue a DQ. Not a judge, master judge, Table Captain, organizer or the guy who delivers the ice.
After all of the appearance scores are written down a judge may ask the TC if an entry was illegal. The TC then gets one of the Reps to make that decision. The Rep's decision is final, for better or for worse.
Again - the Table Captain cannot, and should not, issue a DQ, period.

Muzzlebrake
07-26-2011, 09:20 PM
Muzzlebrake, first let me say that I appreciate your opinions on the forum and think you know much more than I do...that being said, will you explain why you feel this way?

I have done only a few comps, so my knowledge is severely limited. However, I do know that many teams go to a LOT of trouble and time and stress to get a perfect "golfing green," etc. for their meat. Some teams (myself included) don't know how to do such a great job with the garnish. [That being said, I think the greenery looks nice]

Now, since garnish is not supposed to be judged, why go to the trouble? of making such a carefully crafted box? IMO, because it is judged (most likely subconsciously)...and it is possible for a better tasting product to lose due to appearance scores being lower.

Why NOT level the playing field and have everything turned in in a plain white box?

Curious what you think - I know that I could be far off base...

Hope this isn't a hijack...

I appreciate the compliment but the only reason I know more than anyone is I am lucky enough to drink with good company......that and I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.:becky:

For the record I think garnish is a major PIA but I hated bull in the ring at football practice, suicides after basketball practice and PT runs up Ranger hill too. You can used to unpleasant things adjust and even learn to excel at them

Anyway this is what I said some time ago in another garnish thread (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/newreply.php?do=postreply&t=106743);
"The easy answer to your question about garnish is, it looks better. Plain and simple. There is something about the contrasting colors of the meat and the garnish that makes your presentation "POP". Make 2 boxes side by side one with one without and see for yourself. Understandablely garnish can be a PIA and is an aquired skill. It is however, for better or worse, an important skill that you willl need to master if you wish to compete at a high level in KCBS contests."

"sauce may cover a multitude of sins" (Mr. Cutlets) and "caulk and paint wil make it what it aint" (8th grade shop teachers) a nicely garnished box will hide all sorts of things and highlight what you want highlighted

smknwhlswife
07-27-2011, 09:06 AM
if garnish is NOT JUDGED give the first time team a farkin break.

Sorry I have to disagree with you here. Doing that would start a WHOLE other bag of problems.

Most of us have been DQ'ed at least once and most likely have not repeated that offense. I know we haven't!

Stoke&Smoke
07-27-2011, 11:06 AM
Most judges are not experts on identifying lettuce and green leafed veggies and they shouldnt be asked to do so.

Garnish is not a question for judges, to be determined during scoring of appearance. It should be handled by reps or table captains prior to appearance judging. Judges should be judging the meat. They should not be looking for reasons to DQ a team because of garnish. Table Captains and reps should do that. If a table captain or rep does not DQ or find fault with the garnish prior to the box getting passed around for appearance and scores being written down, then they didnt find it. Changing scores after they are written down should not be allowed.

While I do agree with your statement in red above, I have to disagree that judges shouldn't point out a violation if they see it. In their training they are taught what is and isn't legal, and in fact part of the sample entries they are shown have deliberate garnish violations to ensure they are looking for them. You seem to be suggesting that only a rep or TC be able to point potential issues out?

Per the KCBS judges instruction manual
"If you question the legality of an item, quietly bring it to the attention of your Table Captain. He/she will bring it to the attention of the Contest Reps."

Ashmont
07-27-2011, 11:35 AM
I agree that the Chix entry should have been disqualified and sure the ribs would not have the garnish! Rules are rules if you wanna play the game... Now I may stir the pot here..... I am not a fan of garnish for several reasons:

1) Easier to sculp
2) PIA to keep for long travel trips or hard to find in unfamiliar areas
3) See above expense that is not eaten
4) Judges don't take it home in their coolers

Now I do not compete much but look at the expenses going up all over the place why waste the $$ on something useless. To me greens that are "acceptable" is just another form of marking. my2cents