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nmayeux
01-28-2012, 05:48 PM
Today, I finally attended the KCBS judging class after trying for four years. However, one thing I noticed was that the overwhelming majority of attendees had never cooked in a competition, and is some cases never attended a competition.

Now the reason for taking the class is to see what the other side is doing in the competition to try to tighten up my scores. But it was a little disheartening to see a lack of understanding of what it means to be a competitor. The instuctor was wonderful, and made a point to illustrate what it takes to get the boxes to the table.

What made it even more concerning is that several of the acting table captains (a few who I know and competed against personally) voiced concerns that their applications for judging were being rejected.

What I am getting at, is that I am wondering if there some way that we could influence the KCBS to add weight to judges who are also competitors? Does anyone else have the same concerns?

nukenight
01-28-2012, 06:35 PM
I started out in 2003 as a judge who never knew what a cook team was or had never even been to a contest. I really did not understand BBQ until I started cooking a couple of years later. I totally understand your concern. I was a table captain at a class last year where I saw all the fresh-faced people training to be judges with no experience in BBQ. Honestly, that is not the problem. We need new judges. However, the big problem here is the dual-nature of KCBS. They have 1/3 of their membership cooking at contests. The other 2/3 of the members judge in the contests. We as judges are told from the initial class not to mix with the cooks on contest day. The culture is geared for the judges not to mix with cooks. This is where KCBS needs to concentrate its efforts. Common sense needs to reign supreme. As a cook, I don't want judges coming around before the turn in times since I am busy! We need to come together and tear down this wall between cooks and judges.

I also agree the judges are not getting as many assignments as in years past. The simple answer here is based solely on numbers. It's hard to get into many contests because of the large numbers of trained people. My wife and I have noticed we are not used as much because of the ever growing numbers of trained judges. KCBS needs to train lots of judges to keep growing. I've also heard promoters don't like using new judges, thinking they don't do as good a job as older judges. I think judge quality is more a function of motivation rather than experience. We all had to start somewhere. New judges need a chance to participate!

By the way, cooks don't always make the best judges. My wife and I work in the judging tent as officials and have had several of our friends judge product. Some cooks score product across the board real low because "theirs is better". Cooks are just people. There are good judges and not-so-good ones. I think KCBS needs to come up with a judges reward program. This would be similar to a team of the year for cooks. Incentives for judges would help recruit and retain judges. Going into judging just to taste the best product in the world is getting more difficult to sell with gas and contest prices going up.

The bottom line is we all compete and judge in BBQ contests because it is fun. We need to be reminded of that from time to time.

ModelMaker
01-29-2012, 07:46 AM
I agree, you cooks are mean judges! I sat at a table and listened to a cook beat down the offerings as less than their own standards. I think brand new judges are just the opposite, way too 9 happy. But that's life.

People that sign up to learn to judge do it because it appeals to them somehow.
Whether it's their love of BBQ or the lure of competition or just want to meet new folks while doing something fun (me).

There is a move towards getting judges to meet and interact with teams (Per Dave and others). That in itself will create more cohesiveness for all. Encouragement from CBJ training instructors (within rules) to spend time with cooks will better serve all.
Getting assignments is not hard, I picked my contests a few weeks ago and have been placed in all I desired. The difference is as a judge you need to get it done early as opposed to the cooks practice of signing up for a contest at a last minute decision type mentality.

I think it's time for a rule change to mandate new judges cook with a team between their 5th and 6th contest. If you know that's a requirement before you sign up to take a CBJ training class it can't be a surprise or objection.
I can think of no better way to indoctrinate a new judge to the lifestyle.
The more judges and cooks meld together the better we'll be as a group...
Ed

EatonHoggBBQ
01-29-2012, 08:32 AM
So how does cooking with a team make a person a better judge?

nmayeux
01-29-2012, 08:35 AM
I agree that cooks are people too, and we all know a couple of jerks that attend contests. However, like you said, melding cooks and judges can only make things better. How do we do that?

4 smokin butts
01-29-2012, 08:46 AM
a better understanding of every asspectthat it takes too get that box to the judging table starting friday through saturday weve had 4 differnt contests with judge[s] cooking with us,each one said after awards,wow......different look when judging from that day forward :-D:-D dennis

ModelMaker
01-29-2012, 10:53 AM
So how does cooking with a team make a person a better judge?


Much the same way as you going to your favorite reastaurant for dinner.
If you just show up and eat you have no idea what it took to prepare your meal. However, if you were to show up at 4 am and spent the morning and some of the afternoon helping prepare the food for cooking, help out in the whole process, including service prep you should have a better understanding of what it took to make your one meal. It can only help illustrate why you enjoy going to that place for a meal.

Anything that can be done to make the interaction of cooks and judges, and also improve the quality of competitions can only make KCBS a better place.
Ed

BigOlBoysBarBQ
01-29-2012, 11:56 AM
Much the same way as you going to your favorite reastaurant for dinner.
If you just show up and eat you have no idea what it took to prepare your meal. However, if you were to show up at 4 am and spent the morning and some of the afternoon helping prepare the food for cooking, help out in the whole process, including service prep you should have a better understanding of what it took to make your one meal. It can only help illustrate why you enjoy going to that place for a meal.

Anything that can be done to make the interaction of cooks and judges, and also improve the quality of competitions can only make KCBS a better place.
Ed

I could not agree more. My wife teaches culinary arts and I respected her job until I went and spent a day with her and the students and how much work she spends with each of them honing their skills. She is very dedicated to her job and her students. The same goes for anyone really in the service industry. I would be happy to take a judge or 2 to a competition and let them see the other side or waking up at 2 to stoke the fire or spend a great amount of time trimming chicken thighs. I think this is a great idea the challenge is having that judge get a great experience, we all know not all personalities will not match up from team to team.

"KCBS...tear down that wall"

nmayeux
01-29-2012, 01:07 PM
Also to understand that the box infront of them was a labor of love for someone who cared enough to spend several hundred if not thousands of dollars, and the previous two days to put it together. It may be bad Q, but it shouldn't be taken lightly.

motoeric
01-29-2012, 03:18 PM
This issue goes round and round here. Every few months there's another post about why judges should be forced to cook w/ teams. That sentiment is usually accompanied by an explanation that it will help the judge learn what goes into competing and gain a better appreciation for the effort put in.

Unfortunately, no sanctioning body that I'm aware of has an 'effort' category. It should not matter to a judge in the least how much effort a team puts in. If they cook a 9X9 brisket flat in 4 hours before turn in or slow smoke a full packer for 15 hours shouldn't matter in the least. You are judging the quality of the food, not the effort put in.

If the motivation is to force interaction between teams and judges to encourage a sense of unity and camaraderie, why not have teams be required to act at as table captains or judges once for every three times they compete?

Eric

nukenight
01-29-2012, 03:31 PM
I remember my first time cooking with a team. We stayed up all night... got little sleep and remember quite clearly how tired we were! I think it makes a big difference. When judges cook with a team, they know how hard it is to put quality product in the box. I remember sitting at the cook site after it had rained all night, and was cold. Our fire did not go out and we were all standing around drinking cheap wine thinking, if we can survive this night, the contest is all down hill. Our middle of the pack finish was a victory of will. Frankly I did not care we did not walk. I survived. Since that day, I've walked at some and even won a contest outright. But nothing can beat that feeling of finishing something difficult. I know my appearance scores I gave after my first cook were a big higher than before. I just knew how difficult it was to put the product in the box. I started giving the benefit of the doubt to the cooks. I think that's what happens when judges cook.

ModelMaker
01-29-2012, 03:36 PM
The point isn't "effort". I know a good few teams who have a weekly drinking getogether and put some BBQ out at the end of it.
It's more about an understanding of the process involved. Your right that I don't care how much you spent on fuel,entry fee,meat etc. But if I want to be the best judge possible I need to know it exits and why.
I want to end the feeling some teams have of judges walking in Sat morning filling up a cooler and walking out Sat. afternoon. If more interaction between them helps, why not.
You shouldn't have to require a head cook to judge, any that don't are missing out on a chance to improve what they are after. You have no idea what goes on in the scoring tent if your not there.
Ed

Rich Parker
01-29-2012, 04:00 PM
Since Myron Mixon shows up and lights his fire at 4am should his bbq not be scored as high because he got a good night sleep and didn't stay up all night? :confused:

There are just as many non cooking judges that know bbq than their are cooks that know bbq. Just because you pay your money and show up doesn't mean you can cook or know what good bbq is.

Good bbq always wins!

Tack
01-29-2012, 05:06 PM
I can see it now.............. I shoulda won because he got a table with judges that also cook and I didn't!!! I know I would welcome a judge to cook with me and my team.................. even the dreaded judge 6., but I wouldn't want that experience to give the scores they give more weight. The scores are weighted enough without another variable thrown in.

Funtimebbq
01-29-2012, 05:22 PM
As a judge, it does not matter on bit to me how much time, money or effort a team put into their box. The meat presented to my eyes, mouth, etc. is all that counts.

Having spent 2 years on a BBQ adventure as part of an award winning team, I judged yesterday at Lake Havasu. I was promptly chastised for low chicken scores as compared to my tablemates. The rest of the day and during most of the drive home, I wondered if I did the right thing with my scores and were my standards too high now based on my competition experience (which I may add includes a 1st and 3rd in chicken cooking solo).
When I finally heard the chicken results and the score (almost perfect) for SYD, I felt a lot better about the low scores I gave to 5 of the 6 samples I had tasted that day.

So, getting back on topic, I think the scores would be much lower if more cooks took the time to judge. If you do score low, be prepared to go back to judge school. That was the warning given to me after chicken. Yes, I compromised my scores on the other meats.

Benny

motoeric
01-29-2012, 05:50 PM
] But if I want to be the best judge possible I need to know it exits and why.


Why? How does that help you know how a chicken thigh looks, tastes and feels?

Eric

JD McGee
01-29-2012, 06:03 PM
I'm a cook...not a CBJ...don't wanna be one...but the way I see it...there's a reason that the scoring is rated 1-9...not 7-9. Sometimes what comes across your taste buds actually sucks and needs to be scored accordingly...:cool: We get low scores on occassion...that's life...we get over it! :roll: Time to stop worrying about hurting someones feelings or bruising their ego and start calling a spade a spade...:thumb: I'll get off my soapbox now...:becky:

nmayeux
01-29-2012, 07:03 PM
Thanks everyone for the input. The class was wonderful, and I the people I met were even better. It just struck me funny regarding the difference between the two different types of students. My point wasn't to try to weight scores, but to pass understanding an appreciation. This class was eye opening for me, as I bet cooking with a team would be eye opening for someone who has only judged.

I love this sport, and only want to make it better. Thanks again for the insight.

ModelMaker
01-29-2012, 07:11 PM
Why? How does that help you know how a chicken thigh looks, tastes and feels?

Eric

Loks like you just want to argue. I'm not into playing games.
You have a good night now.
Ed

carlyle
01-29-2012, 07:11 PM
Anything that brings interaction between judges and cooks helps mutual appreciation

and understanding as long as the integrity of the judging process is not compromised

furthers our sport.

chad
01-29-2012, 07:11 PM
Judges "sucK" and cooks as judges still suck!! It's a different world. I love cooking and judging.

Contracted Cookers
01-29-2012, 08:35 PM
So how does cooking with a team make a person a better judge?
need to learn how to drive . before you buy a car

mobow
01-30-2012, 07:42 AM
Do they need to cook with a successful team or a not so successful team?
How many cooks must the team have before they can host a judge?
Do they need to cook with a pellet cooker and a stickburner?
Sleep under the stars or in a RV?
Serious team or party team?
Do all cooks have to host a judge every three years?
Are judges that only give 8's and 9's exempt?

keith

bover
01-30-2012, 08:40 AM
Do they need to cook with a successful team or a not so successful team?
How many cooks must the team have before they can host a judge?
Do they need to cook with a pellet cooker and a stickburner?
Sleep under the stars or in a RV?
Serious team or party team?
Do all cooks have to host a judge every three years?
Are judges that only give 8's and 9's exempt?

keith

All legitimate questions and in my opinion is the reason why I don't believe cooking with a team should be mandatory (for non-Masters). As soon as you try to enforce something like that, you're just going to complicate things too much. I'm a much bigger fan of instituting a campaign to encourage as many judges as possible to get to know the cooks better and cook with them if they want to understand the whole process better but don't make it a requirement to maintain CBJ status.

There are a lot of judges out there that are of the mindset that speaking to the teams is a big no-no, even on Friday night. The rule prohibiting contact on contest day (which is proper for obvious reasons) is drilled in to the point where I think a lot of judges think they need to abstain completely.

I've sat at many tables where one of us is also a cook, and it's interesting to see the reaction of others when they find that out. It's usually a combination of wonderment and curiosity and they are always full of questions. I think a lot of judges out there want to know more about what teams go through and what the processes are, but just don't think that they can unless they start up their own team. (Just to keep this post somewhat on topic, I think having a cook at the table is a big benefit to the other judges as it gives them easy access to someone that can answer questions about the cooking process if they have them.)

This is definitely something that could be added to the CBJ continuing education program and I'd also like to see CBJ instructors encourage more interaction. Judges and cooks may never be completely on the same page on all subjects, but the more we can promote communication the closer we'll get.

TooSaucedToPork
01-30-2012, 11:58 AM
What came first…the chicken or the egg?
Without Cooks there is no bbq
Without Judges there is no competition.

It’s a vicious circle that we argue every 3 months.
Many judges can’t cook…but that doesn’t mean they don’t know or appreciate good bbq.
Many cooks are certified judges, and while they know and appreciate good bbq, their objectivity can be clouded by their knowledge.

Both groups are needed to make this engine run.

Should a program be started to let judges cook with teams…I’m all for it
Should it be mandatory? NO
KCBS already has a cooking requirement for master judge…that is enough in my opinion.
http://kcbs.us/pdf/MasterJudgeTeamVerification.pdf

I think if you set up a mandatory requirement you will lose a lot of good people. However, if you set up a voluntary program, where judges are allowed to tag along and cook with a team, you will take a huge step towards reducing this argument to maybe once a year...and giving people knowledge and understanding

That translates into a stronger KCBS:thumb:

Lake Dogs
01-30-2012, 01:29 PM
need to learn how to drive . before you buy a car


Forgive me, but using this logic we'd all be dead because you'd have to learn to cook before you can eat. TooSauced said it best.

I am both. I'm a better cook because I've judged. I'm a slightly better judge because I've cooked, but frankly I'd like to think I've always been a fair, objective yet critical judge long before I cooked or competed. I dont think you have to know how to cook barbecue or compete at barbecue to be able to critically, objectively, and fairly judge barbecue.

Gadragonfly
01-30-2012, 02:24 PM
What made it even more concerning is that several of the acting table captains (a few who I know and competed against personally) voiced concerns that their applications for judging were being rejected.

What I am getting at, is that I am wondering if there some way that we could influence the KCBS to add weight to judges who are also competitors? Does anyone else have the same concerns?

Judging applications are returned to the organizer. In some, but not all cases, the organizer is a KCBS member and might know that an applicant is a competitor. There are only one or two judge's applications that I can remember seeing that ask if you compete with a team. Almost all of the applications ask how many contests you have judged. I would imagine the competitor/judge hasn't judged as many contests as those individuals that only judge which may be why they are not selected.

walrus79
01-30-2012, 02:39 PM
I just became a judge last year and judged two events in preparation for competing. We (Brown Liquor BBQ) competed twice last year and had some nice early success. This is just my background as I offer the following idea:

What about making all new judges do an orientation (for lack of a better word) before they can judge an event. They've got to go around with a master judge or a rep for two hours, one hour the night before the comp and one hour the morning of the comp. The person in charge walks the new judges around and points out as much as they can about the process. From why there's PVC pipe on the table legs to how food is kept safely and dishes are done. Maybe it's pre-arranged and they do personal visits with a team or two, take a tour of their site and ask questions for the head cook. Then they come back the next morning, say around 8:00 and take another hour tour and start to watch as the chaos unfolds. Again, find a reputable team (master judges and/or reps will know who they are) to give a five minute talk about what's going on at that moment (the butts and briskets are about to come off or wrapped, cooker's getting to temp for the chicken, ribs have been cooking for a while, etc...). Don't let these newbies judge that comp, they're just there to get the orientation credit that is mandatory before judging. That way the cooks won't feel at all threatened (not that they probably would) and there's no chance for cheating (again, so not likely). Plus, you find some small way to reward the cooking teams who agree to do the site visits and answer questions (a small gift or gift card and a nice mention at the awards ceremony).

Just an idea. It would be nice to have the judges have to do more than a four hour class (with no test or way of knowing if they were paying attention). Having a hands on experience BEFORE they're even allowed to judge may give them some added perspective and prove that they're interested in being a judge before they get to try the great food. I know that I would have love this experience, not only as a new judge, but as a new judge that was trying to learn and absorb everything I could about competative bbq before taking the plunge to do it myself.

My two pennies.

Contracted Cookers
01-30-2012, 02:39 PM
Forgive me, but using this logic we'd all be dead because you'd have to learn to cook before you can eat. TooSauced said it best.

I am both. I'm a better cook because I've judged. I'm a slightly better judge because I've cooked, but frankly I'd like to think I've always been a fair, objective yet critical judge long before I cooked or competed. I dont think you have to know how to cook barbecue or compete at barbecue to be able to critically, objectively, and fairly judge barbecue.
I don't want anybody dead!

TooSaucedToPork
01-30-2012, 02:59 PM
First off I like your Ideas, so don’t get mad if I pick them apart a little :becky:
What about making all new judges do an orientation (for lack of a better word) before they can judge an event. They've got to go around with a master judge or a rep for two hours, one hour the night before the comp and one hour the morning of the comp. The person in charge walks the new judges around and points out as much as they can about the process. From why there's PVC pipe on the table legs to how food is kept safely and dishes are done. Maybe it's pre-arranged and they do personal visits with a team or two, take a tour of their site and ask questions for the head cook. Then they come back the next morning, say around 8:00 and take another hour tour and start to watch as the chaos unfolds. Again, find a reputable team (master judges and/or reps will know who they are) to give a five minute talk about what's going on at that moment (the butts and briskets are about to come off or wrapped, cooker's getting to temp for the chicken, ribs have been cooking for a while, etc...).

This would be great for a volunteer program, but requiring new judges to take this “tour” would keep many from taking the judging class in the first place. Many are there to eat and fairly judge good BBQ. That is the draw for many of the judges…many REALLY do not care where it comes from, ONLY that is produced correctly and to food safety specs. Their passion is tasting the BBQ…Our passion as cooks is cooking it.

And KCBS gets a lot of moolah from people who take the class…then judge once or never again.:icon_blush:


Don't let these newbies judge that comp, they're just there to get the orientation credit that is mandatory before judging. That way the cooks won't feel at all threatened (not that they probably would) and there's no chance for cheating (again, so not likely). Plus, you find some small way to reward the cooking teams who agree to do the site visits and answer questions (a small gift or gift card and a nice mention at the awards ceremony).

You run into problems here, as many contests hold judging classes the night before a comp. If the noobs can’t judge, what is their reason for being there???


I know that I would have love this experience, not only as a new judge, but as a new judge that was trying to learn and absorb everything I could about competative bbq before taking the plunge to do it myself.

And you would be a perfect candidate for a voluntary team visit program

Lake Dogs
01-30-2012, 03:05 PM
So how does cooking with a team make a person a better judge?

I've debated one direction, so now I'll stir the pot the other.

Mind you, not that this fits for everyone, but I do believe that the old "walk a mile in the other mans shoes" does at the very least provide a perspective that could help some. I know of a few judges personally that have judged for a long time that really could benefit from it. How, you say, because it doesn't change the barbecue in front of you, does it? Perspective will help when debating between 2 scores and knowing to give that benefit of the doubt to the team. Perspective will surely help with comment cards. I've seen many a judge try to gnaw at meat and give the comment "over cooked" when in fact it was under cooked, or "not so much injection" when they probably didnt use any injection. At very least, it cannot hurt.

For new judges, I've pretty much only seen 2 kinds: those who think "all this sucks because it's not how I like it so everything is a 6", or the "I'm just darned glad to be here and everything is an 8 or 9".

Bunny
01-30-2012, 05:42 PM
Thanks everyone for the input. The class was wonderful, and I the people I met were even better. It just struck me funny regarding the difference between the two different types of students. My point wasn't to try to weight scores, but to pass understanding an appreciation. This class was eye opening for me, as I bet cooking with a team would be eye opening for someone who has only judged.

I love this sport, and only want to make it better. Thanks again for the insight.

Glad for your input on the class. Also glad you enjoyed it!

Bunny

Rich Parker
01-30-2012, 06:40 PM
I've debated one direction, so now I'll stir the pot the other.

We usually agree more than disagree on topics, but i think you are out in left field on this one. :-D

Perspective will help when debating between 2 scores and knowing to give that benefit of the doubt to the team.

Knowing the cooking process should in no way influence a judges score.

Perspective will surely help with comment cards. I've seen many a judge try to gnaw at meat and give the comment "over cooked" when in fact it was under cooked, or "not so much injection" when they probably didnt use any injection

Nobody especially cooks should be giving comments to teams that they used too much injection. Over cooked is a good comment but you don't need to be on a team to know this. Judges shouldn't try to give teams cooking advice.

A lot of judges are very good cooks in their own right and just don't compete because a variety of reasons.

Rookie'48
01-31-2012, 12:21 AM
Very interesting thread you have going here. There's a lot of good ideas that I might steal, borrow or adapt in the future, thanx :thumb:.

bover
01-31-2012, 06:05 AM
Disclaimer...I'm not suggesting this as a solution. Just thought it'd be interesting to y'all.

One of my coworkers has been part of a very successful team for 30+ years. They were one of the teams at the very first American Royal contest in 1980 and have taken home many trophies and ribbons throughout their history. In my opinion, one of their biggest competitive advantages is that they have 12-15 members on their team and they insist that all of them be CBJs. Only 4-5 will actually compete on any given week, and the ones sitting out are encouraged to judge. They rotate folks in and out of cooking and judging constantly, which I believe helps them not only keep up their cooking skills but also keep their fingers on the pulse of what is working and what isn't behind the walls of the judging tent.

Just an interesting tidbit that I thought would be some good food for thought.

Lake Dogs
01-31-2012, 06:41 AM
We usually agree more than disagree on topics, but i think you are out in left field on this one. :-D



Knowing the cooking process should in no way influence a judges score.



Nobody especially cooks should be giving comments to teams that they used too much injection. Over cooked is a good comment but you don't need to be on a team to know this. Judges shouldn't try to give teams cooking advice.

A lot of judges are very good cooks in their own right and just don't compete because a variety of reasons.

I completely agree; knowing the cooking process nor anything else should never, in any way, influence the judges score. However, you and I know there are MANY times (usually multiple times at every contest) that every judges goes through, thinking to themselves "is this an 8, or a 7, well it's a 7.5 because it's this but not that, no it's an 8, no it's a 7..." where they're supposed to err on the side of the team; giving the benefit of the doubt to the team. I think that perspective helps in this case; JMHO.


And to the comments, boy oh boy if I had a dollar for every wrong comment that I heard that wasn't written. Many very respected (and have earned this) judges really and truly have NO CLUE as to how or what is in the barbecue; clueless beyond belief. In this case cooking and competing would provide knowledge.

And there's the old curmudgeon judge; you know the one (I know more than a few of these); they come in with the "make my day" attitude. They judge a LOT, all over the place, and have done so for many years. It's funny, but one of them that I know of VERY well finally purchased a smoker himself and did a few racks of ribs. He said how good they were but the first time they were undercooked and tough, and the next time they were way over cooked and just fell apart. Cooking for him has now added a new perspective, and I think if nothing else next time he sits at a ribs table he'll REALLY appreciate that perfectly cooked rib and have some understand of how easy it was for the others to be slightly undercooked or slightly overcooked. Should it change his scores; NO. However, in this case, those bottom scores will probably come up a tad. Perhaps he wont blister them so badly just because it wasn't perfect.

Again, JMHO.

If nothing else, I think cooking a long with a team, or better yet actually competing yourself (not along side a team, but actually doing it all by yourself) will help the above-average judge become an even better judge.

walrus79
01-31-2012, 11:11 AM
Absolutely no offense of your "picking apart" my my ideas. In fact, I think your pretty much spot on. I agree that judges just want to come eat great food. My opinion though is that to earn that right, they should make a bit bigger investment in their overall knowledge of bbq (from "soup to nuts" so to speak).

But your next line about the "moolah" is spot on and why I suspect nothing will ever get resolved in this issue...sadly money drive everything in life these days! As a bbq fan, but new to the competition side, I was surprised when I learned how easy it was to become a certified judge. I would like it be a little bit more involved, thereby giving folks more of an investment in it. But, you're exactly right and that will reduce the number of $50 (I think) classes and $35 memberships KCBS can sell. Don't get me wrong, I fully support OUR national society, just would like to see it even better!

My particular class was not revolved around a comp, so again, I see your point there.

I'd love to have new folks visit our area and come learn about bbq and spread my knowledge. Even in the fray of Saturday morning, I'll engage folks that sheepishly walk by and, you can tell they want to ask something, but are nervous. Sometimes I'll even give them a little taste to see what they think.

Thanks for the feedback! Hopefully something will come down the road to boost and build the requirements and relationships between cooks and judges.

Rich Parker
01-31-2012, 11:25 AM
I completely agree; knowing the cooking process nor anything else should never, in any way, influence the judges score. However, you and I know there are MANY times (usually multiple times at every contest) that every judges goes through, thinking to themselves "is this an 8, or a 7, well it's a 7.5 because it's this but not that, no it's an 8, no it's a 7..." where they're supposed to err on the side of the team; giving the benefit of the doubt to the team. I think that perspective helps in this case; JMHO.


And to the comments, boy oh boy if I had a dollar for every wrong comment that I heard that wasn't written. Many very respected (and have earned this) judges really and truly have NO CLUE as to how or what is in the barbecue; clueless beyond belief. In this case cooking and competing would provide knowledge.

And there's the old curmudgeon judge; you know the one (I know more than a few of these); they come in with the "make my day" attitude. They judge a LOT, all over the place, and have done so for many years. It's funny, but one of them that I know of VERY well finally purchased a smoker himself and did a few racks of ribs. He said how good they were but the first time they were undercooked and tough, and the next time they were way over cooked and just fell apart. Cooking for him has now added a new perspective, and I think if nothing else next time he sits at a ribs table he'll REALLY appreciate that perfectly cooked rib and have some understand of how easy it was for the others to be slightly undercooked or slightly overcooked. Should it change his scores; NO. However, in this case, those bottom scores will probably come up a tad. Perhaps he wont blister them so badly just because it wasn't perfect.

Again, JMHO.

If nothing else, I think cooking a long with a team, or better yet actually competing yourself (not along side a team, but actually doing it all by yourself) will help the above-average judge become an even better judge.

See we agree here....mostly!

I know there is always going to be that judge that thinks he is the one to fix the organization by judging down all entries that are sweet, and you know we can't help that. There is always that one judge or that one cook that ruins it for the rest. I just don't want to see rules created that do nothing but make it more difficult for the good judges and good teams.

nmayeux
02-01-2012, 12:39 PM
Glad for your input on the class. Also glad you enjoyed it!

Bunny

Bunny,

You made the class by keeping it light and interesting. Your "chicken" comment was classic, and I think most of us really had a good time. Thank you for putting out the effort to both inform us and share your perspective on the sport.

Noah

Pappy Q
02-01-2012, 06:32 PM
Just curious, do the team members not cooking at the contest actually judge that same contest?


Disclaimer...I'm not suggesting this as a solution. Just thought it'd be interesting to y'all.

One of my coworkers has been part of a very successful team for 30+ years. They were one of the teams at the very first American Royal contest in 1980 and have taken home many trophies and ribbons throughout their history. In my opinion, one of their biggest competitive advantages is that they have 12-15 members on their team and they insist that all of them be CBJs. Only 4-5 will actually compete on any given week, and the ones sitting out are encouraged to judge. They rotate folks in and out of cooking and judging constantly, which I believe helps them not only keep up their cooking skills but also keep their fingers on the pulse of what is working and what isn't behind the walls of the judging tent.

Just an interesting tidbit that I thought would be some good food for thought.

Uncle Buds BBQ
02-01-2012, 10:05 PM
Your "chicken" comment was classic
Noah
Did she REALLY say she liked a good lookin breast or thigh?????? :idea:

Bunny
02-01-2012, 10:40 PM
Bunny,

You made the class by keeping it light and interesting. Your "chicken" comment was classic, and I think most of us really had a good time. Thank you for putting out the effort to both inform us and share your perspective on the sport.

Noah

Thanks, I appreciate the comments. And Uncle Bud...I think, if I recall, it had to do with thighs and legs. And we'll just let it go at that. :doh:LOL

bover
02-01-2012, 11:03 PM
Just curious, do the team members not cooking at the contest actually judge that same contest?

I don't know if those guys do that, but I do know of at least one other very successful team here in the KC area that does. As long as the person judging is out of the cook site before midnight, it's perfectly legal.