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jjperry
07-15-2012, 11:10 PM
Hello all, longtime lurker, first timer poster.

I am going for my KCBS master judge. I've got 31 contests under my belt. Next weekend, I am cooking with a team at a competition.

I don't really know the team members; have only seen them at comps in the area, but they are nice enough to let me aboard.

Is there any advice on how to prepare or what to bring? I'd also like to bring something as a token to the team for their hospitality. Any recommendations?

Thanks for any help on this!

J.J.

Pelkster
07-15-2012, 11:27 PM
The only things I can think of are a good work ethic and an open mind. Don't be afraid to ask questions or to offer to jump in to help out. Try to find out when they will be arriving so you can help out with set up, and make sure you stick around for take down and clean up. Get lots of rest before hand, cause you probably won't get very much once you are there. I've never gone wrong with a bottle of Jack for gifts of appreciation.

motoeric
07-16-2012, 12:51 AM
I'm trying to think of things that we would appreciate and things that we occasionally run out of. Paper towels, a case of soda, some snacks and a bunch of ice would all be appreciated.

Have a good time!

Eric

EatonHoggBBQ
07-16-2012, 06:37 AM
J.J., what comp are you going to be cooking at? Watertown? You'll do OK, you're a pretty easy guy to get along with. Maybe they have never had a judge cook with them and they are wondering the same thing. You are going to really enjoy the cooking side of the competition.

bbqbrad
07-16-2012, 07:03 AM
I'm trying to think of things that we would appreciate and things that we occasionally run out of. Paper towels, a case of soda, some snacks and a bunch of ice would all be appreciated.

Have a good time!

Eric

My thoughts exactly.

HarleyGirl14226
07-16-2012, 07:28 AM
Just ask them if they want you to pick anything up for them - anything will be appreciated. And KC is right - a bottle is always good too!

You might want to have a quick conversation with them ahead of time so you both know what the expectations are on either side... What time do they expect you to show up? How long should you stay? Are you staying overnight on site?

We just cooked with a judge for the first time recently, and we found it to be an eye opening experience. While he was a friend of ours, we had never really sat down and talked to him about what we were turning in and his opinions as a judge. This time we got to pick his brain and make some changes that I think will help us going forward. I know both sides learned a lot, and we would welcome doing it again.

Good luck and have fun!

Pigs on Fire
07-16-2012, 07:42 AM
A decent sized cooler with 2-3 bags of ice in it. Paper towels never hurt, either. I wouldn't buy any alcohol unless I had knowledge of the type/brand.

Balls Casten
07-16-2012, 08:10 AM
Bring your own chair and cooler.
Get a clear understanding of what they want from you, just ask. Unless this is one of the top teams, I doubt they will have any secrets or make too big of a deal of someone in their camp. I’m guessing they are looking forward to you being there and hearing your input.

You’ll earn points with them by doing all the mundane things … changing out trash bags, washing knifes and utensils, cleaning cutting boards, picking up trash.

Gifts? … hand towels, disposable cutting boards. Something they may or may not like would be for you to play photographer, most teams do not have time to get pictures while they are working or a nice team shot while sitting at awards.

FashionBiff
07-16-2012, 08:24 AM
No real justification to make suggestions but I like the photog idea, also keep your car handy for an emergency run. I watched a small team implode because of a store run.
I wold also believe that EHBBQ is right they may be in the same boat not knowing what to expect by having a judge in their tent on contest day.
Quoting others keep a positive attitude and good luck!

Pigs on Fire
07-16-2012, 08:37 AM
Unless this is one of the top teams, I doubt they will have any secrets or make too big of a deal of someone in their camp.



I love these comments....

Rookie'48
07-16-2012, 09:02 AM
The only things I can think of are a good work ethic and an open mind. Don't be afraid to ask questions or to offer to jump in to help out. Try to find out when they will be arriving so you can help out with set up, and make sure you stick around for take down and clean up. Get lots of rest before hand, cause you probably won't get very much once you are there. I've never gone wrong with a bottle of Jack for gifts of appreciation.

This ^^^^^ is probably one of the best answers that I've ever heard :thumb:. Too many times a judge has the idea that he can show up for a few hours on Friday evening to eat & drink, then come back around noon Saturday.

To me, the whole idea of "cooking with a team" is just that - the total comp experience from start to finish. The main things are to learn a bit, have some fun and form some great friendships :-D.

Cue's Your Daddy
07-16-2012, 10:00 AM
Go in with the mind set that u are part of the team. Be there from when they arrive until when they leave. Do whatever u can to help. And be prepared to answer questions from teams about judgin, not just yours. Team next to us in troy, ny had a judge in same situation. If u didn't know u would of thought he was part of the team. Putting up easy ups, washing things, running boxes( he did look scared at that part), and totally helped break down whole site at end, even in pouring rain. Was a really nice guy to. Just fit in. And we also learned all judges aren't bad..lololol. and he actually answered our questions honestly and what judges want. He takes judging seriously and it actually made u feel a little better. And a key thing he said was that judges like him do getbmad and upset with judges that seem to not be taking it seriously or the ones who just seem to be there to pack there cooler.

jjperry
07-16-2012, 10:12 AM
This is all great advice, thank you. The team did tell me when they want me there -- not sure they have an idea of what to do with an extra person!

Was a little reluctant to bring alcohol, just because I don't know the guys or their brands, or even if they would appreciate something like that. The supplies idea was very good.

This will be in Watertown, SD, so maybe I'll see some of you there. Take care, J.J.

Dr_KY
07-16-2012, 10:18 AM
I agree with all of the brilliant answers above. Don't forget to have fun most of all.

A great thing is to be a highly motivated ghost.= In the middle of everything, out of the way, taking it all in, giving input and available 24-7.

As for gifts roll up in high spirits with plenty of rest.
No harm in bringing along consumables as mentioned above including water, Gatoraid, ice who knows you may end up leaving with a gift. :)

Doc

HawgNationBBQ
07-16-2012, 01:05 PM
.... I've never gone wrong with a bottle of Jack for gifts of appreciation.

Bingo. You can never go wrong with Jack.

Pelkster
07-16-2012, 01:21 PM
This ^^^^^ is probably one of the best answers that I've ever heard :thumb:.

Thank you for the kind words. I haven't had the fortunate opportunity to have a judge cook with me yet, but if I were going to a team to cook with them, this is how I would conduct myself.

rksylves
07-16-2012, 03:55 PM
I've only had one judge cook with me so far. I made it clear that they are part of the team and he stepped right up and got right in there. I purposely bought two pork butts, one for me and one for him. We finished about top third of the field but had a really good time. He and I are good friends and he still gives me a ration every now and then just for fun.

I tell prospective judges/cooks that I really want (but don't require) them to glove up and help with the trimming, injecting, rubbing, etc. I would much rather that they get the full experience and be able to walk away knowing that they indeed were part of the team.

I have said in the past that if we get a walk that they can keep the trophy (not the check). Doesn't matter to me if they bring a gift or not.

Russ

Chenernator
07-16-2012, 04:35 PM
Remember that you're now part of the team. Think like a team member, which means doing whatever you can to help the team win. Don't be afraid to express your opinion (if requested). I was fortunate to work with cook who wanted my opinion. He usually used a combo of two sauces on his chicken. When I tasted both sauces individually and together, I suggested he make a change and just use one sauce. We also discussed the presentation at length. We ended up winning first!

SuperQue
07-16-2012, 04:39 PM
I've been fortunate enough to cook with two teams. I had a great time with both of them. I seasoned the meat on one team and helped decide which product to turn in on the other team. I'm sure they would want your opinion on their entries and be honest with them. One team I told them their pork was dynamite. They got 3rd. The other team I raved about their chicken. They placed 2nd.

Keep it fun and say yes. Enjoy the experience and feel like a part of the team.

CivilWarBBQ
07-16-2012, 05:54 PM
I'm a judge as well as a cook. I've cooked with a few other teams in addition to my "home" group and hosted a couple master judges. You've been given some good advice. The best thing a temporary helper can do is to be onsite, ready and willing to do anything asked of you, or nothing at all. Offer to help whenever you can, and if the offer is declined then graciously get out of the way. Each cook has different parts of their routine that they don't trust to anyone else, so don't get your feelings hurt if your attempts to pitch in are snubbed. I only hear two regular complaints about judges cooking with teams: 1) that they don't fully participate and 2) that they try to particpate too much.

Just be sensitive to the signals your hosts are giving you and you'll figure out where they draw the line pretty quick. Good luck and have fun!