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pahutchens
06-24-2013, 10:37 AM
Slightly long winded but hopefully worth the read...
In moving towards Master Judge certification this past weekend I shadowed Bill-B-Que of Hutchinson MN. Ryan head cook Brethren's handle Yoder_Lover

Wow farkin wow, what a night.
I got there about a half hour before the cooks meeting and left after the awards ceremony.
The organizers did a good job (KofC) The weather definitely was a factor and I think kept a lot of people away from the other aspects of the contest/event.


Now I'm not real young or particularly small. A dry bed and shut eye are appreciated, they were even more appreciated Saturday night after the contest.
We had two strong waves of storms Friday night /Saturday early morning.
There were several dead pop-ups and few other wind damaged things.
Water pooled up and ponds were formed. We stood in the rain holding down the pop ups. (I think pop up is more accurate than EZ Up as those farkers wanted to pop up and away most of the night) Wondering about lightening strikes and holding onto metal frames :crazy:
My weight made a reasonable good anchor.
Some teams were seen with a beer in one hand and the other hanging on to the pop up. Gusts were estimated by many to be around 50mph. I've not seen anything official. The bigger rigs were buttoned down.

We helped out our neighbors and tended to the stick burner, that rain/wind can sure suck the heat out of a smoker.

The weather for all its bluster was really just a backdrop.
Now I know the purpose of shadowing is to get a greater appreciation of what goes into the cook. I got that in ways I didn't expect.
First I was welcomed and made to feel part of the team almost immediately. This was Bill-B-Ques second contest. I sprung my request on Ryan less than a week before as we were judging Treasure Island.

I had my expectations and preconceptions, figuring I wasn't judging they were allowable. Ryan and Steve (his cook partner) had things pretty well laid out and laid back. Interestingly and probably because of the weather things were more hectic during the night and up to about 2 hours before turn ins started. Then it was like time slowed everything just came together with none of the drama I expected at turn in times.

My input as a judge was asked for and given freely, I realized I knew more than I thought because I had to articulate it.

We cleaned up and de-mudded as best we could, then waited.... and waited.... and waited some more. Awards were at 5pm and a little late starting as judging and tallying the backyard took longer than I think was expected.
Now when I judge, I don't frequently stay for the awards. When I have I'm fairly detached. It's double blind so I don't know if I judged a winner or not. I'm not shy but I don't KNOW the teams, I recognize some of them. Some I just know by name, and I'm really bad with names :tsk:

So having experienced the long night (with just a brief couple of naps)
I was INVESTED in my surrogate team and how they did,
Biases aside, I understood and felt the frustration I've heard from Cooks about scores/Judges. That brisket deserved a much more 'accurate' higher score. We didn't get any comment cards, I can see how when properly filled out can be appreciated.

I was a grand time. I learned a lot. I have a deeper appreciation in general and a wider context for the contest. As well as the bee in my bonnet to consider cooking more

Thanks for reading if you made it this far :becky:

Just Pulin' Pork
06-24-2013, 11:02 AM
Love hearing feedback when a judge jumps to a cooks side of the fence. You defiantly experienced a "worst case" scenario. Those types of storms suck. Glad you enjoyed it.

Eggspert
06-24-2013, 01:51 PM
Yes, but even through that horrid storm and muddy mess, you still had a great time didn't you? Cook teams still get business done no matter what the weather throws at you. We deal with obstacles at every contest. (weather, meat doesn't come in, can't find nice parsley, electricity is not working, gas is how much???) It's the love of competition and BBQ that keeps us all signing up for more contests each year. Some would call us crazy!

Eggspert

carlyle
06-24-2013, 04:09 PM
Pat,
I am happy for you and proud of you. Thanks for detailing your experience and your feelings.

This post just points out how valuable it is for a judge to cook with a team. You get perspective that is different.

Sounds like quite a night and day. And thanks to the team for graciously welcoming you.
Bet you learned a lot.

Congrats on another step toward your Master Judge.

landarc
06-24-2013, 05:12 PM
Way to go Phil, sounds like a good experience, you'll be a good MCBJ

WineMaster
06-24-2013, 05:22 PM
Twas a Nasty Night !!

pahutchens
06-24-2013, 05:23 PM
I did have a blast, and learned a lot.
And luckily my neighborhood was not his hard in Mpls, only 15 hours without power :-o