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BrooklynQ
03-20-2006, 11:13 AM
Well Boys and MrsMista,

The BBQ-Brethren were on the move again. Millitant Squatter (Vinny), Smoker (Steve) and me drove up to Abington Massachusetts to judge at the New England BBQ Society's annual Snow Shoe Challenge. The Snow Shoe challenge is a one day grilling contest, much like Grillin' on the Bay (http://www.stmarksports.org/), NYC's first sanctioned BBQ contest being held to benefit the St. Mark Sports Associtation on March 25, 2006 in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn (http://www.brooklynonline.com/neighborhoods/sheepsheadbay/).

Smoker egged me on to take pictures of the turn-in boxes. I checked and we we told it was OK as long as it didn't interfere with the judging. So instead of taking pictures of the boxes, it was easier to take pics of my judging plate.

There were four categories...

Fish
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v482/whitetrashbbq/fishturnin.jpg

From my left to right - that's Salmon with a BBQ sauce that overwhelmed the fish, Salmon with a nice rub, Chiliean Sea Bass with a boring saffron suace, Swordfish which was my favorite with a nice pepper/tomato salsa and a very good Salmon with some traditional BBQ flavorings..

Sausage...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v482/whitetrashbbq/sausageturn-in.jpg

From my left to right - Some sort of chicken with vegetable combo, a very good pork sausage that was runied by the apple stuffing, a home made pattie with lots of vegetables chicken and pork I think, and a classic italian pork sausage in gravy.

Beef Steak
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v482/whitetrashbbq/meatturn-in.jpg
From my left to right - rib eye maybe with what tasted like canned gravy, fillet migon with BBQ sauce - same sauce that was used on the first salmon entry, Fillet mignon with a tasteless benaise sauce, fillet mignon again with a parsley, lemon pesto which was tasty but overwhelmed the meat, and finally a flank steak that I really liked the flavor of but was really tough.

And finally vegetables...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v482/whitetrashbbq/vegsmall.jpg

From my left to right - That's a grilled stuffed portabello mushroom, stuffed with spinach, garlic, bread crumbs and cheese. The mushroom was overly marinated and tasted primarily of vinegar and the stuffing was tasteless. An over smoked stuffed tomato which was stuffed with an unrecognizable corn and bread mix. Stakced grilled white and blue potatoes held together with a rosemary stalk and sauced with a traditional scalloped potato sauce (It took third place). A good grilled sweet potato and red pepper mix. And finally a sweet potato pie tartlet topped with Merigne with chocolate covered cherries, which took first place.

Here's a pic of the turn in box when it got to my end of the table of the sweet potato tartlets...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v482/whitetrashbbq/sweetpotatopiebox.jpg
Now - is this a vegetable or a dessert? If I was running the event, I would have disallowed it on a couple of levels. I didn't think it was a vegetable dish, to me it was a desert. Two, the tarts were not made on site. And three - what was the main ingredient - wheat and flour or sweet potato?

Overall I thought the food was OK, but nothing really stood out as great. I heard the same comment from a lot of the judges. But now I'm wondering to myself if the judges, me included, become super critical when judging. I mean - people took time to come up with these recipes and they must have thought they were outstanding when they decieded to cook them. So are the judges just too tough?


Here's a picture of Dirty Dick's niece and son as they walked the stage for their stacked potato third place vegetable win.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v482/whitetrashbbq/dirydickkids.jpg



Oh, one more thing, Jeff, we have our share of cooler packing judges in New England too.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v482/whitetrashbbq/judgescooler.jpg

And finally a pick of our table captain. Here he is cutting up the fish entries for the judges. The Snow Shoe rules allow presenting fish whole and having the capts cut it up for the judes. I don't remember his name, but he eas dumbfounded when after the second turn in he offered Smoker some new crackers for the next category and Smoker turned him down saying as he tapped his watch "No thanks, I'm done. I've got to get going." I've never seen a jaw drop so far so fast.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v482/whitetrashbbq/tablecaptain.jpg

Overall a splendid time was had by all.

The_Kapn
03-20-2006, 11:25 AM
Excellent post Rob.

Interesting mix of entries.


TIM

Bigmista
03-20-2006, 11:28 AM
Looks like you had a good time even if the food was so-so.

backyardchef
03-20-2006, 11:36 AM
Smoker turned him down saying as he tapped his watch "No thanks, I'm done. I've got to get going." I've never seen a jaw drop so far so fast.


Nice report, Rob. Wish I coulda been there. I guess Smoker was saving room for the beef cheeks.....

The_Kapn
03-20-2006, 12:26 PM
Thanks for the photo re-size Rob.
Reads a whole much better now.

Free bump to the top :lol:

TIM

Smoker
03-20-2006, 02:00 PM
Nice report, Rob. Wish I coulda been there. I guess Smoker was saving room for the beef cheeks.....

If I had known about The Cookhouse, I really would have left early. It was allot of fun though.

Smoker
03-20-2006, 03:30 PM
I cannot stress the importance to ANYONE who competes.....You MUST judge some comps to see what works and doesn't work. I guarantee your scores will be better after you have judged a few comps and see firsthand what your food looks like when it gets to the judges table.

ique
03-20-2006, 04:03 PM
Well Boys and MrsMista,

The BBQ-Brethren were on the move again. Millitant Squatter (Vinny), Smoker (Steve) and me drove up to Abington Massachusetts to judge at the New England BBQ Society's annual Snow Shoe Challenge.

Nice to see you guys!


Overall I thought the food was OK

Well, you missed out on the 1st place sausage. :wink: Actually all the judges did. We ate our sausage entry after it was DQ'd for being 20 seconds past the window. :-D

Good luck with your event this weekend.


Chris

BrooklynQ
03-20-2006, 06:06 PM
So what do you guys think about letting judges take pictures like this?

Arlin_MacRae
03-20-2006, 06:39 PM
Could it hurt?
Could it HELP? I'm thinking if it's allowed, go for it. It can help the judges and cooks both, as long as the picture-taker remembers which entry is which!

MilitantSquatter
03-20-2006, 07:52 PM
BQ,

Thanks for summarizing our the event and taking the pics. We definitely had a lot of fun.. BQ, Smoker and I got to judge at the same table purely by being the last seats available. We agreed on most entries after we were able to talk... My take was that it appeared that everyone took their judging responsibilities rather seriously and they wanted to be there (even in spite on the 3-4 judges with coolers, zip lock bags etc.)... Very strong % of cert. judges helps.

That last dessert we had, ummm.. I mean "vegetable" was delicious. Although it was very pretty, I scored it down for appearance as it just did not "appear to be a veggie, and I could not get past that. My guess is that no more than 10% of the entry was potato, the rest was sugar or flour. I gave it great scores for taste and tenderness(whatever that means for a dessert tart..I mean veggie.) It tasted great though and I wanted another...

I loved the filet mignon with the pesto sauce. It was the only entry besides the tart I ate in it's entirety. All other entries I sampled were marginal at best IMO or could have been better with a few tweaks.

Our almost surreal experience of being treated like royalty at The Cookhouse on the return trip home was icing on the cake for the three of us.

I need more Bunkies !!!!!

Sledneck
03-20-2006, 08:09 PM
Whats are bunkies?

Smoker
03-20-2006, 08:12 PM
http://thecookhouse.biz/page/15e2p/Menus/Starters.html

Bunkie Meat Pies $5.95

Rob & Fat Tommy Used To Drive 30 Miles To A Trailer Where These Were Sold In Bunkie, La. Rob's First Food Fantasies Were About These Little Pies Filled With Beef, Pork, Hot Red Pepper & Other Good Stuff. Served With Cookhouse Jelly For Dipping.

Sledneck
03-20-2006, 08:18 PM
I think i gawda take a trip up to mass and paak the caah in havaad yaaad

Smoker
03-20-2006, 08:29 PM
Actually, The Cookhouse is in Darian CT. Only about 1.5 hours from here. We are DEFINITELY going back there.

Sledneck
03-20-2006, 09:17 PM
Good location for next mini bash

Sawdustguy
03-20-2006, 10:37 PM
Great job Rob, Vinny and Steve!

BrooklynQ
03-21-2006, 11:53 AM
Could it hurt?
Could it HELP? I'm thinking if it's allowed, go for it. It can help the judges and cooks both, as long as the picture-taker remembers which entry is which!

Remember Arlin - it's still blind judging. Out of all the food I ate, the only two I know of that made it to the winner's circle were the potato stacks and the sweet potato pie tart. And that's only because at award time, the cooks were asked what they made for each category. I don't think I'd be able to identify the winners from 6 rib entries.

That being said, I do think it will help cooks overall. Even if you don't know what won or lost, a cook will get to see what the judges see and how each entry appears on the judges plate. And that's helpful.

IMO taking pics of the turn in boxes as they're presented would had slowed the judging process down considerably, which is why I only took pics of my plate.

Sledneck
03-31-2006, 09:09 PM
Actually, The Cookhouse is in Darian CT. Only about 1.5 hours from here. We are DEFINITELY going back there.

I am taking the wife and kids to the maritime aquarium in norwalk tomorrow and we will be having dinner at the cookhouse in darien

BrooklynQ
03-31-2006, 10:06 PM
look for fat tommy - tell him the 3 judges sent you!

Sledneck
04-02-2006, 08:48 AM
I went to the cookhouse last night and it was great. Those bunkie meat pies are awesome!