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Just BS
07-30-2013, 11:42 AM
As I get prepared for my first comp this weekend, and after reading a multitude of post regarding the subject, tell me what you like and dislike about comps.

For me, I've always been a believer that if I make ribs that I like and let the chips fall where they may, everything will be alright. But now that ego's and bragging rights are on the line, as well as possible business revinue ~ everything has changed. Now I am leaning towards making a product that will compete, or that the judges will like, and am second guessing how I should approach this. Not sure I like that idea though.

Alexa RnQ
07-30-2013, 11:48 AM
For me, I've always been a believer that if I make ribs that I like and let the chips fall where they may, everything will be alright. But now that ego's and bragging rights are on the line, as well as possible business revinue ~ everything has changed. Now I am leaning towards making a product that will compete, or that the judges will like, and am second guessing how I should approach this. Not sure I like that idea though.
Don't sweat it too hard. No one lives and dies by the result of their first contest, unless you hit it out of the park.

However, it's often been said that if you cook to please yourself, you will get to make your own trophy as well.

CBQ
07-30-2013, 12:08 PM
Many restaurants and catering companies do poorly at competitions. What works in that environment (high volumes of good tasting food) may not work well in a contest (very small quantities that need to convey a complex and refined flavor in 1-2 bites).

You should start by cooking what you know, but if the intent is to promote your business, you need to adjust your expectations. It will take some time to succeed in competition, and when you do you will not be cooking the same product.

Lake Dogs
07-30-2013, 12:22 PM
As I get prepared for my first comp this weekend, and after reading a multitude of post regarding the subject, tell me what you like and dislike about comps.

For me, I've always been a believer that if I make ribs that I like and let the chips fall where they may, everything will be alright. But now that ego's and bragging rights are on the line, as well as possible business revinue ~ everything has changed. Now I am leaning towards making a product that will compete, or that the judges will like, and am second guessing how I should approach this. Not sure I like that idea though.


What CBQ said above is definitely correct for a KCBS competition, but not necessarily true for other sanctioning bodies (definitely NOT for MBN, GBA), and probably not for your unsanctioned competition.

The problem with unsanctioned competitions is that there is no judging criteria or standard, and no training to those standards. So, frankly, all bets are off. The judging tends to be very willy-nilly in unsanctioned competitions, UNLESS they're using 100% CBJ's from a sanctioning body and just happen to be unsanctioned for one reason or another...

Me, unsanctioned, I'd cook what I like and sell. However, I wouldn't read very much into the results either. Having a side bet with a friend and/or bragging rights is fine, but I wouldn't stake a business reputation on it.

QansasjayhawQ
07-30-2013, 02:39 PM
All excellent advice.

Define what it is you hope to get out of competing.

If it's to promote your business, then work on that. To win the competition? Then work on that. If you have too many goals, chances are excellent you won't do really well at any of them. If you have one goal foremost in your mind and focus on that - then you'll do fine.

But I would stay away from making any last minute changes. Stick to your game plan and work on hitting your marks. Save the experimentation and innovations for the days when you are practicing.

Hawg Father of Seoul
07-30-2013, 02:50 PM
The public does not remember who won or lost. They remember who was personable or gave them free food.

Cook your way once. See where you are at.

boogiesnap
07-30-2013, 05:35 PM
The public does not remember who won or lost. They remember who was personable or gave them free food.

Cook your way once. See where you are at.

this is SO true. the public prolly won't even KNOW to REMEMBER who won or lost. or even really care.

so from a business side. work your thing. from a competition side, have fun at your first and see where you stand.

then tweak either or at your discretion.

smokinrack
07-30-2013, 05:59 PM
If your goal is to further your business then look for comps with public tastings, advertise yourself well, and hope the public likes what your putting out.

If your trying to win comps do what you do everyday, try a couple and see what happens, you will either do well or be scratching your head asking yourself what the he** went wrong.

If your doing both your probably going to have learn to different ways of cooking, what the majority of the public likes probly wont score well and what the judges want the public may not want.

I cook the food for public tastings entirely different from what what I will actually turn in, not saying Ive done anything great but I believe theres a difference.

CivilWarBBQ
07-31-2013, 02:01 PM
The public does not remember who won or lost. They remember who was personable or gave them free food.

Cook your way once. See where you are at.

Excellent comment!

In fact, the public doesn't even *know* who won, because they don't hang around for awards.

All of us who have done the comp circuit for awhile have felt your pain, JBS. We all reach that point in time where we have to decide which choice to make: cook your way and accept occasional random success, cook a "KCBS style" product you don't personally enjoy in order to get calls consistently, or bail out of competition completely.

Best of luck in whichever you choose!

-GF