View Full Version : How I Spent My Summer Vacation

12-15-2006, 04:21 PM
Well I've been wanting to do this for awhile and had a few minutes, so here we go...
After witnessing the BBQ and Blues Too competition here in Waterloo (IA) in 2005 I got intersted in what makes this BBQ competition thing work. I got some info from one of our truck drivers about how things worked and he gave me a old Bullsheet. From that I saw a upcoming KCBS judges class and signed up for a March class in Marshalltown (IA). As it turned out I was at the same table as Brethren member Scotty D and his wife in fact he told me about this wonderful place. The wife and I camp out of a motorhome and figured if we're camping why not do a BBQ contest with it. I like to BBQ, I like to eat BBQ, and I thought it would be a good way to meet some new people. So after requesting judging gigs on a good share of contests here in Iowa (we have 9 or so within two hours) off we went.
The first planned event was BarbeQlossal in Des Moines, because of my motorcycle accident I wasn't in any shape for that (Hi priority this year). Next up was IA State Championship in Marshalltown. This one got my cherry and was I ever impressed. We went down Fri. night and just walked around and took it all in. Got to meet Brethren Andy (HoDeDO) and his family. What a crew that is!! (glad to know ya Andy). This is exactly why I do this because he and the rest of the competitors are a very freindly lot and its been a great expeince so far.
As far as my first judging went, what a experience!! All most all of the entries were fantastic!! I remember thinking if this was the way all contests were, how do you pick a winner? I have since found out this contest was chuck full of some of the best cooks around. I shaved off my mustache and goatee after this contest. Some of you can be a little heavy on the thick sweet sauce!! I wasn't satisfied with my personal performance as a first time judge and spent a abnormal amount of time going over what I experienced and what was expected of me as a judge and how I should try to improve. This shall be and is my mantra. I intend to give each entry my full attention as over the summer I've seen how hard you all work at it. I know how much time and money you spend on meat,equipment, travel. So you desreve my every attention.
Next contest was State Center (skipped that in leiu of golfing with my boys for fathers day).
Next up was my home town event in Waterloo (hot, very hot) here's where I found out all cooks are not of the same caliber. I had an offering of six scrawny bones with a (one) piece of wilted lettuce (first timer I hoped) and in a anything goes entry, Van Camps beans out of the can (but they kept the pork!!).
Next skipped Smoke on the River in Clinton (mistake I think)!!
Then Up In Smoke In Mason City,( hotter than six hubs of Hell) WOW!! what an event. Very well attended by some big names and throngs of people enjoying it! Had hoped to meet brother Kevin there but he found something cooler to do that weekend (next year maybe).
Skipped Tri-Sate in Dubuque then headed up to the quiet little town of Waucoma (quiet until the cooks showed up) for the Lynch Stampede. There is but one little bar in town and I understand it makes it's years profit that weekend! This was one of the nicest events I saw all year, smallish and homey all tucked away in a little city park. Met brother Seth of Porkrastinators there. If there is an event I might want to cook at I think this is the one I'd like to try.
Last one of the year was BrewB Que in Independence. A first time event that will grow fast as it has all the qualities required by the teams,judges, and towns folk!! Nice cook area, well thought out and real freindly.
So how'd I do? I'm much more attentive to the judges responsabilties.
Am I as good as I want to be, NO. I always seem to be the last one turning in my slip. It seems now and again that someone is tapping their toe wanting me to hurry up so they can jabber about this or that entry.
Ain't gonna happen!! I smell so my nose can tell me what you used for rub and sauce, I take a bite and enjoy your hard work and expertise then take another bite to make sure, then I think about what score you deserve then write it down. If it takes a couple minutes, so be it.
I can't wait for spring to get back out and it all over again! I expect to do these contests and a few more if we can get to them.
As you can see, there aren't alot of you Brethren Brothers in my area so I'm either going to have to expand my circle a little or you can hit some of our little jewels.
So to you, the teams I have met, the judges and organizers. Thanks, it's been a blast and we'll see you out there.

12-15-2006, 05:53 PM
I'd rather have you as a judge than some I've seen that are more worried about other things. Take your time; that's why you have 30 minutes between categories.

12-15-2006, 06:47 PM
Great to hear of your experiences. Sounds like you are enjoying yourself.

we'll smoke u
12-15-2006, 06:55 PM
Hey ModelMaker I'am going to try and hit some of them contests in Iowa nexted year hope we can hook up and have a beer.

12-15-2006, 09:13 PM
Great report, ModelMaker! That sounds like a pathway we can all take.

12-15-2006, 09:20 PM
Way to go Model Maker.... that was a really positive report !!!

Pyle's BBQ
12-16-2006, 04:25 AM
I will be at the Pork Expo contest in June and may try and do another one sometime in the summer. Look me up when you are in Des Moines. I'll have a couple on ice for you.

Any one else that is in Des Moines for the The Great Pork BarbeQlossal™ June 7-9th. stop by I can always get more to drink.

12-16-2006, 09:46 AM
Scott, Bryan
Look forward to meeting you both. As I said I want to meet and get to know as many of you as possible. It's a great way to spend a weekend.