View Full Version : Score This Chicken Box Please

08-19-2008, 02:50 PM
Please let me know your scores on the box below, and any reasons/justification. There will likely be a follow-up, and I'll post the actual scores received. Note, I did clean up some of the sauce before I turned in.


08-19-2008, 02:50 PM
Just a follow up so that people can judge without seeing the first score reported....


08-19-2008, 02:56 PM
should be a 6 but i am sure they gave you atleast a 4. lol

08-19-2008, 03:01 PM
I think the chicken could be trimmed a bit more even. The pieces look very different in size and shape.

The garnish looks to be uneven around the edges and the pieces between the chicken detracts from the over all look IMO. The top, just left of the center line has a big piece of leaf lettuce that throws off the balance of the box in that area. The left side of the box has less garnish than the rest of the outside edges.

I would say a 6

08-19-2008, 03:10 PM
First impression is that the chicken is buried in the garnish. Mixing types of garnish is a bit of distraction to me. Also the garnish is unruly looking. You want to have the chicken perched up on a garnish bed crying out "taste me".

As far as the chicken itself, it looks a too dark, which could just be the lighting for the picture? For some reason that makes the sauce looks like it is thickened too much and would distract from the taste.

I would give it a 6.

Professor Salt
08-19-2008, 03:12 PM
I'd score that a 4, maybe a 5. Sorry for the harsh score, but you asked for an honest opinion.

Pieces are very uneven in shape and size. If you trim the meat square before cooking, it will help your score tremendously.

Glad to hear you cleaned up the sauce drips. Not sure if the drips are coming off your hands, tongs, or the meat itself, but figure where what's causing it and then it won't be a problem you'll need to clean up.

Greens look sloppy. A little more care in laying down your leaves evenly will frame the meat better. As it is, it just highlights the overall haphazardness of the whole presentation.

08-19-2008, 03:22 PM
I don't care if the meat is shaped like the state of Idaho, if it looks good , it looks good. That being said, I think your on the right track, but its a little too dark. From the looks of the sauce, you just added a bit too much on some spots. You want a nice laquered look. I would score this a 6-7 depending on the light I would see it in.

08-20-2008, 09:02 AM
I give this box a 5.

Runaway garnish, uneven sized pieces, skin shrinkage and overly dark color.

butts a fire
08-20-2008, 01:22 PM
I would give it a 6 maybe even 5.

My first inpression was wow that is dark chicken could be the lighting though, the next thing I saw was that the pieces were not very uniform, and lastly the garnish is rather distracting mainly becasue of the parsley between the pieces.

08-20-2008, 01:37 PM
Without looking at any of the other scores, I would give it a 6, 7 at the most.
1. Chicken looks really dark
2. Pieces are uneven
3. Box looks lopsided because of more garnish on one side
4. Chicken looks buried in garnish

Now I'll go see what everyone else said...

michiana mark
08-20-2008, 01:57 PM
I would give it a 6 maybe even 5.

My first inpression was wow that is dark chicken could be the lighting though, the next thing I saw was that the pieces were not very uniform, and lastly the garnish is rather distracting mainly becasue of the parsley between the pieces.

I share this opinion.

08-20-2008, 01:58 PM
I'd have to say a 5. The box looks haphazard. It seems as though you placed garnish after you placed your chicken which obscures your pieces and detracts from a clean presentation. Remember you are presenting the food not the garnish. The garnish also looks like its running out of the box.

Don't mind me though. I've been told I am tough on presentation. Always seem to be 1 to 2 grades lower then the average. I wonder if that is the case. Now I get to go see how my peers graded this and see if I am the hard arse they say I am lol

08-20-2008, 03:20 PM
Okay, thank you. To those of you who gave me feedback (and that was almost all of you) I really appreciate the remarks. I want to say that when I Looked at the pictures yesterday for posting, I did not think they looked nearly as good as when I turned them in, so I am not surprised by some of the low marks you have said. I'm not sure if the box just didn't photgraph well, or if I was caught up in the moment when I made it up, or if I fixed it more after pictures. I'd certainly like to think that I pushed that big piece of garnish lower, but who knows at this point. I was in the shade when I took the picture, and I don't remember it being so dark, but hard to remember at this point.

The big reason why I wanted this judged was the sauce. I have been told by a few people that KCBS judges simply expect chicken to be saucy. Keeping that in mind, I sauced this chicken up real good, but I didn't have a brush (my fault) and each thigh took a swim in some warm sauce immediately before being placed in the turn in box. I was concerned with how the quantity of sauce affected my score. The general impression I have gotten, and please tell me if I misunderstood, is that the sauce is too "dark" but not necessarily too much. Does that mean that I should use a lighter colour sauce, or not put it on as thick? I think I need to learn the skill of putting on the sauce so that the meat is saucy as KCBS judges expect, but not to the detriment of the score. Any further advice would be appreciated.

So now for the scores in decending order...I think a lot of you will be surprised:



08-20-2008, 03:24 PM
I really think lighting for this picture makes it look darker, if you look at the bottom piece on the lefthand side, its really nice, and the pieces get darker as they go up.

Bbq Bubba
08-20-2008, 03:52 PM
So now for the scores in decending order...I think a lot of you will be surprised:


I'd say you got lucky and hit 2 rookie judges.

08-21-2008, 08:48 PM
I'd say you got lucky and hit 2 rookie judges.

Yeah, that was my thought too. Getting in late here but for all the same reasons mentioned, I would say that box is a 6 tops. Add to that, the lower left piece looks like a fish, dorsal fin and all. :wink:

08-21-2008, 09:28 PM
Hidden pieces, very uneven haphazard appearance. I agree with last post. You eat and judge with first impressions. Steve.

08-21-2008, 11:11 PM
I've been thinking about this for awhile and I've decided just to put this out there and see what everyone else thinks.

The one thing I have noticed is that when someone posts pictures of their boxes most of the time the scores given by us are lower than the scores given by the actual judges. This is a very good example of this and we are quick to assume that judges who give different scores don't know as much as we do.

My thought is that as cooks we have been trained to look at every detail and try to make it the best we can (trimming pieces, putting green garnish, etc.) and if we notice the smallest deviation from these in the presentation we jump on it and lower the score.

However, I have talked to experienced judges when sitting at the table with them at a contest and I've been surprised by some of the things they have said. At one contest, I was discussing the garnish on one of the entries (after the judging was complete for that entry) and one of the experienced judge stated that she tries to look past the garnish and focus on the meat. Very interesting consider how much emphasis we all place on the garnish. Actually, what she said was more in line with what I remember hearing at the KCBS judges class.

I've never been at a table of judges and had someone comment about the pieces all being the same/different. Most of the time the comments I have heard were along the lines of "Wow that looked good."

I just wanted to point out that as cooks we tend to focus a lot on the fine details and are quick to reduce scores accordingly, but often the judges are looking past some of the details we take so seriously and are looking for something different and judge accordingly. Maybe they realize it's a meat contest more than we do. :-D

With that said, I will still try to maintain consistant shape and pretty garnish because doing so won't hurt my score, but could possibly help it.

08-22-2008, 12:00 AM
First impression and without reading any comments above..

I'll give it a 6 at best.
to dark and sauced to thick.
not uniform and can use some trimming.
somewhat haphazard with the greens.

Now I will go read from the top down....

08-22-2008, 12:13 AM
Maybe they realize it's a meat contest more than we do. :-D

You make some good points. I believe there are two other factors in play here as well:

First, when judging you have only a couple seconds to decide your score. You just don't have time to scrutinize a box for small details - it's only an overall impression unless there is some glaring mistake jumps out at you.

Secondly, as cooks we spend an inordinate amount of time talking about appearance simply because it is the one criteria we can objectively discuss without having the meat to sample. In an environment where there are so many factors beyond our control we naturally latch on to the one thing that can be most easily documented and repeated.

08-22-2008, 11:46 AM
i would say 6 or 7, but then again i'm not a judge. seems a little saucey & dark...

08-22-2008, 01:40 PM
Six....leaning towards the 5. All the same reasons already listed:
1. Garnish looks sloppy. It detracts from the meat rather than frames it. There are bitw even sticling outside the box. Looks like you built this box in 5 minutes or less.
2. Chicken pieces are inconsistent sizes and shapes. That bottom left piece should have been left out.
3. Sauce looks thick & gummy. Maybe a little dark...too much smoke??

How did it taste?

08-22-2008, 02:03 PM
I was thinking 5 but I havent' judged in years.

But as others have said...
2 much green in between (this one is really what dropped from a 7 to a 5)
2 saucy for me --the sauce on the box looks sloopy..

I look at a box as if I was a VP of advertising for a major chain, would that be the photo I want for a national magazine campaign?

p.s. I can't do a box either ;)