View Full Version : Good CBJ Class?

09-23-2009, 02:55 PM
I've been meaning for some time to take a CBJ class as I figure that will help me learn what (some) judges look for at comps, plus it gives me another avenue to participate. Last year I planned to take a course here in Nashville as there seemed to be one every other month, but now there are none:( Anyway, it looks like the soonest, closest class is during the day the Friday before The Jack. The listed instructor is Ron Harwell, and the cost is $85. While it sounds cool to learn to judge at the most prestigious event in the world, does any one know if this would actually be a good course? I'd hate to take a day off work for it if not. Should I wait for something else like a Paul Kirk to come through town?

Whether I go to the class or not, I was also thinking about attending The Jack as a visitor. I've never been there, or even to Lynchburg, and I'd like to hear from some veterans what to expect. The website says that parking and admission are free, but what is the crowd going to be like? Will it be pushing and shoving, or is it friendly for a family with small children? Does the city or the world descend on the competition like MIM, or is it more down homey? I just don't wanna show up with my family and have it be an uncomfortable waste of time....

Thanks in advance for any advice,


09-23-2009, 04:03 PM
Went down last year and took the class. It is definetly worth it. Learned a lot. Even judged one this year. As for the Jack, it is awesome. Alot of people but really friendly. Last year Saturday was a beautiful day which made it even better.

Just Smokin' Around
09-24-2009, 10:55 AM
The fee should be less if you are a KCBS member already. If not, your fee includes a one year membership. It's worth taking, but, since we're nearing the end of the BBQ season, you can probably wait until one is closer and maybe on a Saturday.

09-24-2009, 11:05 AM
The class is instruction of KCBS standards, so it shouldn't matter if a big name cook is leading the class or if it's a local another certified judging instructor.

That said, we all know some people instruct better then others, however I don't think being a well known cook necessarily makes one a better judging instructor over someone who may not be a well known cook. Either way, the instructor should be providing the same information.

09-24-2009, 11:26 AM
Ron Harwell taught the class I took 2 years ago in Columbus, MS. I thought he did a very good job and would highly recommend him as an instructor.

09-24-2009, 11:34 AM
Thanks for the info. The fee is as you described with reference to KCBS membership. Lynchburg really isn't that far from me, so it's not a huge deal, and it gives me an excuse to visit the distillery and The Jack. Day off of work kinda sucks, but it's worth it for a good time. Right now the toughest thing is where to stay: I got a hotel, but it's 30 minutes from where I think public parking is....which looks to be 30 minutes from the event? Not gonna be a fun night to drive. :(

I'm sure the curriculum is standardized, but I've heard some people do a better job teaching it than others, and there are tons of reports on here of ppl being told different things from their instructors. I mentioned Paul Kirk not because he's famous, but because I've heard he teaches the course well. I could give a flip about fame:)

Thanks again!