This is a good thread but I think we're focusing too much on "do this or else" and not enough on the definition of roles.
I believe this is what Tim wants -- especially from people like Jim Minion and others that do "guest spots" on other teams.
I knew when I arrived in NY last Thursday that I was there to work. I also knew that I would drink a few beers and have a few laughs but not at the expense of trying to win some trohphies and help Phil recoup some $$$ :D
I am not bashful about my cooking (duh!) or my abilities to make things happen under stress. But, I am also able to submit to the leadership of someone else -- submission is a VOLUNTARY act!! I am also a proponent of "lead, follow, or get out of the way!".
Defining roles must be done before you start cooking at a cookoff. I knew my role at Asbury Park - I'm confident that Rob knew his role - and I know Phil knew his. That's not to say that Rob and I didn't look at each other now and then and maybe comment, to each other, "that's not the way I'd do it!" -- but we'd do what Phil asked/directed because those are the roles we had accepted. You can't get to arguing over details in the middle of the turn-in window! And, we must have done something right: we won brisket and place 2nd in chicken. It felt GOOD accepting the trophies and checks for OUR hard work! :D
Basically, if YOU haven't formed your own team you will be crew! Tim and my roles could get fuzzy if we let them. Tim has elected to be the fire tender and crew and I'm taking on the role of chef/lead - I'm not sure how that happened but it's what we're taking into our first cook off.
Normally the leader is probably the "chef" but not necessarily. If you are invited to join a team put your ego and "I don't do it that way" aside.
Now some teams have a couple of strong egos working -- but they will have determined their roles or they won't cook together more than once. Often in these cases you'll have one person doing (for example) chicken and the ribs and the other guy doing the brisket and pork. That's fine as long as they don't go screwing with each other's food!! :D
Bottom line: be ready to work. Define the roles of the team. Put your egos aside. Enjoy the experience and try to learn at least one thing each time you go to a cook off.
Southern Brethren BBQ Competition Team
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