Originally Posted by Divemaster
What I was trying to get across is that a lack of attention to detail in one area often leads to a lack of attention to detail in another.
If a box looks like the meat an garnish were just tossed in, then yes, I'm not going to score it well on appearance, and I'm going to be more critical when it comes to taste and tenderness. Like it or not, we do "eat with our eyes".
I'm not saying that a single piece of parsley out of place is going to make me knock off points left and right... What I'm saying is that a well put together box is going to make me want to score it higher... Like it or not, that's the way it is...
These are not "my rules"... This is what I was taught in my CBJ class... If it makes you want to jump in and grab a piece of meat, score it higher, if not, score it lower...
She was wrong... Plain and simple... What does that have to do with garnish?
If it looks good to you and not to me, who is right? Who's "Standards" should be imposed?
Again, I didn't say that there was any thing wrong with the meat... Again, it's the attention to detail...
If a box looks good, well put together, scoring it up is easier... There's an anticipation to trying the meat and because of that I'll be more open to the flavors put before me.
If a box looks like crap, it's going to take more for me to score it up and to be honest, in the back of my mind I'm going to be thinking, "They didn't care about presentation, what else didn't they care about?"
If presentation didn't matter, why do we score on appearance?
Let me clarify what I was trying to say. It is human nature to look at a poorly put together box and think that maybe it won't taste good. It's also human nature to look at a good box and assume that it will taste good. I get that. However, a judge should make every effort to taste the meat and judge taste and tenderness it on that alone and try to remove the appearance from the taste and tenderness. I've judged entries that looked great and tasted like crap and vice versa. I'm sure you have too.
The point I was making about the other judge was in response to the comment about "They didn't care about presentation, what else didn't they care about?" In that instance, she was injecting her own personal beliefs into the scorinig. I think assuming that the cook did something else poorly because the garnish looks bad is injecting your own rules into the system. Deduct from the appearance score if it is warranted, but try to start with a fresh mind on taste and tenderness.
Presentation does matter and sometimes the garnish doesn't look as good as it could. I'd also say what looks good to you as garnish, may not be to my liking. Maybe I think all garnish should look like putting greens and maybe you think differently. To some, big leafy lettuce might be appealing. To others, that may look sloppy.
I'm a cook first and sometimes when I'm judging, it's hard to look past the garnish and focus on the meat. However, I've gotten to the point where I remind myself every time before the box is opened to focus on the meat. I think it's helped me be more consistent with the appearance scores I write down.
Think of it this way, you should get the same or very nearly the same score for an entry as far as taste and tenderness are concerned whether you were blind folded or not.