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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 07-10-2011, 11:47 AM   #1
bdodd444
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Default Competition Classes-Expectations versus Reality

I thought it might be interesting to continue the discussion started on the "Let's talk Pork" thread between what do students expect from a competition class versus what is realistic for the instructors to provide. One of the posters was annoyed that shortly after a class, the instructor went on to win with a completely different technique than he taught in the recent class.

I had a very positive experience with the Plowboys/Butcher BBQ class I took last winter. I walked away with about 30 pages of notes and some great techniques. I have not copied the recipes taught, but used the information to tweak my own. One of the best things from the class was a lot of great time saving tips.

Anyway, back to the original question posted on the other thread: once you fork out $500 plus for a class, is there any obligation by the instructors to provide students any updates on their tweaks? How about those of you teaching these classes? Thanks.

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Unread 07-10-2011, 12:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdodd444 View Post
Anyway, back to the original question posted on the other thread: once you fork out $500 plus for a class, is there any obligation by the instructors to provide students any updates on their tweaks?
Absolutely not. IF the instructor advertises that they will show the recipes and techniques that they use in competition, that would only apply to what they are using at the time of the class. Not all instructors even promise to give up their specific competition recipes. In one very good class a TOY cook was teaching about chicken. He made no claim that he was going to give up his competition recipe, and he didn't. BUT, he did provide some excellent information on cooking chicken for competitions. I know some felt that he should have given up his recipe, but he never advertised that he would. Further, even if he did, and he then changed it the next week or the next year, unless there was specific commitment to provide updates after the class to expect updates is beyond the scope of the class.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 12:04 PM   #3
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I would say no. The instructor continuing to improve his recipes and techniques is how they will stay ahead of their students. You paid to be taught contest winning techniques/recipes and thats exactly what you got.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 12:09 PM   #4
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I agree with Ronelle.

In addition, I do not think students have any right to go around and say "Look what I learned from So and So".
Of course teammates will share and the info will eventually leak out peice by piece anyway.
I have just had a couple of guys take someone's class and then talk about the details for some "unknown" reason.

Unseemly, at best.

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Unread 07-10-2011, 12:11 PM   #5
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Nope. I took a great class, use a few techniques and ideas, but paid for the ability to see what TYPE of cooking wins, not to copy what they do. BTW - our stuff is pretty strong this year (knock on wood) and its because we came away with confidence that we just needed a little guidance.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 12:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Kapn View Post
I agree with Ronelle.

In addition, I do not think students have any right to go around and say "Look what I learned from So and So".
Of course teammates will share and the info will eventually leak out peice by piece anyway.
I have just had a couple of guys take someone's class and then talk about the details for some "unknown" reason.

Unseemly, at best.

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I've had a few people ask me what I learned in xxxxx's class. My response was to pay $750 for the weekend and find out.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 12:39 PM   #7
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But along those lines, I don't think you should sell anything to the public that you don't do. I bought a book sold by a competition team a few years back, and they had an interesting sauce that they said they used. Since they say in the book "This is how we cook, step by step", I contacted them and asked how much success they've had with the sauce and was told that they don't use it.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 01:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
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But along those lines, I don't think you should sell anything to the public that you don't do. I bought a book sold by a competition team a few years back, and they had an interesting sauce that they said they used. Since they say in the book "This is how we cook, step by step", I contacted them and asked how much success they've had with the sauce and was told that they don't use it.

Did that sauce by chance contain Rasberry vinagrette?
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Unread 07-10-2011, 01:42 PM   #9
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I have taken a couple of classes and felt very good about the info I received. Both classes were conducted by reknowned award winning teams who have differing techniques, processes and recipes than each other. I gained a lot of info on short cuts, organization skills, philosophy of cooking, recipes and an appreciation for their achievements.

Most important is that there is no one secret formula. I'm still tweaking my process using info from these classes as a base. I've had some succeses and more to come (hopefully).

Can I call them? Yes, but I don't expect either to fill me in on any changes they made since the class. The classes were advertised to teach what they do as of the class not what they will do in the future.

Winning flavor profiles change over time and we all strive to keep up, stay ahead or even be the one to start the trend. No class is responsible for providing "updates" on what new thing they are doing (unless they advertise they will).

Maybe one day there will be some type of continuing education series at a nominal fee offered.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 01:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdodd444 View Post

Anyway, back to the original question posted on the other thread: once you fork out $500 plus for a class, is there any obligation by the instructors to provide students any updates on their tweaks? How about those of you teaching these classes? Thanks.
I took a class from Scottie. He has always been willing to communicate with me on Facebook or by PM here when I have a question. I suppose it is up to the person taking the class to take the initiative to contact instructors to ask questions.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 02:20 PM   #11
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I have never taken any classes and don't plan on it. I think the best way of learning is going out and doing it in competitions. I have met some great people at competitions and you trade back and forth knowlege. Just because you take a class and you don't practice what you learned doesn't automatically make you as good of a cook as the instructor.

I think if you do pay to take classes and they give you the information they are winning with at that time, you should not expect updates from then on. The reason you took their class is because they are sombody in BBQ.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 03:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monty3777 View Post
I took a class from Scottie. He has always been willing to communicate with me on Facebook or by PM here when I have a question. I suppose it is up to the person taking the class to take the initiative to contact instructors to ask questions.
This, I took Chris Hart's class and have had informative communications with him when I had questions regarding the class or comp Q in general. On the other hand, I'd never email or call him and ask "so, what recipes have you changed since the class and how have you changed them?" Studends need to know their limitations.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 03:18 PM   #13
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a class, any class, is meant to teach a technique, a thought process, a philosophy, and induce the students to THINK about those foundations.

i'm pretty sure all the comp classes do this. it is then up to the student to absorb, process, and then execute his or her own results from said teachings.

in cooking, the foundations haven't changed in a long, long time. the interpretations however, do.

i think comp classes teach ALOT of the foundations and ALL of the facts on the logistics of what it takes to compete. what the teachers do on their own is their own. seems fair to me.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 04:12 PM   #14
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If some one got upset because a team won with a different technique, I'd say they need to re-evaluate their perception of entitelment. They got what they paid for, competition level techniques and information provided by the instructors. The people giving the class have worked bery hard and spent a lot of their own money developing their flavor profiles and methods they have used to win. To think that they will always use the same technique and method is an unreasonable expectation. I don't expect those giving the class to divulge their secret to success by any means other than maybe certain methods. It would seem counter productive if they were still on the circuit to teach all of their secrets to their success.

In regards to the OP, maybe the team in question was in a transition point to a new recipe or technique at the time of the class and finally thought they had it ready for competition and did well? That doesn't mean the what they had taught wasn't what was working for them at the time of the class and how they were doing things.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 04:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slamdunkpro View Post
This, I took Chris Hart's class and have had informative communications with him when I had questions regarding the class or comp Q in general. On the other hand, I'd never email or call him and ask "so, what recipes have you changed since the class and how have you changed them?" Studends need to know their limitations.
Good point
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