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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 10-12-2011, 08:47 AM   #1
rweller
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Default OK,I have to admit

I hear you cooks complaining all the time about judges and there comment cards. So after being a table captain this last weekend I have to admit I hear where your coming from.
Here are two cards I received this last weekend.
1st one said chicken was good but SKIN was not bite through so I gave it a 6. This is a meat contest not a skin contest and the REP even told the judges about this before judging. By the way this was an experienced judge and certified table captain.
2nd one I got said ribs were good but lacking flavor. But he gave the ribs an 8 acroos the board. How could it not have flavor if you gave it an 8, theres only one notch up to being excellent. Doesn't make since to me.
There was a couple more but you get the idea. I did turn these in to the Reps, not sure if they made it back to the teams or not.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 08:56 AM   #2
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As the Table Captain, shouldn't you "talk" with the judges submitting these comment cards and explain to them what you are stating here??? THAT was your PERFECT opportunity to try to 'nip it in the bud' so to speak.
Maybe it's just me, but I don't see the point of bringing this up here other than to further distance the cooks and judges. Can't we ALL just get along?!?
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Unread 10-12-2011, 09:29 AM   #3
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Ralph, first off let me thank you for being a table captain. As a judge yet to table captain, I always appreciate the extra effort that the captain's put out. I have always done my best to help out where I could.

Can you tell me what was wrong with the "chicken" judge - the score or the comment (or both)? I'm making a big assumption that the six was for tenderness, not taste. In that case, wouldn't it have been right and proper to score down an entry that did not have "bite through skin." Most cooks that I am aware of put alot of thought and effort into achieving this. I know this is a "meat" contest, but we must judge the meat "as presented." I personally wouldn't mark down to a six if lack of bite through skin was the only issue, but I would likely deduct a point.

If I were to give an entry a six in tenderness, I would feel obliged to fill in a comment card explaining that score. I have ona couple of occasions filled a comment card "great flavor, but entry was dry [or tough, or didn't have bite through skin, etc.]. I think this would be appropriate for a 9,9,6 score. I would imagine a cook would prefer that comment to a card that simply stated "dry."

Your second, judge, "Good, but lacking flavor" with a 8 in taste just baffles me. A comment card was obviously not necessary and not helpful.

My final comment on this lengthy response is this; I really don't think that contest reps should be throwing away comment cards. In most of the contests that I judge this year, the reps specifically stated that they would be throwing away comment cards, that they [the reps] did not think would be helpful to the cooks. Really? I kind of understand where they are coming from, but do not agree with it all. If a comment card states "this entry tasted like yesterday's a$$," let the cook decide what they want to do with that information.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 09:38 AM   #4
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I also disagree on the chicken comment. If it's a KCBS contest, bite through chicken skin is one of the objectives. Note that you don't have to offer skin-on chicken in KCBS, but if you do judges are told they should taste it.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 09:42 AM   #5
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I'd have to check to be certain but I don't believe it is within the rep's authority to just throw away comment cards, ridiculous and pointless or not.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 10:10 AM   #6
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If the chicken score referenced in the original post was for taste, I agree that the 6 score was off if the the judge liked the taste so much that he put "chicken was good" on the comment card. However, I think the assumption can be made (since it wasn't clarified in the post), that the score was for tenderness. I could see marking at least one point for not bite through skin (skin wasn't too bad, just pulled off with the first bite), and up to 2 points if it's just bad skin, rubbery or over cooked/near burnt. Of course who knows how the tenderness of the actual meat was...could have been spot on or a little chewy/overdone. There simply isn't enough information on that card to determine if it was inappropriate or not in my opinion.

In my opinion as a relatively new judge, I think comment cards should be mandatory for 5s and below and highly recommended for 6s and optional for anything above (7s and up pretty much speak for themselves). Also as a relatively new cook, I welcome any and ALL feedback. As invested as many of us are, you know if you get a comment card this BS vs. one that is actually good info or at least explains why that particular judge gave that particular score.

My two cents.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 10:14 AM   #7
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The problem with the "chicken" judge is that they judged the skin.. I thought that is a no no. When I took the judging class, the instructor said that the skin was NOT supposed to get judged, that if the chicken was presented with the skin on, to taste it but not to judge it(regardless if it was bite thru, crispy or whatever), only the meat was supposed to get judged.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 10:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junk44 View Post
The problem with the "chicken" judge is that they judged the skin.. I thought that is a no no. When I took the judging class, the instructor said that the skin was NOT supposed to get judged, that if the chicken was presented with the skin on, to taste it but not to judge it(regardless if it was bite thru, crispy or whatever), only the meat was supposed to get judged.
I don't see the point of asking judges to taste it if it isn't gonna get judged. Out of curiousity, who were your instructors? In the same manner, if I'm turning in burnt ends and they suck because the fat is not fully rendered, they should ignore those because I have slices in the box and it's a meat contest, not a fat contest.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 10:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junk44 View Post
The problem with the "chicken" judge is that they judged the skin.. I thought that is a no no. When I took the judging class, the instructor said that the skin was NOT supposed to get judged, that if the chicken was presented with the skin on, to taste it but not to judge it(regardless if it was bite thru, crispy or whatever), only the meat was supposed to get judged.
I don't remember it exactly that way when I took the class a few months back. I do specifically remember they said to not score down if there wasn't skin. Just judge what is presented. But there was discussion that skin tenderness plays a roll in the overall tenderness.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 10:28 AM   #10
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I was never told not to judge the skin if it was presented with the chicken.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 10:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junk44 View Post
The problem with the "chicken" judge is that they judged the skin.. I thought that is a no no. When I took the judging class, the instructor said that the skin was NOT supposed to get judged, that if the chicken was presented with the skin on, to taste it but not to judge it(regardless if it was bite thru, crispy or whatever), only the meat was supposed to get judged.
Bingo, thats how I was taught also. I know the Cooks try there best to get bite through skin but they should not be marked down if it is not. JMO

Jeff, you might be right about the comment cards but I know for a fact that certain reps will trow them away if they don't think there constructive.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 10:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junk44 View Post
.....the instructor said that the skin was NOT supposed to get judged, that if the chicken was presented with the skin on, to taste it but not to judge it.....
I'm only praying that you are remembering this wrong .

It scares the fark out of me to think that a whole class of judges is being told to violate the "as presented by the cook" rule .

Yes I know that some of the comment cards are beyond worthless, but to me that is the fault of the judges not being properly instructed / trained in their use.

I also know that some Reps don't like the comment cards. Some say that the cards don't really help the cooks. I think that one of the reasons might be that it causes a bit of extra time and work. Another is cards like the ones in the OP.

What would it cost KCBS to do an e-mail blast to all of the judges explaining the proper use of the cards? And one to the Reps saying to turn them over to the cooks?
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Unread 10-12-2011, 10:36 AM   #13
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Thanks for the clarification, Dave! It has been awhile but I could have sworn it was inaccurate to NOT judge the skin as presented! If this is a prevailing belief among judges, something needs to be done ASAP by KCBS.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 10:47 AM   #14
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As part of the Master CBJ test it asks a question something like:

You don't like chicken skin. An entry is presented with the skin on. Are you allowed to remove the skin before tasting? Y or N ?

Without giving up the answer here I will say that the CD that each judge must listen to before each contest plainly states that you should "at least taste" the skin.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 10:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_in_KC View Post
Thanks for the clarification, Dave! It has been awhile but I could have sworn it was inaccurate to NOT judge the skin as presented! If this is a prevailing belief among judges, something needs to be done ASAP by KCBS.
Dave and Jeff you guys both make very valid points.

Maybe I'm the one that is totaly wrong here but I was taught it was a meat contest and that is what you judge. It does say on the CD if skin is presented you must at least try it, thats all.
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