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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 07-17-2012, 11:29 PM   #1
CBQ
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Default Cooking with Judges

Recently we have been approached by several judges looking to cook with a team in order to get their master judge certification. Any suggestions from people that have done this before?

How much work should we involve them in? Do they mainly observe? Participate in route non-cooking activies like cleaning? Should we test their chicken trimming skills?

We always like to talk to judges and get their perspective on BBQ, so we will certainly be doing that, and we want them to get the full experience so they really understand how much work goes in to a contest. I'm just not sure what is customary or recommended in terms of participation.
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Unread 07-18-2012, 12:11 AM   #2
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This was our experience in hosting a master cook, and I think it was optimal:

http://www.rhythmnque.com/2010Lancas...astercook.html
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Unread 07-18-2012, 08:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DivaHerself View Post
This was our experience in hosting a master cook, and I think it was optimal:

http://www.rhythmnque.com/2010Lancas...astercook.html
We also had a friend do his Master cook with us at the Boston Hills BBQ Festival at the end of June, and our experience was much similar to yours.
(Loved reading that BTW - well said!)

We had Dave doing it all - he helped us set up and break down, he helped us prep meats and cook, he cleaned, he ran boxes. He even brought his own knives, gloves and injector! It also helped that the contest he chose happened to coincide with my hubby slicing his finger open and getting 8 stitches the night before, so he definitely got his money's worth. He actually helped the entire weekend - even though it wasn't required, as we also did the NEBS grilling contest Sunday.

Overall - we found the experience extremely helpful and enlightening. He "judged" our boxes as we were preparing them and made suggestions on how to improve them. He asked lots of questions himself - and I believe both sides got a lot out of it. Overall, we were pleased and would welcome the opportunity to do it again.

Chris - to answer your questions, I honestly don't know if there are rules on the Master cook. Personally I think it should be whatever both parties are comfortable with. Obviously, you want to make sure that the judge spends the appropriate amount of time to meet his requirement while not infringing on you. Since we were already friends with Dave, we all knew what to expect going in. And we definitely tested his chicken prep skills!

I think just having a quick phone conversation or maybe even meeting up for a beer (or two) prior to the event might be a good idea to get a feel for what both sides are expecting will happen.

And of course - always have fun!
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Unread 07-18-2012, 08:56 AM   #4
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We had judges cook with us twice last year. One expierence went well and one was not so good. I was leary on how much to actually let them do but I am a bit of a control freak. The first judge that cooked with us was helpful wanted to learn and paid attention. I would have trusted him more. The second two judges that cooked with us I did not trust at all. They just sat and watched and did not do much. I let them wash the dishes and that was all I would trust them to do. For us we made a friend with the first judge and he stops by at every contest to say hi and asks us how things are going. He has even offered to help cook at an upcoming contest as he enjoyed it. The other set I cringe everytime I see them at a comp. Just my 2-cents. Hope it helps you out.
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Unread 07-18-2012, 09:12 AM   #5
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I have not had a judge cook with us, nor would I expect one to because we would not be the easiest path. Still, my expectations for one would be as follows. I post this here because I would hope other teams would be similarly restrictive:

The judge would be responsible for his own food and beverage.

I would expect the judge to show up to the competition when we do on Friday, and to stay until at least one hour before we go to sleep. While on site, any time that we are doing something important, and we'll tell the judge what those times are, he is expected to be there. I wouldn't expect the judge to do any work, but to be present and see how much time and effort, and how little sleep, goes into the entire process. Washing dishes would be appreciated, but not required.

Saturday night, the judge would be allowed to sleep in our site or leave to sleep at home, motel, RV, etc. Just be on time in the morning.

Saturday, I would expect the judge to show up within 30 minutes of when we wake up, and to remain through the start of awards. Again, if there is free time, the judge is welcomed to roam around, but during the important stuff, the judge should be there and watch what we do.

If any judge is willing to commit to that, I would sign a document confirming that the judge fulfilled the obligation required to get an MCBJ. If a judge is shows up late, leaves early, or isn't around to see the process, I would not be affraid to refuse to sign.

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Unread 07-18-2012, 09:22 AM   #6
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I've been a CBJ for over 5 years and have judged a lot of contests, both KCBS and backyard events over the years. I try to cook with a team every other year and my procedure as a 'guest' is to tell the team that I'll stay out of their way as best I can so I don't disrupt their process. The last thing I want to do is be in the way and harm the team. I also tell them that I will help with any duty they request. For me, the most important thing is being helpful if needed but make sure I'm not a disruption. I have had teams allow me to be a full member of the team and others that were more comfortable with me watching and offering advise as requested.
I think every judge should cook with a team, you can't imagine how much work goes into the process unless you are there. It gives you a newfound respect for what the teams do.
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Unread 07-18-2012, 09:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkQPine View Post
I've been a CBJ for over 5 years and have judged a lot of contests, both KCBS and backyard events over the years. I try to cook with a team every other year and my procedure as a 'guest' is to tell the team that I'll stay out of their way as best I can so I don't disrupt their process. The last thing I want to do is be in the way and harm the team. I also tell them that I will help with any duty they request. For me, the most important thing is being helpful if needed but make sure I'm not a disruption. I have had teams allow me to be a full member of the team and others that were more comfortable with me watching and offering advise as requested.
I think every judge should cook with a team, you can't imagine how much work goes into the process unless you are there. It gives you a newfound respect for what the teams do.
Amen Brother...
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Unread 07-18-2012, 10:02 AM   #8
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judges that cook with us are like a team member,ther expected to be there when im there,smoker gets a good cleaning that wknd,basicaly ther a pit bitch for the wknd...when ther done after awards,and they look at what the cert judges gave us compared too what they gave us,normaly its what!!!! what were they thinking!!!every one that has cooked with us has told me they have a new outlook on judging ..o i forgot trailer gets a good cleaning that wknd also. all in all i feel letting judges cook with teams should be done before they judge too many so they have a feel what we do
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Unread 07-18-2012, 01:02 PM   #9
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Thanks for the great suggestions and inputs. Sounds like the most important thing is to have a chat with the judges beforehand and outline expectations. I am not quite sure I will make them wash the RV but I do want them to leave with an understanding of how much is involved in what we do.
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Unread 07-18-2012, 01:14 PM   #10
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I'm both a cook as well as a judge. I dont think a person can get a real good perspective on it without participating in it, hands-on, from start (camp set-up) to finish (take-down) and everything in between, including washing a few dishes, pulling a few membranes, tending the fire, helping heat the sauce, etc. etc. etc. That is afterall what they're hear to learn, isn't it? It's not about shiggin' a recipe, but learning perspective as to the effort and the attention to detail required. With my teammates, I have them own something. That something is theirs to make sure it's completed. Doesn't mean that they do this by themselves, but they're responsible that it gets done, timely, accurately. Assign the judge something, if you can. Let them own it. Have them go to awards ceremony as anxious and as exhausted as everyone else there.
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Unread 07-19-2012, 10:56 AM   #11
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Just a little different perspective. I am my own team and I judge occasionally.

I always find it very interesting to hear what the other judges have to say about what goes on during the cooking. Especially from the ones that haven't cooked with a team. They think that walking around visiting the teams after judging is completed gives them the big picture.

It's fun to listen to an un-initiated judge run their mouth saying what teams do during a competition. They are almost always wrong and get real quiet when they find out that I compete.

Russ
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Unread 07-19-2012, 11:51 AM   #12
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I would want the judge to do everything I do drink way to much stay up way to late get up way to early,unless MoGreen is there to light the fire then continue to cook all day. And yes they are only allowed to drink Pabst and water
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Unread 07-20-2012, 07:15 AM   #13
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Seems Like Divaherself had a great experience. I hope mine goes that well also.
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Unread 07-20-2012, 07:36 AM   #14
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Last weekend at Troy Sean and i had a judge cook with us. We had a great time with him. It was great hearing his perspective. We worked his ass off all weekend :)
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