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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 11-22-2006, 08:17 AM   #1
BrooklynQ
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I recognized a couple of names in this article..

Villages woman goes from dining on caviar to judging barbecue competitions
By GARY CORSAIR, DAILY SUN


THE VILLAGES — Dolores Mann has tasted teriyaki in Tokyo, bratwurst in Berlin, and gratin dauphinois in Geneva, but few dishes she experienced during her globetrotting have tantalized her sophisticated tastebuds like a slice of a slow-cooked beef brisket.

“When I first tried barbecue, I thought, ‘What am I eating?’ And, ‘I’m eating with my fingers! What is this?’” Mann said. “To see people lick their fingers, that’s about too much for me.”
In her eighth year as a certified barbecue judge, the woman who criss-crossed the world as secretary to U.S. ambassadors during a 35-year career in the Foreign Service still doesn’t lick her fingers.

She does, however, gladly use fingers to raise ribs to her mouth when she judges at barbecue contests with names like “Pig Jam” and “Blazin’ Butts and Briskets.”

“You have to,” Mann said from her Rio Ranchero home. “I found out that when you take a bite of ribs, the meat should pull off from the rib nice and clean. If it doesn’t, it’s undercooked.”

That’s just a sampling of the storehouse of barbecue wisdom Mann has accumulated since taking a judging course offered by the Kansas City Barbecue Society in 1998.


Mann never intended to spend her retirement years learning how dry rubs, marinades, liquid smoke and portable smoker ovens could transform meat into a Dixie delicacy. She entered the hickory-smoked world when the Brooksville Chamber of Commerce she belonged to decided to try a barbecue and rodeo as a fundraiser.

Mann, being a perfectionist, figured that taking the judging class was the best way to become knowledgeable about barbecue.

In the blink of a sauce-brush stroke, she was judging for the Florida BBQ Association, grading meat masters’ chicken, ribs, butts and briskets on presentation, taste/flavor and tenderness/texture.

Mann literally traded a life of caviar and champagne in swanky ballrooms at U.S. embassies from Okinawa to Africa, to eating Boston butts cooked by the likes of the Swamp Boys, Smokin’ Cracker BBQ team, and Kick the Tire, Light the Fire in places like Wauchula, Callahan, and Barnesville, Ga.

And believe it or not, she uses the same approach to judging barbecue that she used in the Foreign Service.

“I worked in our embassies, where there were strict standards,” Mann said. “I guess there’s a parallel, because judging is all about meeting certain standards as well.”

She also enjoys the socializing that takes place at cook-offs. Another plus: Many of the contests raise money for charity.

“It’s more than eating and playing; it’s a chance to do something good for people.” Mann said.

Mann’s bubbly personality and no-nonsense approach to judging make her a favorite with contestants and fellow judges alike. And there’s no questioning her dedication: Last month she judged from a wheelchair after falling and breaking her back.

“She’s a rare breed,” Florida BBQ Association President Joby Stanaland said. “We can always depend on Dolores, and we’re always happy to have her as a judge. Everyone loves her.”

Dolores will take all the smiles and hugs she can get. It’s the only pay she gets — judges aren’t compensated. At least not financially.

“You take your plastic bags with you,” Dolores says with a laugh. “Although I don’t take much. I don’t eat much at all.”

As much as she enjoys the taste of a brisket smoked for eight hours, Dolores doesn’t do much more than nibble. After all, she has to keep her girlish figure. Just in case she runs into Mr. Right.

“When I started in the Foreign Service, women weren’t allowed to marry,” Mann said. “Later, when they changed the rule, there wasn’t anyone I wanted to marry.”

Not that she’s actively looking. And she’s certainly not desperate. She knows that finding a good man is like cooking good barbecue.

Both take time.

Gary Corsair is a senior writer with the Daily Sun. He can be reached at 753-1119, ext. 7907, or gary.corsair@thevillagesmedia.com.




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Unread 11-22-2006, 09:28 AM   #2
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Interesting.... This guy was at the Brooksville contest last month, and was at the contest pretty much the entire day, and through awards.. I guess what makes it interesting is, the only story he could come up with is about Delores... She is a piece of work, but what about the contest? the results? I guess any publicity is better than nothing, but it says we have a ways to go, to impress the media....
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Unread 11-22-2006, 09:52 AM   #3
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It's more likely an attempt by the editor to stroke the readers egos. Delores is probably a "typical" subscriber. The cooks - not so much.
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Unread 11-22-2006, 10:56 AM   #4
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Wooo-hooo! I made the paper!!

Gotta love Dolores, she's definitely unique.

And Kevin, don't be jealous just because she mentioned me and not you.
Maybe some day you too will be worthy



On edit: just in case it isn't obvious this is entirely tongue-in-cheek.
Except for the "Gotta love Delores" comment.
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Unread 11-22-2006, 10:57 AM   #5
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A burgeoning media hound....watch out, BQ!

Congrats, Rub....
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Unread 11-22-2006, 12:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rub
Wooo-hooo! I made the paper!!

Gotta love Dolores, she's definitely unique.

And Kevin, don't be jealous just because she mentioned me and not you.
Maybe some day you too will be worthy



On edit: just in case it isn't obvious this is entirely tongue-in-cheek.
Except for the "Gotta love Delores" comment.
Unique, yep, that's a word!! Delores is in a class of her own! Let's put it this way, I was very very very glad she was not at my table at Brooksville or Kissimmee!!

She must have been misquoted...she always has her cooler and makes the rounds!!

In her defense, she makes a LOT of the events (I saw her at Plant City last weekend, too) and just because she likes a lot of sauce - well, there's nothing wrong with that!
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Unread 11-22-2006, 02:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rub
Wooo-hooo! I made the paper!!

Gotta love Dolores, she's definitely unique.

And Kevin, don't be jealous just because she mentioned me and not you.
Maybe some day you too will be worthy



On edit: just in case it isn't obvious this is entirely tongue-in-cheek.
Except for the "Gotta love Delores" comment.
I'm glad you made the paper Rub, and Jimmy, and the Kick the Tire gang... My point was this...

The organizer was excited to have this reporter there, because THEY wanted exposure for the contest and charity they were benefiting to help boost next years attendance (since it was a first year contest)... And we could have gained good exposure for the FBA. The guy interviewed several teams, and the winners... And then.. Produces a human interest story about Delores..... I am happy for her also... But!
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Unread 11-22-2006, 02:41 PM   #8
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I'm kinda new to it all and don't really know many faces and names except you guys on the circuit. So tell me, Isn't she the one that feels generous when she gives you guys 7's?
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Unread 11-22-2006, 03:06 PM   #9
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I understood your point - I was just being goofy.

Regarding the press, when we had the 1st Smoke on the Water here in WH, there was practically zero press. I took it upon myself to write a letter to the editor and to our chamber of commerce the week after it was over to let them know exactly what kind of event WH just hosted, the caliber of the teams, etc. Here is a copy of it which ran in the paper:

Saturday, February 19, 2005
10:32 PM on Saturday, February 19, 2005
Barbecue contest was first class
Rob Bagby
Swamp Boys BBQ Team, Winter Haven


Congratulations go out to contest organizer Frank Csomos and everyone involved in making this past weekend's "Smoke on the Water" BBQ Contest a huge success. In case you missed it, the fund-raising contest was sanctioned by the Florida BBQ Association and took place behind the Citrus Center Boys & Girls Club in Winter Haven. Nearly 30 professional and eight backyard teams from Florida and Georgia competed for cash, trophies, and Team of the Year points. Two of the current Top 10 teams in the country were there, as well as most of the Top 10 teams in Florida. It was a beautiful day on Saturday, and many families took advantage of the weather to come sample some of the best barbecued chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket in the country. Mr. Csomos and his staff produced a first-class event that all of the cook teams were raving about. Most said they look forward to attending again next year. In addition to visiting the teams and eating barbecue, there were lots of activities for the general public to enjoy. Live music, sea plane rides, swamp buggy rides, rock climbing, and police demonstrations were some of the things that kept everyone busy. There was even a television crew taping the competition for a series of shows to be aired later. Thanks to the hard work of Mr. Csomos and his staff, our community provided what was described as the most successful first year contest ever. Make plans to be a part of it next year, and help raise funds for the Citrus Center Boys and Girls Clubs as well.


I guess my point is that we cannot rely on the press to get our message out there. Sometimes we'll have to do it ourselves. I know I'll shoot off another letter to the editor the week before the contest to remind everyone here in WH. Maybe we need to come up with a form-type letter to mail in to the local newspaper pre and post contest.
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Unread 11-22-2006, 03:15 PM   #10
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Good job, Rub. You're right about the need to encourage the press, Chamber, etc.

Brooksville needs to deconflict with other Founder's Day events AND get the word out along with some signage...it was a great event, especially for a first year effort. I know the responses I got from fire fighters (they are next door and provided a lot of the volunteer labor) are very encouraging.

Kissimmee got the word out - of course the bass tournament didn't hurt the turnout either.

Plant City gets information in the press and on the radio...it showed. The crowds were good on Saturday and quite a few people stopped by at our site to talk and ask questions - most were knowledgable and very interested.

It would probably be a good idea for several of us (judges/competitors) to drop a note to the local press prior to events and especially afterwards if there is any press. This, of course, goes for events outside the FBA circle, too.
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