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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 08-25-2004, 01:17 PM   #1
The_Kapn
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Hi All.
Just some thoughts and a couple of questions from a total "new guy" who is still pending his first real competition.
Buried at the end is my questions for the experienced guys here--bear with me!
Also-keep that lack of competitive experince in mind--Please.
DF and I are fixin' to "fly the Brethren Flag" the 1st of Oct in Mulberry, FL.
We have had the luxury of "lots of time to ponder" what we are getting into. Maybe too much time
We have done everthing short of staking off a 20 X 20 area at the neighbors, setting up the cookers and canopies, and actually rehearsing the whole event. Too much time to think--Maybe

But, that surplus of time has given us a chance to soak up "lessons learned" from other teams--priceless!

I am ready to cook and compete- at least mentally!
But, here is our agreement and plan.

DF is the "cook"-"chef"-"boss"- "guy in charge". Simple to me.
I am the pit bitch--pure and simple! I hold temps and quality smoke and do whatever DF needs me to do. Simple to me.
Pre-meet, I suggest, DF ponders, and he either trys it out, puts it on hold, or says no! Simple to me.
At the meet- I suggest, DF ponders, and he either trys it out, puts it on hold, or says no! Simple to me.
Post meet--we will fuss about all the details and do a "after action" review to get ready for the next meet. Simple to me.

Now, we are a "team of 2" and (hopefully) remain and compete that way as the core Chef and Pit Bitch. Obviously family, friends, and other Brothers will get in the mix as we progress. My message to each of them will be--"We suggest, DF ponders, and he either trys it out, puts it on hold, or says no! Simple to me." I will deliver that message personally because DF is too bashful

Underlying all of this is my background (and DF's) in the military--we may be off base due to our "structured thinking". But, I doubt it.

My questions is for the experienced guys here-
#1--If a "Minion, or a "McGrath" or a "whomever" shake hands at the start of a meet (1st time meeting with no real prior agreement)--what happens later? I know Jim Minion has posted about joining a team (Ad Hoc apparently)--so, how do the "emotions flow" internally?

#2--How are duties divided up when you have 2, 3, or 4 real "chefs" cooking? Are the meats divided up by expertise? For example, does someone "do Brisket" and anouther "do Ribs", etc?

#3--Are the "Nationally ranked" teams composed of a "core" group with others added in- or are they "established" with a full compliment of folks who have clearly defined roles?

Just curious.

TIM
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Unread 08-25-2004, 01:53 PM   #2
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My take. There needs to be 1 guy in charge period. This needs to be spelled out before the start. When I was cooking with Phil, he was in charge period. If you can't go into it with that set up, then you should not go into it. Just my opinion. Of course if there are 3 people then a vote for anything helps out a lot. No tie vote on what to do.

Of course the guy in charge needs to realise that he doesn't know everything and listens to his helpers, but the guy in charge has the final say.
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Unread 08-25-2004, 02:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parrothead
My take. There needs to be 1 guy in charge period. This needs to be spelled out before the start. When I was cooking with Phil, he was in charge period. If you can't go into it with that set up, then you should not go into it. Just my opinion. Of course if there are 3 people then a vote for anything helps out a lot. No tie vote on what to do.

Of course the guy in charge needs to realise that he doesn't know everything and listens to his helpers, but the guy in charge has the final say.
Well put.

There has to be one guy who can remain calm and rational in the heat of the moment mking the decisions.
LiIstening to all and then making the call!

And everyone else on the team needs to be man enough to accept and support no matter what! Period!
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Unread 08-25-2004, 02:43 PM   #4
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There has to be one guy who can remain calm and rational in the heat of the moment
Now that is another story all together.
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Unread 08-25-2004, 02:53 PM   #5
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Team members must also be willing to "cuddle for warmth" in the wee hours of the morning. That's what I am looking for anyway.
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Unread 08-25-2004, 03:08 PM   #6
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This is a good thread but I think we're focusing too much on "do this or else" and not enough on the definition of roles.

I believe this is what Tim wants -- especially from people like Jim Minion and others that do "guest spots" on other teams.

I knew when I arrived in NY last Thursday that I was there to work. I also knew that I would drink a few beers and have a few laughs but not at the expense of trying to win some trohphies and help Phil recoup some $$$ :D

I am not bashful about my cooking (duh!) or my abilities to make things happen under stress. But, I am also able to submit to the leadership of someone else -- submission is a VOLUNTARY act!! I am also a proponent of "lead, follow, or get out of the way!".

Defining roles must be done before you start cooking at a cookoff. I knew my role at Asbury Park - I'm confident that Rob knew his role - and I know Phil knew his. That's not to say that Rob and I didn't look at each other now and then and maybe comment, to each other, "that's not the way I'd do it!" -- but we'd do what Phil asked/directed because those are the roles we had accepted. You can't get to arguing over details in the middle of the turn-in window! And, we must have done something right: we won brisket and place 2nd in chicken. It felt GOOD accepting the trophies and checks for OUR hard work! :D

Basically, if YOU haven't formed your own team you will be crew! Tim and my roles could get fuzzy if we let them. Tim has elected to be the fire tender and crew and I'm taking on the role of chef/lead - I'm not sure how that happened but it's what we're taking into our first cook off.

Normally the leader is probably the "chef" but not necessarily. If you are invited to join a team put your ego and "I don't do it that way" aside.

Now some teams have a couple of strong egos working -- but they will have determined their roles or they won't cook together more than once. Often in these cases you'll have one person doing (for example) chicken and the ribs and the other guy doing the brisket and pork. That's fine as long as they don't go screwing with each other's food!! :D

Bottom line: be ready to work. Define the roles of the team. Put your egos aside. Enjoy the experience and try to learn at least one thing each time you go to a cook off.
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Unread 08-25-2004, 04:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Bottom line: be ready to work. Define the roles of the team. Put your egos aside. Enjoy the experience and try to learn at least one thing each time you go to a cook off.
Very well said David
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Unread 08-25-2004, 04:18 PM   #8
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Another Role. ! The time keepers . The chef has the issues of getting stuff in and cooked and ready for turnin, but someone has to watch the clock and coordinate when to do what. You dont want to start prepping your turnin boxes to early and turnin in cold food, so you have to time it to go from the heat, to the judge without wilting the lettuce. :)

At 11-12PM the day before, get a clipboard and have this conversation with the team. fill in the meat of your choice and write all the times down. I have been working on a form to simpolify this and put it in a "at a glance" format.

We have a brisket. 10lbs. it will take 12 hours . turnin time is 130 We want it ready for slicing at 1230 it must be coolered for 3 hours so it must be done by 9am. So it goes into the cooker at 9PM. Prep work is a 4 hour injection, have it in the marinade my 430PM.

Ribs, 4-6 hours. Turn in at 1230. Must be done by 11 to cooler for at least an hour and then return to smoke to glaze. Ribs go in at 5AM. Prep work is prepared rub 4 hours in advance. Rub Ribs by 1AM.



This may seem lame, but believe me, so much will be going on AND you will be partying AND friday night is a food orgy and the circuit people are like a big partying family, you can get siedetracked just by having fun and hangin with people... Having this written down wil allow you to look at it and remember whats comes next and at what time.
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Unread 08-25-2004, 04:21 PM   #9
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Yeah - it really helped us. The clipboard was in the truck on the other side of the park.
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Unread 08-25-2004, 04:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynQ
Yeah - it really helped us. The clipboard was in the truck on the other side of the park.
nope not true.. i had the papers at the end of the table attached to the flyers. :) and even by that time.. I figured out the times and they were in the head.
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News Flash:
"A mans worth is judged by the weight of his integrity "

You know your getting older when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy


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Unread 08-25-2004, 04:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQchef33
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynQ
Yeah - it really helped us. The clipboard was in the truck on the other side of the park.
nope not true.. i had the papers at the end of the table attached to the flyers. :) and even by that time.. I figured out the times and they were in the head.
dont u dare comment about whats in the head.
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News Flash:
"A mans worth is judged by the weight of his integrity "

You know your getting older when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy


Smoke on KC.
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Unread 08-25-2004, 05:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BBQchef33
BACK ON TOPIC!!!
Doesnt appear to have ever left.

Smells better too
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Unread 08-25-2004, 06:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willkat98
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQchef33
BACK ON TOPIC!!!
Doesnt appear to have ever left.

Smells better too
Wise arse... u set me up. grrrrrrrrrrrr
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News Flash:
"A mans worth is judged by the weight of his integrity "

You know your getting older when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy


Smoke on KC.
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Unread 08-25-2004, 07:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Timekeeper
I thought I did a credible job of screaming, "We're in the window! Go, go!!" :D A great big clock would have been VERY welcome, though.
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Unread 08-26-2004, 09:36 AM   #15
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Forgot the most important rule on our team!

We are here to have fun!

The clipboard is a good idea. We do that so that we have a map of the event, so to speak. Gotta now if you can sip your beer or do you have to chug it!
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