Wednesday, July 16, 2014

KCBS Certified Judging Class

Wife and kids sent me to school for Fathers' Day -- actually one class to make me a Certified BBQ Judge with the Kansas City BBQ Society. And though I wanted to go, I also had a million things to do around the house on Saturday -- other than driving 2 hours to go to Gettysburg, PA to spend the next several hours thinking about KCBS BBQ Competition rules.

So I was torn, but got up at 6 on a Saturday morning and headed north on U.S. 15, through Frederick, Emmittsburg, and into Harley Hell (a.k.a. Bike Week) in Gettysburg. I entered the room with  25 others who almost all looked largely like me -- middle to upper-middle class, generally chunky, white, middle aged men with circle beards. There were a couple of spouse-like female critters as well. Most of them went without the circle beards.

Once there we had the usual PowerPoint-driven lecture with stories of BBQ contests of the past sprinkled in. There was a heavy focus on the KCBS rulebook and a lot of explanations of permitted vs. non-permitted lettuce as garnish. Then we got to test our new-found skills by eating! Chicken, ribs, pork, brisket. Wash your tastebuds with water only. Don't eat too many crackers. Don't lick your fingers and then touch more food that your neighbor judges will have to eat.

At the end we had to take a semi-hokey pledge to defend truth, justice and the BBQ way.

And then we were told to go find some competitions to judge. Seems like their might be a database of judges that organizers could tap into to make that process a little more automated, but such is life...

Good class, interesting class. I learned a lot about competitions and what judges look for. Not sure I'm ready to jump into that work yet, but it's always good to be prepared. And now I have something new to add to my Linked-In and FB profiles! ;)

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