UK BBQ Mag Winter 2015/2016 - Page 16

So Richard, please tell us a little about yourself, and what you do?

My name is Richard Holden and this year I launched Richard Holden BBQ. I launched the company to change the perception and culture of what BBQ is here in the UK and further afield.

When I was growing up, a BBQ usually meant a ton of meat, typically burgers, sausages and chicken; far too much heat in the BBQ, and food that was burnt on the outside and raw in the middle.

I learned my craft largely while at Weber and just loved going around the country helping people learn how to take control of their BBQ’s and smokers, and use them in a way that produces beautiful food no matter what time of year, or what’s on the menu.

You've just had an experience most of us can only dream of, Judge at the Jack. Please tell us about it.

I decided to go to The Jack so I could learn more about the low n slow side of barbecue from some of the best in the world. I was invited by my good friends Jim and Becky Johnson who are part of the KCBS International Outreach Team and the trip was just EPIC!

The Jack is one of, if not the pinnacle in BBQ because it is a pure invitational event. The domestic teams are all State champions from across the US, and the International teams are chosen to represent their countries based on competition results from the previous 12 months. These teams take their BBQ very seriously and it shows with the investment they make in kitting themselves out.

The teams are cheek by jowl across the hollow, and the sights and aromas wafting across the park would turn any vegetarian. The judging is all very formal, and I believe there were about 100 judges across 15 tables, each tasting up to 6, sometimes 7 entries in a class. Judging is all done according to KCBS guidelines, with a few exceptions for The Jack such as the requirement to include both dark and light meat in the chicken boxes.

JUDGE AT THE JACK

We catch up with Richard Holden on his return from judging at The Jack Daniels World Championship

16