UK BBQ Mag Winter 2015/2016 - Page 17

Which categories did you get to judge? and how much BBQ you ate?

As a judge you judge all categories, which is a lot of food! KCBS guidelines judge 3 things; Appearance, Taste and Tenderness. The first is done by presenting the entries to the judges sat along the table.

If you think of someone parading boxes and platters of BBQ food past 6 judges you won’t be far off. It’s meant to be done in silence and without any facial expressions or gestures from the judges. This is meant to prevent one judge from affecting another judges score, and to prevent onlookers from gauging your reaction.

Taste and Tenderness are as they sound, with no single entry being compared to another, but instead just to the ideal of what excellent BBQ is.

Scores are from 2 to 9, with 2 being a disqualification, and 9 being excellent but there’s no such thing as Perfect simply because BBQ is the reserve of the home cook.

I got to judge BBQ sauce, chef’s choice (domestic) food from the homeland (international), chicken, ribs, pork, brisket and dessert. For each round we had up to 7 entrants and as you can imagine the standard was very high indeed. With so much fantastic BBQ on offer, the only shame was the need to pace yourself!

Meet any famous BBQers?

The status of The Jack draws in many of the Who’s Who from the International BBQ Family. This year in the judges barn you had Mike Mills and his daughter Amy Mills of 17th Street Bar & Grill, and Apple City BBQ Team. Don McLemore of Big Bob Gibson’s who won this years’ Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Pioneer Award.

I was sat next to Jim Tabb for judging, the 2010 winner of the Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Pioneer Award and founder of the Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival. I also saw good friend Carolyn Wells, one of the three founder members of the KCBS, and BBQ consultant and judge Ray Lampe who we know from the Grillstock events around the UK.