Thursday, February 09, 2006

I'm Back!! Sort of...

Once again, I have fallen behind in posting to the blog. I have had several things going on lately that have prevented me from posting. I have had some health issues pop up along the way and the weather has not cooperated with my work schedule to allow me to cook too much. However, I do have some things to write about today so here goes.

This past weekend, I had the chance to attend a KCBS Certified Judging Class. It was held in Cartersville, GA and hosted by my new bbq friend, Donna St. Clair. I met Donna at the Jack Daniels competition last year (she is the short blonde in the picture). She has been very busy with her catering and competition bbq team, The Big Deal Texas BBQ Team. Not only did she organize this class, but she also is hosting a KCBS competition the first weekend in June in Cartersville. Check out their website. This should be a good one. If I am not mistaken, it is also a State Championship competition and a Jack Daniels qualifier. Way to go girl.

The class was wonderful. Ed Roith, dean of the judges, was the instructor. Ed did a fantastic job teaching the class. Every aspect of judging was covered and he took all the time needed to answer all the questions that came about. For me, the best part of the class was when we got to judge all four KCBS meat categories. We went through the steps just as we would at a competition. Then after each category was judged, we were critiqued on the scores we had given the entries. The quality of the entries were very controlled and they even threw in a couple of ringer boxes with obvious flaws (red tipped lettuce, pieces not cleanly cut, pooling sauce, ribs falling off the bone, etc.) If you gave a high score on a box that was supposed to be scored high, then you had better have a good explanation. Also, if you judged a box high that should have been scored low, be prepared to tell Ed why.

The two best surprise of the day came just after I arrived. When I walked in the building I saw Lee McWright of Music City Pig Pals. I took one of his cooking classed back in November and it was nice to be able to talk to Lee again. Then, I looked across the room and saw his beautiful wife, Bobbie. If you have been keeping up with the McWrights, you know that Bobbie has had a rough go of it the past few months. I had a chance to talk with Bobbie, one on one, and she seems to be doing great. The conversation was so good I will make another post just for it. Bobbie, it was great to see you out doing what you love best – supporting Lee and enjoying the wonderful world of barbecue.

I took some pictures but my digital camera is acting up on me so I was not able to get them downloaded to show you here. Maybe I can resolve that problem and get them posted soon.

So there you have it. That is what I did last weekend. I am now a Certified BBQ Judge with the KCBS. I took the class, took the oath, filled out the paperwork and am waiting on my certificate (with my CBJ #) and name badge. I am thinking of changing my name to Judge Smokey. Has a nice ring to it, don’t ya think?
Here comes da judge!

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