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Thursday, July 28, 2005 

Interesting notes about KCBS Judging

In response to my comments about "judge #5" below, I received a great email from Mark Delashaw, a KCBS Master and Certified Barbeque Judge. Mark provided me with some details I was unaware of regarding the judging process. With his permission, here's what he wrote to me:

"Do you realize that each category was judged by a different table of six judges? The same judge never judged more than one of your entries. Was there one judge in one category who's scores seemed low or was there a low score in every category? One thing I have learned this summer while judging two New England contests is that there is a shortage of certified judges and those judges that are available are not necessarily very experienced; they may only judge one or two contests in a year. The current KCBS rule is to start at 6 and go up or down depending on the product being judged. This may be exactly what your low scoring judge did while other judges may still be in the "start at 9" mind set which used to be the rule."

So, my low scores listed under "Judge #5" appear to have merely been coincidence. In emailing to Mark about this, I did ask him if it would be worthwhile for me to become a judge myself, and he's urged me to do so. There is a training in NH on August 25th and I've emailed the organizers for details. I think it would be a great thing for me to understand better what the judges are looking for in relation to my own competition 'cue.

My thanks to Mark for taking the time to email me this information!


One other thing you should know about judges, not all of them are cooks. I don't know about what the ratio is, but I was surprised to find that there are a lot of "professional judges" on the circuit. They travel from event to event only to judge. They have no idea what it takes to produce the food they are about to eat.

By the way, I am a certified judge and a competitor. Mark is right, go out and get certified. It will help you're cooking a great deal to learn what the judges are looking for and how they look for it. I know it helped me.

It looks as though I'm going to have to wait until next year, as all the local trainings are done for the season. But, it certianly seems to me that having an understanding about what these folks are looking for would give a competitor an edge!


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