|This is another example where your pits and grills are mounted to a trailer. This guy uses Kingsford only!|
|From Ernie and Linda Poland, we learned it's essential for reps to spend time greeting every team.|
Now if you talk to some competitors, they have a real misunderstanding of just what the KCBS reps do. Truth be told I didn't know my darn self, I thought maybe their day was gravy. After following Linda and Ernie Poland and John Busch, around all day, I changed that opinion. They really are busy all day and do alot...at this festival, they all really represented the professionalism of the KCBS in the highest regard.
Now John Busch is regular at this particular festival, but Ernie and Linda were new to this festival---coming in on a last minute notice to replace the other two regular reps. Smaller festivals may only have two reps, but once you get over so many teams, you are looking at three. They ran a cook's meeting to introduce themselves and put new competitors through a video training. They did a meet and greet with every team, answering questions along the way. They really reinforced the turn in times and spent a lot of times with newer teams that had questions.
|John Busch: Walking Encyclopedia for KCBS|
On the inside, they make sure everything is running up to par. Judges signed in and piled in from all over the country. We were amazed at how far they would travel to judge a BBQ contest. John, Linda and Ernie ran a quick judges meeting and made sure the turn in times were enforced. Oh, and by the way, the judges and reps don't fraternize with the teams on game day. We threw a million questions at John, Linda and Ernie and they had great answers and advice for us! Thanks guys.
|Joyce Gardner, festival organizer, does a great job with the judge area.|
No Cheating in This Game
What we really liked is that Linda Poland made sure to change the labels on all the competitor's boxes when they came to a table, and mixed them up in a top secret way, so that no one would know who was who. No also, she then mixed up the entries before giving them to the Table Captains so that no table essentially ate the same bbq twice .... essentially this levels the playing field and really evens out the possibility for winning. Many teams sent extra meat in so that after all the judging rounds the table captains and volunteers could nibble accordingly.
It's a numbers game for sure. When Kansas City Barbeque Society says it's a fair and square blind judging process they aren't lying. We watched the boxes from the turn in table get processed to the Judge's mouths. There is essentially no way to cheat and we were in awe of the professionalism of the judges. Joyce and Jerry Gardner were nice enough to let me try some ribs from what they call the "grazing table" or extras. Like a cow in a pasture I grazed some delicious ribs. Of course I don't know whose they were but they were a ten in my book! After the judging was completed, we watched as the reps made sure the scores were compiled and data entered in.
|The car show was great, I'll post more pictures soon.|
Meanwhile on the outside...
The festival was now open to the public and there was a lot going on. The antique cars were to die for and that will have to be a whole other post. There were merchandise vendors and food vendors, the local fire department's PINK engine (read that post later), entertainment and a marching parade were just a few things I saw. Daryyl Mast from BBQ Superstars was getting in as many interviews as he could.
|Darryl Mast from BBQ Superstars was filming on the outside.|
And of course during all this I found the smell of all that judging making me hungry as hell and I found y own time to graze...which I'll tell you about next...my trip to 3 Eyz BBQ and the Livermush Sandwich.......
In the meantime, please visit my friends who keep me writing. You can find the best Australian Yumcha here : Yum Cha at home
|A giant shopping cart hot rod was a good photo opportunity!|
Hey, guess what?
I'm adding more shirts to my store. I have leftover limited anniversary edition shirts. Now you can be a member of my pit crew! Soon I will be adding these: