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 Judging food contest

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  • Total Posts: 343
  • Joined: 8/21/2004
  • Location: Wailuku, HI
Judging food contest Tue, 05/16/06 5:43 AM (permalink)
This will be my second year judging for a major food event of some of the best restaurants. I want to hear from chefs--what are your suggestions on what to look for? What are things that are should be given consideration but are usually overlooked? If the presentation is attractive but the food is blah, then what? I want to be fair and give credit where it's due.

    • Total Posts: 3661
    • Joined: 11/30/2005
    • Location: Marriottsville, MD
    RE: Judging food contest Tue, 05/16/06 7:53 AM (permalink)
    I guess that I do not understand. I had always assumed that judges in any event would have to be qualified. It sounds like you really are not qualified to judge an event like this. You must be a very brave person ..................or am I missing something?

      • Total Posts: 1196
      • Joined: 11/16/2003
      RE: Judging food contest Tue, 05/16/06 8:41 AM (permalink)
      Yeah, not to be rude. But aren't you supposed to take a class? I know I've considered taking a judging class for Q.

        • Total Posts: 296
        • Joined: 2/13/2006
        • Location: st augustine, FL
        RE: Judging food contest Tue, 05/16/06 3:10 PM (permalink)
        ok i'll give this a shot
        1- judge each plate on it's own merit.
        2- leave your personal taste bias at home. when the judges in the florida bbq association can do this i will go back to competing again.
        3- even though i can't understand why they don't have a judging criteria this will get you in the ballpark. 15% presentation,75% taste,10% originality.

          • Total Posts: 534
          • Joined: 11/12/2003
          • Location: new holland, PA
          RE: Judging food contest Fri, 05/19/06 8:33 AM (permalink)
          you would think, that judges would be highly qualified. one thing for sure, that i feel strongly about, is judges that smoke tobacco.
          well, there aint no way in hadees they can accurately determine aroma, with impaired nostrils.. it took me months, after kicking tobacco, before i could smell properly. if you smokers dont believe me, try walking into a grocery store you have never been in before, and close you eyes. you should be able to determine where the veggies are, the hot bar, the soaps, all from your nose. if you cant, dont be a judge in a food contest. i find it disprespectful for someone who smokes, to try to criticize my food. they should know what they are missing...aroma, and taste buds,,,,,

            • Total Posts: 3175
            • Joined: 8/15/2005
            • Location: Ipswich Ma
            RE: Judging food contest Fri, 05/19/06 12:42 PM (permalink)
            It's an old one but I never fail to laugh. Chow Jim

              • Total Posts: 602
              • Joined: 3/8/2006
              • Location: Deerfield, IL
              RE: Judging food contest Fri, 05/19/06 2:33 PM (permalink)
              that was TOO funny!
              3 people just looked into my cube to see why I was laughing so loud...oops!
                Dr of BBQ

                • Total Posts: 3716
                • Joined: 10/11/2004
                • Location: Springfield, IL
                • Roadfood Insider
                RE: Judging food contest Thu, 05/25/06 3:07 PM (permalink)
                I'm a Certified Kansas City BBQ Society Judge and I'm currently completing the requirements to be certified as a Master Judge. At the same time I end up in some area BBQ contest that don't have certified judges, and they make me crazy. I don't know why I torture myself by entering those events. The judges don't understand what they are supposed to look for and do a disservice to the contest and the entrants.
                Why doesn’t the contest offer it’s judges a criteria for the contest. I've also found the contest that don't bother to get good judges are usually poorly run in other areas. The worst of them gather a bunch of celebrates together (radio TV personalities, elected officials) that can’t cook a lick. By the way I spent 20 + years in radio and TV. Although I appreciate your wanting to do a good job while judging, with all due respect if you have to ask don’t judge.

                  • Total Posts: 343
                  • Joined: 8/21/2004
                  • Location: Wailuku, HI
                  RE: Judging food contest Fri, 05/26/06 5:41 PM (permalink)
                  I wanted to hear from chefs who had personal experience of having their own creations judged, if they felt they weren't given enough credit by the judging, what kind of mistakes they made when entering contests, or even extra things they do thinking they might get a better score.

                    • Total Posts: 3175
                    • Joined: 8/15/2005
                    • Location: Ipswich Ma
                    RE: Judging food contest Fri, 05/26/06 6:16 PM (permalink)
                    What makes a judge? I've been eating food for well over 50 years now. I know what is good I know what is eye appealing and I do know and care about preperation. But for the life of me I dont't think at this time in my life I have to be certified to tell me what I like and don't like. Q judges are getting like those wine snobs, hearty, lightly smoked with the lingering esseance of mesquite and just the right ammount of visable smoke ring to insure the timely exit from the smoker. Get off the pot! The sure judge of your Q is the cash paying comsumer. I did mention in another thread Dr.Q {not to be confused with a name not to be mentioned here} that you do have a great web site and I wouldn't mind visiting you at one of your venues. Chow Jim

                      RE: Judging food contest Fri, 05/26/06 6:30 PM (permalink)
                      I enjoy good BBQ but in no way would I consider my self a good judge in BBQ regardless of what I like, preparation or appearance.

                      I believe a judge of BBQ has to have expertise in that area. Just because we like good food, know what we like and know what please us personally in no way makes us pro's in judging great BBQ. I have my favorites and I could name them and they possibly would not agree with any of yours.

                      I have seen many post on this forum proclaiming the regional BBQ that they personally are acquainted with as the best. Possibly it is but that is not what a BBQ judge is. People in NC like NC BBQ which tends to be vinegar based, folks in SC like mustard based sauce, folks in Tennessee like whole hog smoked for hours and folks in Texas sure do like their brisket and KC folks like theirs, well, I am not sure?

                      I sorta like them all.

                      Paul E. Smith
                      Knoxville, TN

                        • Total Posts: 6025
                        • Joined: 10/14/2003
                        • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
                        • Roadfood Insider
                        RE: Judging food contest Fri, 05/26/06 7:39 PM (permalink)
                        Offlady, everyone shifted this to BBQ. What exactly are you judging? Keep the the excess to a minimum here and hopefully get you an honest answer.

                        Food category wise I mean... (When you say Chef, it could be anything).


                          • Total Posts: 6025
                          • Joined: 10/14/2003
                          • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
                          • Roadfood Insider
                          RE: Judging food contest Fri, 05/26/06 7:46 PM (permalink)
                          Offlady... Just saw your latest post. Wow, off day, bad attitude, bad supplier giving ya $..., too many variables to ruin ones day... And unfortunatly, at times the food will reflect it. Unbeleivable pressure most chefs go thru... Could be as simple as a waitress not showing up... Prep cook that decided to take the day off, and Chef trying to impress someone. These folks dont make enough money to make it worth their time and short life cycle due to the stress..


                            • Total Posts: 8
                            • Joined: 5/7/2006
                            • Location: Murrells Inlet, SC
                            RE: Judging food contest Sat, 05/27/06 1:20 AM (permalink)
                            Well, here is my .02 as well. I agree with Prisonchef (hey Jack) and DrofBBQ. Personally, I believe it is the contest itself that should educate the judges. The cookoff may not be sanctioned therefore the rules and criteria may or may not be somewhat specific. Clear instructions from the "chief judge" on what judges should be looking for, taste, presentation ie: eye appeal etc. Then there are other events that are not sanctioned and are somewhat regional these are often very "subjective" Paul's post. Very hard to compete if you are not from that region.

                            Personally, it infuriates me that judges show up late, or chit chat about how important they are..while those that have been cooking for hours wait..insulting. How can they expect quality food, cooked to my satisfaction, and then it be held for an hour while this person argues on the cell phone with their spouse? OR they (the judges) have their personal favorites probably because they get treated like royalty upon arrival at the establishment and are somewhat "obligated"

                            The event should make it crystal clear what the criteria for judging is and ALL those that compete/judge should understand the criteria. Often I find myself "cooking to the judges" not the peoples choice (the one with the most product to give away) my preference is to cook to MY SATISFACTION.

                            I also believe that NO ONE can judge an event unless they have participated, and/or have an educated idea of what it is like to prepare food for someone elses scrutiny..cept for our everday customers (the ones that put food on the table and pay the bills) Afterall..these are the real judges are'nt they???

                            Great question, but if you have not "been there and done that" then be very careful to acknowledge those that have spent alot of time learning their trade, alot of money preparing and gone to great lengths attending the event. I would suggest trying all the food and judge for yourself first..then see how your choice stacks up against the "winners". In my opinion that is what it takes for you to choose to "like or knock" my product. Because you never know I may just ASK YOU why you judged me like you did.


                              • Total Posts: 296
                              • Joined: 2/13/2006
                              • Location: st augustine, FL
                              RE: Judging food contest Sun, 05/28/06 8:28 AM (permalink)
                              i would suggest that you go to the American Culinary Federation website and down load the judging criteria used by them. having competed in several contests under those rules i find them just and fair and in fact are the same rules used in the culinary oylmpics. ok now for "standards" not to use and i have competed in these contests and find the judging to be amateur at best to downright apalling. do not use the florida bbq association or kcbs rules. the judging standards simply are not there and in no way shape or form are they up to the high standards demanded by the ACF.
                              by the way i am a CSC since you wanted chef's opinions which may explain why if i am competing i demand the same professionalism from the judges that i am expected to exhibit
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