Sunday, September 13, 2009

Music City BBQ!

When we read where there was going to be a new BBQ contest in Nashville, we were thrilled! After all, we live in Nashville & have many friends in the area. We also competed in our first contest in Nashville back in 2006 @ Opryland so we consider Nashville "Home Field". Well the Opryland contest went by the wayside as did it's replacement the CMA BBQ contest due to space limitations during CMA Fanfest so until the Music City BBQ Nashville was left without a contest. Then late spring we began to hear talk of a event planned for Riverfront Park! Sounded great & we wanted to be a part of it. Several things helped us decide to not compete at the 1st Annual Music City BBQ so we decided to be a Judge instead! It might be fun to be on the "other" side for a change. At least we could participate & see our BBQ family. The Music City contest would be a "Dual Sanctioned" event. Both Kansas City BBQ Society & Memphis Barbecue Network teams would be competing in their respective contests as well as some competing in in both! This was gonna be fun as I had never attended a MBN event.

As it turned out several KCBS teams were competing, Swiggin Pig, House of Q, Jiggy Piggy, Lotta Bull, Big & Twig, Gettin Piggy With It, & Jobeaz to name a few. We headed down on Friday night to check out what was goin on. Many of the teams did not recognize me in normal street clothes! I guess they are accustomed to my "Redneck Style of a DoRag & flip flops! After some socializing & explaining why the DoRagQ Gang was not competing & some great fixins by David of Gettin Piggy With It, we called it a night & headed home to get some rest.

Saturday morning we were told to be at the Judges meeting @ 9 AM. Richard Preston was the KCBS Rep. & he conducted the meeting. Judging would begin at 10 AM to accommodate the dual event. I could not wait to see & taste the contestant's offerings but I was a bit nervous as this was really my first judging experience since becoming a certified KCBS judge. I almost felt out of place! Fortunately there were several famialiar faces & after the Judges Oath I was ready to strap on the feed bag! It would prove to be a long long day as there was at least an hour between turn ins. In summary, I had some very good BBQ & some not so good BBQ! I tried my best not to compare it to what we turn in or what I like personally. It is not as easy as it sounds! This judging thing is hard work! I can say that from a cook's perspective I looked for what was right with the product & not so much as what was wrong with it. Oh I gave low scores where they were deserved but I was fair & when close, rounded up. After judging was completed we hung out & watched some of the MBN judging. That was very interesting! Two of my favorites were Jack's Old South & 10 Bones. Those teams really had their BBQ together. I watched the 10 Bones team during the on site judging of pork shoulder. Very polished & the shoulder looked amazing! I wanted to taste it so bad!

It was finally time for the awards. They were held on the stage @ Riverfront Park on the banks of the Cumberland River. Very scenic! In the chicken category, our friend Jobeaz took the win followed by Jiggy Piggy, The Pork U, House of Q, & Big & Twig! House of Q struck again in the rib category taking the win, followed by Jiggy Piggy, Jacks Old South, Bare Bones BBQ, & Jobeaz. House of Q was on a roll taking first in pork followed by Big & Twig, Swiggin Pig, Charcoal Cowboys, & Jiggy Piggy! In brisket, House of Q strikes yet again, followed by Big & Twig, Swiggin Pig, Jacks Old South, & Charcoal Cowboys. John & Rodney of House of Q almost swept all four categories, which has only been accomplished twice in KCBS competition! Wow what a finish for those guys. We all figured they had the overall win but it could be one of several for the runner up. Wen the dust cleared, House of Q took the GC with Jiggy Piggy taking the RGC! Swiggin Pig, Big & Twig, & Jacks Old South rounded out the top five! Congrats to all!

The MBN results found 10 Bones winning two of the three categories & placing 2nd in the third, taking the overall win! Congrats to 10 Bones & to all the other finalist which included Lotta Bull in ribs! Way to go Big Bull!
As we said our good byes & headed home, I was glad that we participated as judges & got a different perspective of the process. I would encourage every team to get certified & judge a few contests. By the same token I would encourage every judge to compete in a contest. I think both sides would have a better understanding of the challenges each has to overcome to produce & judge consistently. OK, next week its back on the contest trail as we head to Piggin in the Grove in College Grove Tennessee. Let's see if judging helps us or just totally screws us up!

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