Tuesday, December 6, 2011

KCBS CBJ Class & Fast Eddy Competition Cooking Class

I took the weekend off from cooking this past weekend... sort of... 

Every year Cookshack offers a competition cooking class taught by BBQ legend Fast Eddy Maurin and David Bouska of ButcherBBQ who just happens to be the current third place team in team of the year points in the KCBS.  In addition to this class they have a KCBS Certified Barbeque Judge class as well.  

For those who don't know, BBQ competitions sanctioned by the KCBS are encouraged so seek out as many Certified Barbeque Judges (CBJs) as possible when they plan an event.  The approximately 4 hour class teaches people to be able to fairly judge BBQ to the KCBS standards.   Most competitions will have some non-certified judges, however most have a goal of having 100% CBJs.  

Our class was taught by Merle Whitebook, Master Judge from the KCBS.  He did a great job educating us on the KCBS BBQ standards, how to judge, and most importantly how not to punish cooks for things out of their control!  I thought I understood what the rules and standards were, however Merle offered tons of examples and anecdotes which made many of the "rules" more tangible and real.  

The class consisted of a lecture and Q&A time followed by judging a simulated full contest, complete with lots of good food in all 4 categories of Chicken, Pork Ribs, Pork Shoulder, and Brisket.  After each category we discussed the various scores and "scenarios" which were staged such as a box which only had 5 instead of the required 6 portions of food, or illegal garnish etc. 

Overall, great class.  I would recommend anyone interested in BBQ to seek out a KCBS class and become a CBJ and get out and judge some contests!

Stuart and Red prepping some boxes to be judged 
Photo Credit: Frank Diaz - of Tin Hut BBQ

Merle teaching future CBJs
Photo Credit: Frank Diaz of Tin Hut BBQ

One of the 3 pork Boxes during our judging training.
Photo Credit: Frank Diaz of Tin Hut BBQ

The second day of the class is when things got real serious.  This was an 8AM-5PM of competition BBQ teaching.  Fast Eddy and David Bouska did a fantastic job of covering planning, purchasing, trimming, cooking, and winning!  Fast Eddy has been around the BBQ world for years and complements teaching his great knowledge of BBQ with some of the many uh... "stories" from his many years on the BBQ circuit.  David Bouska's team, ButcherBBQ is currently 3rd in the KCBS Team of the Year standings and his anal retentive... uh... I mean attention to detail, leaves no question as to how he attained that ranking.  Both Fast Eddy and David provide not only their recipes for championship BBQ, but teach you HOW to cook them in the intense world of BBQ competition.  We did a little hands on cooking ourselves, cooking chicken and ribs all on the Fast Eddy line of smokers by Cookshack.  Needless to say... the samples of each BBQ category provided by Eddy and David were quite possibly the best part of the weekend.  

I would highly recommend this yearly December class to anyone interested in competing in BBQ, currently competing in BBQ, or even those just interested in beefing up their backyard skills.  Check the Cookshack website for announcements of next years class. 

David prepping ribs while Fast Eddy watches.

(Sorry I was too busy scribbling notes and eating BBQ to take many pictures of the Competition Class!)

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