Monday, March 16, 2009

Competition Grilling Contests

In 2002 my team won the NEBS Team of the Year largely due to putting up big scores in grilling contests. Our 'bread and butter' was fresh made hollandaise sauce preferably with lobster meat, served over perfectly grilled beef tenderloin, swordfish, shrimp or even more lobster. We scored well with the dish even at big events like Jack Daniels and Memphis in May. At some point this recipe stoppped hitting in the money. The judges tastes changed or we just weren't cooking as well. In any case, its been a couple of years since we've won grilling contest on the NEBS circuit. We have some good cooks on our team and have a few big Chefs Choice wins recently but can't seem to figure out the full NEBS grilling program any more.

I think the major difference between a grilling contest and a KCBS contest is the grilling is wide open. KCBS pork ribs are judged strictly as barbecue. Lamb though, at a NEBS grilling contest, could be chops, ribs, shank, asian, caribbean or bbq style. There is no real standard. What are the judges looking for? Apparantly the I-Que team does not know. For instance, at the well organized BBQ Bailout event a few weekends ago our new Jambo Pit operated flawlessly, we put out some good entries leaning heavily towards KCBS type style and did pretty poorly. We'll try again this weekend at the Snowshoe.

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