Mmmmmm. That’s the sound made after tasting a particularly good piece of barbecued meat. If you know good food and enjoy the taste of barbecue (BBQ), the opportunity of a lifetime is coming your way. In one magic afternoon, you can obtain the training to become a barbeque judge! Yes, you can attend BBQ festivals up and down the Carolinas and elsewhere, be ushered into those special areas that say “Judges Only!” and taste plate after plate of the area’s best examples of the art of the cooker and grill. Men and women will tip their griller covers at you.
The Southern BBQ Network (SBN), will be holding a class right here in Myrtle Beach on Saturday Sept. 24. SBN, an organization founded in 2010. trains BBQ Judges to appraise the quality of entries in local community charity events in North and South Carolina and Georgia. The four hours of training consist of learning the elements of Barbecue and the organization’s judging system. At present, the group regularly judges fourteen charity events and each year, others are added to their roster. In past years, judges from SBN have been a part of World BBQ Championship contests in Las Vegas, and have been asked to appear on Travel Channel and Discover Channel shows featuring BBQ goodness. In addition, SBN makes a charitable contribution to a local group, which , in the past, has been to Shriner Children’s Hospital, Red Cross and others. All judges volunteer their time.
The charge for the Sept. 24 class is $25. For that fee, you will spend four hours, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. refining a general enjoyment of BBQ into skilled appreciation of the art.
What you get for your money is more than many mouthfuls of delicious barbecued meats (poultry, beef and pork). Under the tutelage of Jim Harmon, current president and a founding member of SBN, attendees will begin the morning learning the basics of judging BBQ—appearance, aroma, and taste. SBN materials note that appearance is simply how good and appetizing the food looks on the plate. Aroma means, in this context, does the meat smell smokey, spicy, or is there an absence of odor? Taste is a more complex matter. The class will teach attendees how various spices and seasonings affect flavor and how a “cooker’s” skill affects texture and tenderness. Then, those in the class will learn how to score all of these elements according to the SBN “double blind” method.
According to Mike Wright, spokesperson for SBN, proper training for contest judges is important so that participants are assured of fair scores. Wright adds, “Even just going to the class is a fun experience, Where else can you sit down on a Saturday morning, and eat BBQ?” And, at the same time, enjoy the fellowship of like minded BBQ lovers!
The class is good for those who want to become judges and for those who simply love BBQ. To join the class is easy but places are limited, so don’t delay. To register, go to the SBN website and sign up and pay by going to the website, . (http://sbbqn.com) by clicking on the “certification class” picture. For more information contact Mike Wright firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Wright at 843-425-4186.
If, after taking the class, you decide you want to join SBN and put all of your new found expertise to work, you pay the $35 membership fee to join SBN after completing the class. Those who take the course and become certified will be able to judge at any SBN event. Judges are not given monetary compensation.
The first opportunity for Myrtle Beach’s newly certified judges to try out their skills will be here on the Grand Strand, on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. Smoke on the Beach, sponsored by Omar Shrine and Broadway at the Beach, will afford local teams a chance to win prizes and bragging rights while supporting Shrine causes. (see http://www.smokeonthebeach.org/ ) The website has information on how to put forth a team for the contests attendance, and more. And of course, judging will be provided by SBN.
What | SBN BBQ Judge certification class
When | Sept. 24 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where | Courtyard Myrtle Beach Broadway, 1351 21st Avenue North, Myrtle Beach, SC