Gustatory Perception Is Reality

It’s not every day that I raise my right hand and swear an oath. Today I did just that, by repeating the following:

I do solemnly swear to objectively and subjectively evaluate each Barbeque meat that is presented to my eyes, my nose, my hands and my palate. I accept my duty to be an Official KCBS Certified Judge, so that truth, justice, excellence in Barbeque and the American Way of Life may be strengthened and preserved forever.

The organizers of the Big BBQ Bash in Blount County arranged for an official Kansas City Barbeque Society certification class. It’s part of a long-range plan to make their 2014 contest an officially sanctioned event. They invited me to take the class and to be a judge at this year’s non-sanctioned contest, and presumably next year’s. I was a judge at their 2011 and 2012 events too.

For the purposes of the class, we tasted chicken, ribs, pork and brisket that had been prepared by George Ewart, owner of Dead End BBQ restaurant and organizer of the Rocky Top BBQ Cook-Off. The meat was cooked perfectly but they tried to trick us on some aspects of the presentation to make sure we had paid attention to the instructions. Our teachers were Carol and Randy Bigler, who are official KCBS Contest Reps. I was seated at the same table as Chris Grove of

During the class, Carol made several references to the official newsletter, “The Bullsheet.” She only mispronounced the newsletter’s title once.

KCBS certification class materials George Ewart of Dead End BBQ prepares food for KCBS certification class

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