Train your taste buds at BBQ judging school

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You can go from a casual barbecue fan to a professional judge after taking a one-day course during the Smoke On The Mountain state cook-off in July.
The Twin County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s eighth annual state championship barbeque contest will feature the judging school on July 19. The contest runs July 20-21 in downtown Galax.

Last year’s judging school attracted a large class, who spent a day learning from representatives from the Memphis Barbeque Network, which sanctions the Galax event and is affiliated with the famous Memphis In May World Championship Cooking Contest.
According to Smoke On The Mountain’s hospitality/judge coordinator Carlene Poole, the sponsors heard numerous questions from the public every year, asking how to become a judge.
In response to this interest, the chamber sponsoring its first-ever judging school in Galax last year.
The class will be held on July 19 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Galax City Council Chambers, located on the second floor of the Galax Municipal Building at 111 E. Grayson St.
The former president of the Memphis Barbecue Network and Larry Ohrberg, MBN representative and long-time Smoke On The Mountain mentor, will conduct the class. Two professional teams will provide the BBQ and the presentation demonstration for the students.
The fee is $70, which includes all class materials, breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages.
At least 30 students must register for the class to be held, “so we need to have official judge wannabes to register as soon as possible,” Poole said.
Deadline for entry is July 15.
After the class, the graduates are called trained judges. “Once they have judged in a total of three competition categories — which can include on-site and blind judging of BBQ shoulder, whole hog or ribs — from any MBN-sanctioned events, they are called certified judges,” Poole explained.
Only a certified judge can judge the finals in a MBN-sanctioned competition.
Since judges are already selected for Smoke On The Mountain for 2012, these freshly graduated students won’t be able to judge in Galax this year, but they will be allowed to “shadow” the certified judges and get to see them in action.
If they get certified before Galax’s 2013 event, this year’s graduates can judge the ninth annual Smoke on the Mountain.

BBQ Judge Training Class
When: July 19, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: Galax City Council Chambers, 111 E. Grayson St., Galax, Va  24333

Register: For registration form, contact Carlene Poole at (276) 233-3235 or carlene@wiredog.com.

Cost: $70 in advance. Make check payable to Chamber of Commerce Hospitality. If the 30 minimum students to not sign up, the class will not be held and the full entry fee will be refunded.


2012 BBQ School Application.doc139.5 KB