Until recently only larger barbecue cook-offs and other cooking contests could afford the cost of professional judges.
But the S.C. Barbeque Association has formed “Judges on Call” squads to help smaller events find trained and impartial judges at a reasonable cost.
“We continually are called on to judge contests for chili, chowders, chicken bog, wing throw downs and even liver nips,” said Lake High, SCBA president and co-founder.
“Many of these requests come from towns, family reunions, fire departments and even college fraternities,” High said. Typically, these groups lack the resources to have a large event, but want professional judges to select their winners.
The newly formed Judges on Call (JOC) Squad uses only experienced Senior and Master SCBA Judges.
“Teams of three professional judges will be sent to judge small events,” High said. “Judges are trained and use techniques such as blind judging to remove bias from the process,” he said. “The JOC Squad approach gives smaller events the same opportunity to have their food judged as the big events. By using our professional judges, the winners can take a great deal of pride in their victory.”
A nominal fee is charged to cover costs. Additional information about JOC squads is available at www.scbarbeque.com, or by emailing Lake High at Lhigh1@sc.rr.com.
Founded in 2004, The S.C. Barbeque Association has quickly become one of the largest and most respected state judging associations in the nation. Based in Columbia, the SCBA provides barbeque judging services for around 35 festivals in South Carolina annually.