Sunday, October 27, 2013

How To Be a KCBS Certified BBQ Judge

By Dru Chai

It seemed like only yesterday that I sat through a BBQ judging class. People from all walks of life were crammed into a hotel conference room in San Diego, eager to learn about the strict judging standards set forth by KCBS. Since then, I've judged over ten BBQ competitions. Each judging experience is different from the other, but one thing's for sure -- I always get excited when I'm sitting at the judge's table, ready to dig my fingers into another meat category.

So it's no surprise that the most commonly asked question is "how do you become a BBQ judge?" When I tell them that all they need to do is take a class for a few hours, the usual response is "that's it?" Yes, that's it. But the problem is finding a class that's local. You can search for the nearest class on the KCBS website, or simply go to Las Vegas on November 7.

The World Food Championships official logo...
See the fork and spoon in there? Yes, intentional.

Yes, Las Vegas! The 2nd annual World Food Championships will be held from November 7-10 and luckily for those who are in Southern California or nearby states, now is your chance to become a BBQ judge. Classes just don't happen very often, especially on the West Coast. So if you've ever wanted to become a BBQ judge, now's your chance.

This year's World Food Championships is a bit more low key, taking place in downtown Vegas. Last year's event was hosted by Adam Richman (who has since slimmed down) along with other celebrity judges and chefs. While it was a fun event to judge and attend, I felt like the food competition was overshadowed by all the glitz and glamour of the Strip. I can already tell that for this year, the focus will be on one thing, and one thing only -- the FOOD!

Sign up to become a certified BBQ judge.