Sue and I attended our first barbecue contest in the early 1980's, at Daytona Beach, FL - A Memphis In May sanctioned event. A few years later I was asked to judge the first MIM contest in our hometown. Hooked on great competition BBQ, I attended a MIM judging seminar in Columbus, GA, with Jane and Roy Barber as instructors. The following years I judged many MIM events traveling as far north as Washington, DC, and several states in the Southeast.
I first judged a Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS)contest in 1998, at Daytona Beach, FL, and also took the KCBS judging seminar at Lakeland, FL, instructed by Ed Roith that year. It took three years and in excess of 50,000 miles traveling from coast to coast to obtain my Master Judge Status, culminating in Flagler Beach, FL, in March 2001.
I was fortunate to be asked to help Byron Chism, ButtRub.com, compete at the Lebanon, "Amazin-Blazin" TN State Championship contest. We were grand champion at that event and I discovered the deep inner fire of cooking competition barbecue. We also won the prestigious Kansas City American Royal Invitational contest that year. As a member of team ButtRub.com we produced many grand and reserve grand championships together, including the Florida State grand championship in Lakeland, FL, in January 2003. Byron placed me in charge of the dessert category for the Jack Daniel's invitational contest in October 2000, we won with our "Sweet-Potato - Pecan Pie". The winning recipe is on our homepage. I have made a personal promise to myself that I would not compete against Byron in reverence to all the wonderful things he taught me. His competition schedule makes my opportunities to again compete in KCBS unlikely.
I became a KCBS contest representative shortly before completion of my Master Judge Certification. Sue also became a KCBS contest representative in 2004. We attend several KCBS events each year as contest representatives. Our closest events are Lakeland, FL in January, Vierra, FL in April, Grant, FL in September, Key Largo, FL and Plant City, FL in November, and Felda, FL on New Years day. In 2005, I became a KCBS Certified Barbecue Judge instructor and teach several classes each year.
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