[Spit-Project] Gulf Wars BBQ competition - sigh

Charles Netterville ck_netterville at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 19 17:38:17 PST 2009

--- On Mon, 1/19/09, gail young <gwynethb63 at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: gail young <gwynethb63 at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Spit-Project] Gulf Wars BBQ competition - sigh
To: "Creating period spits" <spit-project at lists.ansteorra.org>
Date: Monday, January 19, 2009, 6:28 PM

Your Majesty...how about we research a period barbq for the Ansteorran team?
Any ideas out there?  I've done many feasts cooking the meat on a pit..what are the rules of the competition?
Mistress Gwyneth, 
I've pasted the rules that I was sent. The only corrections that have been made that I have knowledge of are that they are now allowing gas cookers to cook the chili, and we have approximate turn in times in another e-mail that for reason I just can't seem to put my cursur on right now.. Elrique

This is the latest news I have. You should know that there will be 3 phases to the judging. 1st will be the Royal Judging.  2nd will be the regular judges and 3rd will be by the populous. This is slightly different from the Judging information below. 

Royal Judging will be your best single dish presented to the Royalty. Time and location to be determined. Regular Judging will be a blind taste test. Populous judging will occur during the GA Social. The winners will be announced at the Gleann Abhann Court.

There will be a meeting of head chefs or their representatives the day prior to the Social. The meeting should last approximately one hour and will address any last minute questions. There will follow a class on Judging presented by Baron Ector and should also last approximately 1 hour. This will cover the standards of judging we will use. I will also provide a copy of the judging forms to be used. 

All meat dishes that are entered into judging will be cooked from scratch within the constraints of the event. Pre-cooked sauces, pre-marinating, etc. will be allowed either on or off the cook site prior to start of the cook-off. All meats must be cooked on site. Contestants shall provide all needed equipment, supplies and electricity, except as arranged for in advance. Contestants must adhere to all electrical, fire and other codes. No one shall have access to the camps kitchen area for food preparation. Each contestant shall supply all meat, seasonings, cooking utensils, barbecue grills and other equipment necessary to prepare samples for judging. Cooks will be permitted to prep or cook the food within their camps with notice given to the event coordinator. All cooking sites are subject to inspection prior to, and during the cooking competition. If the cooking team wishes to cook in the Gleann Abhann Social Area, sufficient notice must be given to the
 Event Coordinator to allow for a safe cooking area. 

A fire extinguisher shall be in clear sight near all cooking devices.

All cooks are to prepare and cook in as sanitary manner as possible. Cooking conditions are subject to inspection by the judging committee at any given time. 
a. Shirts and shoes are required at all times by the cook and all food handling assistance
b. The cook and all food-handling assistants may wear aprons and hats. Period appearance is requested.
c. Smoking or chewing tobacco during cooking and in the judging areas is prohibited.
d.Cleanliness of the cook, assistants and contestants and food service areas is required.
e. No live animals (dogs, cats, etc.) are allowed in the cooking area
f. No contestant’s vehicle will be allowed to enter or exit the cooking areas for any reason after cooking begins.
g. All meats must be kept at 40 degrees or below, prior to food preparation.
The Judges recognize that there may be times that more than one cook will cook on a given pit. It will be the head cooks responsibility to monitor and handle this is a professional manner. Head cooks must notify the Head Judge on multiple entries from the same pit. . Multiple entries in the same category by the same cook will not be allowed.
 No dug pits allowed within the Gleann Abhann Social Area. 
Pit- Any commercial or homemade trailered or untrailered pit or smoker. May include gas or electricity to start natural fiber substance but under no condition can gas or electricity be used for cooking, however, electric rotisseries will be allowed.
The Crown would like to discourage the use of fire pits and open fires but will allow such pits at the Camps determination within the camping areas. Open Fires WILL NOT be allowed within the GA Social Area. Head Cooks must also be aware of any possible burn/fire bans within the Camp area.
Recognized categories are as follows:
NOTE: A combined score in all Categories will be Used for Determining the Grand Champion or Overall Winner.
BEEF - Any Beef or Brisket Only
PORK RIBS - Slab only, (spare or baby back)
POULTRY - Any type - NO Cornish Game Hen
PORK BUTT OR SHOLDER- garnished w/ green leaf lettuce & parsley only (sauces allowed)
EXOTIC - Any meat other than the above categories.
OUTLAW CHILI - Cooked on site
A minimum of one showpiece for each category plus a number of samples that will be determined by the head judge, and announced at the cooks meeting, on the day of the cook-off. Rib samples must have bone in it and can be any length as long as lid will close.
A Styrofoam tray with a hinged lid and without dividers or the best readily available judging container that is approximately 9 inches square on the bottom half will be supplied.
Silver foil must be used in the judging trays supplied by entrants.
All judging containers shall be clean and free of obvious marks. Marked containers may be disqualified at the Head Judges discretion. Cooks are responsible for insuring that the containers they receive are clean and undamaged.
If a judging tray becomes damaged it may be replaced when, along with the ticket attached to the lid, it is returned to the Head Judge.
Garnishes and condiments are allowed. Meats may be cooked with sauces; sauces may be visible or added to the judging containers if they will be offered to the general populace during the Social
Anything goes, but cooks must take a bite of their chili at turn in, before being accepted.
Showmanship and Heraldic displays are encouraged and will be judged.
No time limit. These two categories will be judged at any time during the day. Judges are to remember that while judging these pits and areas, if done so during turn-in times, that they will take this into consideration.
Turn in times will be determined and all teams will be notified prior to the cooking event.
No participating Cooks and/or assistants will be tasting judges in any phase. They may however, be used as table monitors.
The Crown or their representatives will do judging. All decisions are final and will be announced at the Gleann Abhann Court .
The Crown recognizes that there are substantial costs involved in this undertaking. Therefore it will be permissible for the contestants to place “Tip Jars” and will encourage the populace to help defray the food costs of the contestants.

From: Michael Gunter <countgunthar at hotmail.com>
To: spit-project at lists.ansteorra.org; Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Monday, January 19, 2009 10:12:38 AM
Subject: [Spit-Project] Gulf Wars BBQ competition - sigh

So we have been informed of a Barbecue competition to be held
at Gulf Wars. They want the Royals to be judges in addition to a
"Bean Drop" populace vote.

There has even been talk of Food Network coming out to film it.

Um...why is my head about to explode?

I know the people involved have put a lot of work into this and think
it will a really fun event. But it just makes me twitch. Especially the
Food Network thing. That's all we need to continue the stereotype
that the SCA is nothing more than a trumped up Rennfaire who doesn't
even attempt at historic accuracy. What is next? A turkey leg competition?

And, yes, I do know that Ansteorra is hosting a Chili Night party the same as
we have done at Pennsic for years. But I consider that a totally different 
animal. We are having a fun "Texas theme" party in our camp. Yes, it again
presents a stereotype that you can't have fun and be Medieval. But at least
it is a gift given to the camp attendees. We know chili isn't period but neither
are Hawaiian luaus or any of the other rather silly parties that groups host.

We aren't having a chili competition. That's the difference. If a group was
having a party and giving barbecue to the masses, we wouldn't really have
a problem with it. Although I would someday love to have a big kingdom
party and serve beer, ale, wine, cider and period munchies. Just to show you
can actually enjoy period fare. 

I will probably get into trouble for posting this rant because as King I need to
support my people. But as a Cooking Laurel I'm feeling terribly squicky about
the whole thing.

Now, wet chemise competitions? THAT'S entertainment!

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