Skip to main content

Replies sorted oldest to newest

for us we prefer fba for several reasons.
i think what i like the most is no garnishing is allowed which puts the emphasis back on the meat and not on the art work (and after 15 years of being an acf certified chef i have had it up to my eyebrows with art work taking precedent over taste)
my other likes are the fba is open to everyone from big money teams on down and from our experience everyone helps and is friendly with everyone else.
i like the judging and think it is fair.
the turn in times being an hour apart helps the smaller teams to compete and keeps everyone on a level playing field.
fba changed it's point system and gives points just for competing in an event and i think that is good
so i guess thats why we are only concentrating on fba events in 2005
hi happy new years!!!!!
no i did not mean to imply that at all. i thought the kcbs was fair at the contest we attended last year.
but i do like fba rules better which is just my opinion which is what fred was asking.
i still feel that the advice that i got from tom and bill and others was great for us and that is to concentrate on one association for the 1st year and i am smart enough to take their advice.
again since i was asked for my opinion i will stand by it since it is my honest answer to fred for my opinion.
and i will stand by my dislike for garnishing which i watched reached extreme levels in acf competitions to what i considered the exclusion of taste
i am sorry if i offended you as i certainly dont want to offend you or anyone else but i feel that i did honestly answer fred's question, which was which do you prefer and why.
what we did was tell the fba reps the truth. it was our 1st time towing and our 1st contest. the amount of help they gave us was unreal. we had memorized the rules but every few hours they would stop by and ask if we had any questions. also we had attended an fba contest in callahan florida and talked to fba reps and some teams and all of them answered our questions and made us feel welcome and a couple of teams even offered to take us out with them.
so my advice would be to go to a contest 1st as a spectator and don't be afraid to approach the reps or teams and just get a feel for it to see if you like the ambience.
I think you guys left out some, contest fees and payouts, where they have contests and the number of them, the difference in the judges taste and the overlap of fba and kcbs judges and teams that attend the events, as well as the ratios of the 3 judging criteria and the different scoring systems, man this list is getting long. and these are 2 of the organizations that everyone closely associates, glad no one mentioned MIM or any of those texan ones in this thread...
heck don,
i just heard about the amercian bbq association and i like their rules
kinda reminds me of my teen years street racing in indy
what the heck just had to do it!!!! Razzer
hope to meet you at winter haven if you are going there. we are ez to find white trailer parked crooked
Originally posted by Don Sparks:
[qb] ...glad no one mentioned MIM or any of those texan ones in this thread... [/qb]
Thought the same thing when this was posted. There really aren't many forums talking about MIM contests, entries, etc. And good old Texas, whole different group.

Maybe we all ought to take our FE's and hit MIM too. Right Fred Big Grin

Guess we can start a new thread
With all due respect, the FBA is still a regional startup compared to KCBS, and many of the rules and procedures were just copied word for word from the KCBS manual. Make a few tweaks and you have a new organization.

I'm on the KCBS board and we approved sanctioning for 14 brand new contests at the January board meeting with two additional pending. I expect many more at the February meeting. We held 138 contests last year. I expect us to be in the 180 range this year. We just got some stats that there were a total of 931 unique teams got a call for a top five finish last year.
We had 89 unique Grand Champions, and 5,370 entries turned in last year.
The KCBS awards banquet was just the other night and was attended by 272 people from 24 states. The total membership is in the 4-5,000 range.

I don't think the FBA has reached 15 cookoffs in a year yet.

I'd also add that KCBS cooks offer plenty of help to new cooks. The growth wouldn't be happening if we didn't.
here goes
and i might not be very popular after this.
the american culinary federation took 765,000 of members funds to bankroll the culinary olympic team and then complained to the membership they were short of funds. their competitions are hallmarked by garnish over taste. i belonged to this group for over 15 years but dropped them due to their contest rules and the waste of member money.
drbbq you are right, fba is regional. the rules are similar to kcbs but allow no garnish. i like those rules.
craig you are right the entry fees are high compared to the payout. this might be due to the fba tying into some fundraisers for charity like the upcoming winterhaven contest which is raising money for the boys and girls club.
now as every one knows we are new at competition and i sure don't want to offend anyone.
but we competed at minneola fla which was fba and plant city which was kcbs and here is my thoughts although peggy is pleading with me not to give them
very well organized
city was behind it to the max!!!
everyone was great even when the electric shut down (we let 2 teams hook up to our generators to help)
after judging everyone got together and it was a wonderful time.
2-plant city
judging was fair
vending was to be limited and from listening to the teams around me it wasnt
the general vibe we got was come in take the bucks and leave.
very few teams stayed after judging
many dissatified comments
chalked that up to sour grapes with a grain of salt.
but based off of what we saw at minneola and what we saw at plant city we decided to do fba contest 1st and fill in with kcbs if we wanted to since we belong to both organizations and the nbbqa to boot!!
i really dont feel one is better than the other since that is comparing apples to oranges and dr.bbq you are right we are regional but i dont see where there is anything wrong with that.
my self as a professional chef i like the american bbq association rules of let any smoker compete and i dont bloody well think the kcbs is open to that thought although i might be wrong and if i am i appologize
sorry if i offended anyone
not sorry for voicing my thoughts which as a veteran i fought for
I'm sure not offended and I enjoy seeing the views of a new cook. Like your experience with the ACF, I have been around competitive BBQ for a long time. I was a charter member of the FBA and my KCBS membership number is 943. My reason for pointing out the difference in size is to emphasize that there are some things you can do with 12 contests on your schedule that you may not be able to do with 180, and vice versa.

I've seen sour grapes many times before when the gunslingers come to town. Every contest is different.

BTW, eliminating garnish is under consideration for KCBS this year. The second biggest BBQ organization is the IBCA in Texas. They do not allow garnish but they give you a piece of aluminum foil to put under your meat so it doesn't go directly on the styrofoam. Seems like a pretty good idea to me.

They also tell you how many ribs or slices of brisket to put in the box, and they require a half chicken. This eliminates all possible hanky panky. Not a bad idea either.

While there are some contests sanctioned by FBA that have charities as the recipient of any profits from the contest, there are many within the KCBS that do the same thing. Plus, I believe, there are some FBA sanctioned contests where the profits do not go to a charity and the entry are still a little higher and purses a little bit lower.

I don't think Craig was asking the question to try and get anyone to switch from FBA contests to KCBS ones. It was more a matter of curiosity of why are the KCBS ones able to ask for slightly lower entry fees and still give higher purses. I myself questioned, over on the BQ Forum, the KCBS sanctioned contest held at the Rose Bowl in December. The question should be addressed more to the contest organizers than the sanctioning bodies. It just so happens that the anomaly seems to occur more at FBA sanctioned contests.

Of course, this is all just my opinion. I am sure Craig wil speak up for himself when he gets back on this forum.

BTW, will you be in Wauchula? If yes, I will see you there as I will be judging that contest.

Since I started this thread, I guess I have the right to go where I have no knowledge to justify it.

First, I was thinking about cooking an FBA contest. I asked what was the difference. In all honesty, Craig posted the only relevant answer in this theard. The main reason I started cooking KCBS vs MIM was the high cost of competing compared to prize money. Sorry, it is a major consideration to me.

Not sure what the size of the sanctioning body has to do with entry fee. But if bigger lowers the fee and increases the prize money, bigger is better.

Jack, earlier you said that FBA helps smaller teams compete. If the entry fees are high, how does that help the little guy?

Garnish? Ray, do you think outlawing garnish will change who wins?

I plan to cook an ICBA contest this year. Because it is different.
I do think, Fred, that a lot of teams out there, who aren't experts at Garnish, have problems in their appearance scores. Just look at the comments after a contest, at bbqsearch, and someone is talking that taste/tenderness scored high.

I don't like the garnish, should be about the food, not the appearance of the garnish.

Don't guess it will change this year, so garnish we will in KCBS.
We went to Ray's class so we don't fear garnish. Many equate low appearance scores to the garnish when the reality is the appearance of the meat or the arrangement of the product in the box is the culprit. I may change my mind when we go to judging school this spring, but right now I remember the old saying about people eating with their eyes.

As far as the arguement about it being about the meat, why does KCBS allow saucing in the box? Doesn't that turn it into a sauce contest rather than a meat contest?
One thing I would like to add as someone who is helping organize a big contest this year in Birmingham, is that regardless of who sanctions the event, or even if it is unscanctioned, the organizers are the ones who set the entry fees and the payouts. We are lucky enough to have good sponsorship and a very worthy charity we are working with, but we could have chosen the FBA, MIM(lord help us), or went unsanctioned. We chose the KCBS early on.

My point is that we were going to have a $20,000 payout regardless of who sanctioned it.

drbbq is our rep and much more knowledgable than I,but I'll take a shot.

They like to eat sauce in KCMO? Big Grin

Maybe Carolyn Wells, et al,figured cooks were going to season meats when they cooked them and judges might as well taste them as presented.

Tradition,or maybe it is degrees of difference in rub and juices combined,cooking sauce,glazes,mops,natural juice of an unseasoned product?

Having a rep,or judge,trying to decide if it is sauced?

The judges,in my experience, will sure smack hands ,when they think a cook is trying to hide bad meat with sauce.

Just a couple of thoughts.

excellent purse! When does the contest info hit the street?

good answer. I apologize, but the devil in me makes me mention things that seem inconsistant. In all honesty, I really don't care what the rules are. Jack is right to avoid KCBS if he dislikes garnish. None of us should support contest which make us do things we don't like. The only real power we cooks have is refusing to support with our entry fees that which we don't like. I will avoid contest that don't offer a chance to recover my cost even if I win.
OK, I'm jumping in even with my lack of testosterone! I think if a place that a contest is held is closer to your home and you save the money on transportation that would more than make up the difference of the entry fees between fba and kcbs, then you should choose the less expensive, especially as a new competitor. Prize winnings were the last thing I thought of when we entered the comps because since we were new, I wasn't expecting to win anything, anyhow. The entry fees between Minneola and Plant City were very similar. Both were fairly close to our home.
I imagine if you have lots of money available to travel, there are lots of KCBS events you would be able to attend.
I thought both organizations treated me well. Now, I have to move on and win some more!!!! I'm addicted.
But, I don't like the garnishing. I think it takes away from the look of the meat. And what purpose is the foil idea under the meat? Is it for garnish or a utilitarian purpose?
Grits Boy, Nice looking website, but it took me about four links to find out what city this event is being held in and I am assuming the state is Alabama, as I never did see that any where. I would suggest your webmaster add the city/state right up front on the home page so folks will know.

I've not nearly the experience of many of the cooks here on the BBQ circuit, just a couple years. But, given that KCBS is making garnish optional this year, I plan on going with no garnish at a cookoff in Seattle next month.

Me FEC100 should arrive in the next week or so, and if I have enough time to practice, I may bring it along for its maiden competition. I'll report back on the garnish results and also on how the FE does.
Mornin' Big Daddy,

I applaud you for having the courage of your convictions.

There may not be many experienced CBJs[old habits are hard to break],so it might be a good place to try it.

Hopefully you will have a table captain that points out that garnish is optional,when all the other boxes show up full of salad.

Actually, Dale is right and so is John. Garnish has always been optional, but we actually put those words in the rules for this year. Some board members thought that would solve the problem, but most of us didn't, so we are listening for a year and will decide what to do next winter.

Actually Tom, they have been holding cookoffs in Seattle probably longer than Florida. They just aren't as full of themselves as some of the people down here.
They have many experienced judges and recently many of those have become KCBS certified. They've always used lettuce up there anyway, they just had a couple unique rules and they were a separate organization approved by KCBS.
Wow this tread keeps going and going.. I have been part of the FBA for three years and I have seen it grow. I started out as a cook team and them my team had split. I then started to Judge the contests since I could not afford the entry fees going up. I Like and support the FBA don't get me wrong. I think that they had their priorities out of wack. I think if you are going to organize a contest down here then you need to had so much money from sponsors firt. I cooked a KCBS contest this year entry fee was $50 per and pay out was $1,500 for reserve. I just got a contest in the mail from FBA and the fee it $50 per and pay out is are you ready for this one...$1000 for grand and $750 for reserve. I just don't know ware the money is? I would like to see the money or at least the money that the teams put it all go back to the teams wininng. I understand that it costs to put on of these on but the teams are not your sponsors. I could not have cooked this year if I did not have a team that everything was split. Firemen are not made of money. I think this is a great sport and enjoy it alot. I just think it does not have to be for the rich only. I would also like to see the pubic get to try some good BBQ. I don't know how this can be worked out. But I hate to turn away people that have come out to see us and not have food for them until Sat. As far as helping new teams. We have gotten great tips an have taken class and paid the money to learn. We will help any new team and have. I feel that is just making this sport grow. What fun is it seeing the same team win time after time. Right? Well I am off my soap box now. Lets cook enjoy friends and have acouple of cold beers!!!

I too realize that giving samples to the public is a complex question, but I think it is the key to growth in the sport. Why would anyone go to a BBQ contest much less pay to get in? Sponsors are in it for the advertising. If no one shows up what will keep then doling out for the contest. Right now the best sponsors are the casinoes. How long will that last if we don't attract a crowd? Let's face it, for a spectator a KCBS contest has to be like going to a picnic in a graveyard and finding out that there is no food. Somehow, the BarbaQullosal requires you to give samples. They have huge crowds. Craig, you can have your soap box back.
Don't get me on the "spectator" soap box, the FE forum hasn't seen one of my "Smokin'" posts that get to be rather lengthy. I've spent 4 years on the NBBQA Board trying to push that point that contests need to cater to the public.

Just go to any event and ask the public why they came. The answer, in my surveys where I have done when I've received a response:

1. I want to taste what REAL Q is like
2. I want to meet/talk/learn from Q Experts.

How many events allow this, just a few. Instead the public shows up, has to buy from vendors (who aren't competititors ususually) and they had to pay an admission charge too. Then of course, the teams are busy for turn-in and don't have time to talk to the public.

Public comes away from these not wanting to come back.

Just me 2 cents worth.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.