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I mean season by rubbing grease or maybe sause in the bottom of the box to prevent the product from taking on flavors from the styrofoam.

Jim, I went to judging school this weekend, and the instructor mad mouthed garnish the whole day and took a poll at the end of the class as to who thought garnish should be eliminated. It was about 30 to eliminate vs. 4 to keep. Of course there were only 5 cooks and 29 who haven't cooked or judged at this point. He said he would take the numbers back to the board. Beyond that there are a bunch of folks that think that eliminating garnish will improve their scores.
When I drink a Coke from a syrofoam cup there is a very different taste than glass. Not sure if hot meat really could have its flavored effected that much by contact with syrofoam. But whether it is garnish or foil between the product and the styrofoam, it eliminates the possibility. In MIM where both are illegal, we have painted the bottom of the box with au jus or fat to insure no flavor transfer. Probably just in our heads.
Do you think, in the less than 30 min in the styrofoam that it's going to matter?

If I build my box from 15 minutes after and have to turn in about 10 min later and it goes straight to the table, it's GONE out of the box by 15 min before the next half hour, or 30 min.

They might do something like allow the bottom to have aluminum foil or something to line the bottom.

ALL this discussion about getting rid of garnish is great, but I HOPE KCBS doesn't base a decision without polling it's Members, not just people in a class. I'd just make sure you let Rodney and Jim who are board members for KCBS and who frequent the forum your concerns.
I keep reading these discussions about garnish/abolish garnish. Now I'm not a competitor, just a lowly KCBS judge with a smokette but it sounds like part of the problem is what is taught/inferred in the judge classes rather than the garnish itself. I took my class just a year ago,so I'm not as experienced (or maybe biased?) as some judges, but we were instructed to look at appearance of the meat for eye appeal - would I want to eat this? - and the care taken to make the meat look good rather than just being "thrown in". We were told the rules about what can and can not be used as garnish and told we had to abide by this but were not given any bias as to a box being better because of the garnish or lack thereof. I came out of the class feeling that my job is to fairly judge each box presented on its own merit and that we were not comparing one against the other while judging.

Maybe the instructions to the judges in class and prior to a competition need more emphasis on fairness and the instructors shouldn't bias new judges with their feelings about garnish.

Just my thoughts as a relatively new judge, but it seems that this garnish thing sometimes overshadows the importance of good Q.

Originally posted by Mudgie:
[qb] ....Just my thoughts as a relatively new judge, but it seems that this garnish thing sometimes overshadows the importance of good Q.

Mudgie [/qb]
I think that's the main point of this thread and others, that the whole Garnish discussion and issue have become something of a hot button.

We don't really know what the judge think, but comments made in various forums indicate they are taking into account the actual garnish in their appearance score.

Or at least that's what those who have great tenderness and taste scores think when they see their appearance scores down.

Personally, until they add "comments" and make the judges define their answer, we'll never know.

As an experienced Table Captain, with or without experienced judges, everyone DOES come in with some preconceived notion of what good Q is and they score.

If they had to justify their score, I'd be a lot happier.
I would think the styrofoam taste, if there is any, would carry through a sauce coating, too. I think the garnish issue is kind of nuts. But I'm competing mostly in FBA. I asked about how you can make pulled pork look like it wasn't just tossed in a box? I got a picture of what looked like pulled pork tossed in a box full of sauce. That is supposed to be an above average box, I was told. It's a mystery to me!
My real take on the garnish issue is when someone gets a lower appearance score, the answer is lettuce. Russ is right in that they don't what got them the score but they assume it is the lettuce. The idea that contest have been lost based on garnish is an assumption. It is a convient scapegoat for an appearance score when there is no basis for the assumption.

As for written answers to explain the scores, I see little value from a cooks point of veiw. You will end up with conflicting reasons just as you get conficting scores. From a judging prospective, I don't see the time to give more than cryptic notes. I can't figure what I would do with such info. Judges are human and have different tastes, but too many cooks expect the same score from every judge. At the judging class this weekend, I told some of the other student judges that as a cook that what I would ask is consistancy. Judge every entry the same way.
Originally posted by SmokinOkie:
Is that Miracle whip or will any Mayo do?
Miracle Whip. I have it on good authority that it has more flavor than regular mayo. The oil coats the bottom and the lemon juice neutralizes the styrofoam taste. Sorry Ray, not trying to undermine your new rub.
I think there are 2 different issues here, judges and garnish.

Fred made an excellent point about judges, they all have different tastes, no matter how experienced they are. You will never eliminate that variation. You can account for it mathematically by weighing and averaging the scores.

Short of professional judges, that's the only consistent and fair way to address the variation inherent in a subjective system.

The other issue is garnish. The first part of this question is whether do away with an appearance score. I think most cooks would agree that presentation is important and wouldn't want to eliminate it entirely.

The second part is how to "enhance" appearance, which is essentially what garnish does. There are quite a few opinions on this aspect. As someone mentioned, the most reasonable approach would be to have the KCBS members vote.
Interesting discussion folks. I enjoy reading all the comments on this issue. While doing away with garnish seems to be the hot topic this spring, I agree that a poll of the membership is in order. How's Byron's website doing anyway? Before you answer, count the number of folks that don't list their membership numbers or are yet to become members. Honestly, I'll compete with garnish until we all decide to do away with it, then I'll compete without it. At least for right now, garnish is optional. If you want to turn in your boxes without using it, it is a legal entry. Step right up . . .

Not to speak for Rodney, although I did stay at a Holiday in once and played golf with Rodney...

I think in some of the other forums, the discussion has been alot about people posting who aren't KCBS members. Guess it's an issue of credibility with THOSE folks, but certainly not with you, we know you so you don't have to post your KCBS number here Big Grin

I wasn't implying anything except that a signature on that website carries significantly more weight when all of the correct info is listed. Heck, the entire validity of the website hinges on polling actual KCBS members. Unless the correct info is listed, the preverbal "ballot box" could be stuffed. Of the 38 signatures I saw there recently, only 28 or 29 had the KCBS member number. With a membership of approximately 5000, it is going to take more than 30 members to convince me to abolish garnish.

If garnish is allowed, as a competition cook I'm going to use it. At this point, I think it is one of the aspects that separate KCBS competition from other sanctioning bodies. When the membership majority decides they want to get rid of garnish, I'll be behind it.

Thanks Jim and Rod,

I appreciate your comments. I don't think that Byron's web site is a host to all who are against the use of garnish. Many top cooks that I compete against never post anything on the internet, but are against it. I hope that decisions will be made according to some real polling. I don't know how that could happen though.

I am glad to know my KCBS number, just in case I ever need it to get out a ticket or something. LOL

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