Monday, September 15, 2008

Finger lickin' good

After smelling the hickory smoke from my apartment all weekend, I (thankfully) had the delicious job of helping judge the Backyard Grillers competition at this weekend's Blues, Brews and BBQ festival.

More than 50 teams worked throughout the night to present 40 "celebrity" judges their best ribs and Boston butts.

We had professionals at each of our tables to monitor the judging process, which turned out to be highly complex.

We judged on a scale of 5 to 10, but were told that unless we were "vomiting on the table," we should give only 8s, 9s, and 10s. After all, the grillers were out there working hard and paying money to enter. We also couldn't actually talk about what we were eating, which was a lot harder than it sounds. I had to bite my tongue every time I wanted to mmmmmmm over a spicy, sweet rib or the tangy vinegar sauce accompanying a sample of Boston butt.

It's a tough job, I know.

Lots more fun festivals coming up over the next month:

  • The popular Festival in the Park starts Thursday.
  • The Charlotte Shout Culinary Arts Experience runs from Sept. 26-27 in its new location on the Johnson & Wales Campus. It has expanded this year to include seven cooking stages. Highlights include a Mondavi wine exhibit, and, my personal favorite, the Grey Goose Lounge.
  • Charlotte's Oktoberfest will be held Sept. 27 at Memorial Stadium near CPCC. The Uptown Hopper will be offering a bus trip to the event from Hickory Tavern on Johnston Road. Don't drink and drive!