Blues, Views, BBQ and Hardcore BBQ Judging.

16 Oct

This was our first year checking out the 4th Annual Blues, Views & BBQ Festival in Westport, but it won’t be our last.  So much fun, so much food, so much music.  A BBQ fungasm, if you will. Um, yeah.

Judges Kristien and Danny

If you’ve been following along at home, you remember that we were judges for the BBQ cooking competition portion of this awesome event, so now we’re here to share all the juicy (and sometimes dry) details.  We met early Saturday to go over rules and were totally intimidated by a tent full of KCBS official judges in their official KCBS shirts. No kidding, the Kansas City Barbeque Society people don’t mess around. We had to sit through 20 minutes of instructions and rules, then take a oath. Yep, an oath. Hardcore, yo!  So we were let loose to enjoy the festival for a few hours then we meet up for business at our judging tables.  Oh, and both of us had to be separated according to the KCBS rules so that we wouldn’t influence each other’s votes. Can’t make this stuff up!

Dis is how we judge and stuff

We got to try four delicious courses:  chicken, ribs, chef’s choice, and dessert.  First we had to vote based solely on appearance.  There was some beautiful looking food and some that didn’t look too good.  We then placed our food on paper placemats.  When we all had our food (3-4 depending on the luck of the draw), we tried the food and rated it.  Only until we were all done could we talk.  Yeah, serious stuff, but you can understand why…BBQ is serious business!

Poor Kristien seemed to get most of the bad food (raw chicken and two overcooked salmon dishes), while I feasted on mostly good food, especially the desserts like the delicious apple crisp grilled in a tiny pan, picture above.  But good and bad BBQ aside, we definitely plan on heading to Norwalk during spring to become official KCBS judges so that we can judge a greater amount of competitions and look all hardcore too. Why not?

CTbites Cooking Demos

Judy Roll, of the awesome Tabouli Grill, prepares her lamb dish

As I mentioned, we had plenty of time before we judged to check out the festival and, of course, CTbites stand.  We met Matt Storch from Match in Norwalk who cook up a killer Bánh mì and, as we found out, happens to enjoy OmNomCT! (Cool!) We told him we’d check out Match soon and we’re stickin’ to that.  We also saw the awesome Judy Roll from Tabouli Grill cook up a killer lamb burger slider.  Seriously, killer stuff.  The last chef we got to check out was Helton DaSilva from Barcelona in Fairfield.  He cooked up a thinly cut steak with a salty and herby sauce, similar to a chimmichuri.  Divine, baby.

Pig Races

With names such as Jerry Swinefeld, Snoop Hoggy Hog, and Sarah Jessice Porker, who could keep their eyes away from the racing pigs?  Our team won, of course! We were so proud of the little porkers.  In fact, they were so cute that we felt super guilty eating pork when we had to head back to the judge’s tent.  Aww. :(

Beer and Music

There was a little tent sent up where you could purchase beer from Magic Hat or Sierra Nevada.  We got some brews, listened to some blues coming from the Levitt Pavillion and just chilled.  Right nearby were some fun little vendors, so we looked around and of course Kristien bought a little sunttin sunttin.


One of the coolest things was a little soda cart called Wild Bill’s Olde Fashioned Soda Pop Co.  If you bought one of their metal mugs, you could fill it up over and over for the entire time you were at the festival.  Sweet deal.  They had lots of fun flavors, too, like Rocky Mountain Root Beer (in diet too), Buck’n Birch Beer, Sarsaparilla Six Shooter, Vintage Vanilla Cream, Gatling GunGrape, and Outlaw Orange.  We didn’t get to try drink because we were worried about not having any room for the judging.  You can buy their suds online as well as catch them at countless festivals.

We felt like major hogs by the end of the day, but that’s okay.  It’s just part of being professionally-amateur food bloggers.  Yup, it’s a hard life.  Special thanks to Bob Le Rose for allowing us to be judges and for putting Blues, Views & BBQ together.  Long live Bobby Q’s!

9 Responses to “Blues, Views, BBQ and Hardcore BBQ Judging.”

  1. whitemist October 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    i am a bit slow getting to this post, but blanched when i saw raw chicken and dry salmon – too bad, but otherwise sounds really good.!


    • Dan Del Ferraro October 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

      Yeah, those two parts were bummers, but hey…I didn’t eat them, Kristien did. hahaha My food was pretty awesome. :) I let her have some of my dessert, though, so she was a happy camper. :) Would you try the competition next year…you know, kick some culinary booty?



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