Page 37 - Barbecue News Magazine SEPT 2020
P. 37

When people learn that you are a Cook or a Certi- fied Barbecue Judge, do they ever ask you, "Where is the best BBQ in your city?" Well, for the last three years, a group of Los Angeles-based CBJ's (California BBQ Judges) have been meeting monthly for hands-on research to answer that very question. They would visit different BBQ restaurants and joints throughout the Los Ange- les area to find the best BBQ. You and they know that it is close to impossible to find the same quality of BBQ found in the tent. So to be fair, they loosened the criteria of appearance, taste, tenderness, AND had to answer one simple ques- tion, "Would you send a friend there?". It contin- ued to strengthen good barbecue relationships outside of the competition BBQ tent.
Shelter-in-place put a temporary halt to the get-togethers, but the Judges decided that BBQ was too important to miss out on. Restaurants and joints are opening up and closing in some places, yet technology has chosen to be on our side. The Judges now go to any open restaurant they choose and meet monthly via ZOOM to eat and talk about BBQ to- gether.
The benefits are amazing. They still get asked if they would refer the restaurant, BUT they get back to the camaraderie of the tent and share their passion and enjoy- ment of the world of BBQ. They break bread together, get to eat with their fingers, and are back to seeing their BBQ family.
The group has already ex- panded the ZOOM calls to other cities and coun-
ties in California, even with the potential of con- necting with others across the country. There will be known BBQ guests joining in on the virtual conversation in the next few meetings.
Where is the best BBQ in Los Angeles? Southern California? Northern California? California? We don't know yet. Group Organizer and former CBBQA Judge of the Year Brian DeCoud says, "We're still on a constant search. Each Judge has their top one or two, but that can change at the next BBQ joint. Let's find out!"
To contact the group regarding the BBQ Meat- ings, email Brian DeCoud at:
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