The Cedar Rapids BBQ Roundup has been a staple of my life for over 30 years. The original event ignited my love for barbecue. Back in the day, we did not have any quality BBQ joints in Cedar Rapids. This place satisfied my BBQ crave. I have a memory of blue smoke emerging on the downtown area, creating an aroma from Heaven. Smokers burning charcoal and wood cooked up pork, beef brisket, chicken and ribs. The smell of BBQ is amazing and it attracts hundreds of people to gather at events like this one. Various BBQ vendors enticed me to try their food. I bought everything. I mean EVERYTHING! All the meats, all the sides. I reserved a hundred bucks just for this special weekend each year. Then one day (about twenty years later) I paid special attention to the BBQ judging. Awards were given out to the competing vendors. It looked exciting. I pondered to myself, "How do I become a BBQ Judge?"
Mission accomplished! We both passed the test and became Master BBQ Judges in just over a year (many judges take years to accomplish this). My interest in BBQ expanded even more as I worked for local BBQ joints such as RED, HOT & BLUE BBQ and later DICKEY'S BARBECUE PIT. All these experiences led to my idea to create BBQ Critic. There was something missing, though. I still wanted to judge the Cedar Rapids BBQ Roundup. After all, that was my initial dream.
When Mike judged the 2010 contest, the judges were given a really nice BBQ judge plaque. They never gave one out again (at least not when I judged). Boy was I jealous. Regardless, we really enjoy judging the BBQ Roundup and hopefully the organizers will invite us to participate again in the future.
PORKY CHICKS BBQ
By the way, if you search Google with "How to Become a BBQ Judge," the first link to come up is BBQ CRITIC (right above the KCBS link). Who would have thunk it? :-) Another dream come true. Thank you, Cedar Rapids BBQ Roundup, for inspiring my love for barbecue. BBQ CRITIC congratulates all contest winners, and all who attended this weekend's event.
-- BBQ CRITIC
CEDAR RAPIDS BBQ ROUNDUP