This post will be a little different than some of the others we’ve done on Fiery Food Shows in the past. I will call this one, “Being a contest judge with 50 brain cells or less” or perhaps “How to taste lots of spicy food and give them numerical evaluation.” Anything that says yes I was a judge and lived to tell the tale.
So how does one become a judge a wing sauce contest, a salsa-making contest, or even a chili cookoff? Well, just be lucky enough to be asked for one. We and this blog have been such enthusiastic advocates for the continued success of the North Market that we have been privileged enough to serve as a judge for their various contests.
Being a chili judge takes no special talent, really. That is, unless you count the ability to assign some arbitrary value to tasting various cups of chili and smiling while doing so. See how serious Linda looks while doing her judging duty?
Judging looks so serious, doesn’t it? Look at these not-so-hardcore chili judges setting about the task of deciding which chili is worthy of the crown in the professional chefs division.
As for me, I refuse to take judging so earnestly. I try to have fun with it when I can, as you can see from my turn judging the amateur chili competition. It was a good thing I didn’t take it too seriously, because about three-fourths of the chilis I tasted weren’t all that good or didn’t seem like real chili to me. It helps to have a sense of humor about it all.
When all is said and done, it’s all about a free chili lunch…right? Actually, the subjectivity of what is good chili reigns
supreme. As I did my tasting and judging, I compared my scores and comments to those who judged along with me. As you might imagine, there’s no accounting for taste. It’s a lot of fun to be a judge, but it was also nice to just head downstairs to the CaBoom Chili Company and just get a bowl of red and just enjoy it for what it is. Bon appetit!