Thursday, June 14, 2012

Southern Barbecue Network is training judges

The Southern Barbecue Network usually operates barbecue competitions around the S.C. coastal area; their office is in North Charleston, after all. But if you're going to be in the mountains near Spruce Pine in July, they're certifying judges in advance of the Spruce Pine BBQ Championship and Bluegrass Festival, put on by the local Rotary Club on July 20-21.

The judge certification seminar will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 14 at the First Baptist Church Social; Hall, 125 Tappan St. The cost is $25 and includes a barbecue lunch. You'll be certified to judge SBBQN-sanctioned competitions held around the Carolinas, although it isn't the national certification that you'd get from the Memphis in May or Kansas City Barbecue Society organizations. (The SBBQN does recognize those certificates for judging if you already have one.)

Although I'm not a certified judge, I've done a lot of competition judging around the state. And I can tell you that you really do learn a lot about the nuances that separate good barbecue from great barbecue. There's a lot to be said for being able to read a rib bone.

If you want to register for the certification seminar, go to or call 843-568-2220. If you just want to go to the Spruce Pine event, get details on that at