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In Reply to: reasoned response posted by FK on May 11, 2011 at 12:37:53:
Most of us here know and trust Steph. She's dedicated and fair when it comes to both the competitiveness AND the fun of competition barbecue. And I can say without hesitation that she does, in fact, like a nice cocktail with good food. And she'll be the first to pour you one, with great cheer and many woot-woots, provided you're not about to go make decisions that impact thousands of dollars in awards.
If it was a low-dollar or no-dollar contest, I'm sure it'd be different. We've cooked in non-sanctioned, bragging-rights only contests where I gladly pitched in on a keg and drank a few with the judges before the judging began. In fact, we do it all the time within the team. It's great fun. But that's not what we're talking about. When you drop a big pile of money on a contest, and there's money to be won, it changes things. If I drink too much while cooking, I hurt myself and my team. If a judge drinks too much before judging, he/she hurts the cooks and the integrity of the contest. So take all the money out and let's all have a beer. Leave the money in and I'm sorry, but the judges will have to wait until they're done. When they are done, though, my cooler is full - help yourself. I got Twisted Tea, Old Style and High Life. Woot!
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