FBA News

FBA Board of Directors Meeting – January 2017

Florida BBQ Association

Board of Directors Meeting

January 30, 2017 at 8:00 PM

 Present: Jim Elser, Kevin French, Matt Barber, Ben Purvis, Robin Yelverton

Absent: Steve Brumm

Recorder: Connie Washam

Guests: Louis Goldman, Tim Giebeig, Marty Hyde, Faithy Harris, Jim Dehne, Russ Frank, Bob Youngblood

Call to Order: Meeting called to order at 8:08 PM

 Approve Minutes for December 2016

Kevin French made a motion to approve the December 2016 Board of Directors minutes.  Matt Barber 2nd

Motion approved.

Business conducted by email

 Note from Kerry Farrell;”I was waiting until the first of the year, which was the deadline I gave the city. They’ve not responded. So it’s probably close enough to declare it dead and move forward.

So, hereby and forthwith, officially and all, can we move the date of the FBA sanctioned event to September 30 and October 1 with turn ins on October 1. It will be dual sanctioned with the KCBS, with their event being September 29-30. I believe the whole thing will be called PorktoberQue.

Thanks,  Kerry”

12/28/2017, Lori Frazee made a motion to accept the date change request for the Dothan contest be moved to the weekend of September 30 and October 1, 2017 (Saturday/Sunday), and to be renamed PorktoberQue.  Kevin French 2nd  The motion carried

Lori Frazee – Yes          Kevin French – Yes       Connie Washam – Yes

Jim Elser – Yes             Robin Yelverton – no response   Pat Brannen – No response.

1/9/2017, Steve Brumm made a motion to allow Gary Washam to get the new score cards immediately.  Connie Washam 2nd the motion.  The motion carried

Steve Brumm – Yes                   Connie Washam – Yes               Kevin French – Yes

Matt Barber – Yes                     Ben Purvis – Yes                       Robin Yelverton – No response.

Although The Smokin’ Flamingo contest in Jacksonville conflicts with the date for the Panama City BBQ Contest, the contests are outside the 200 mile limit and have co-existed for several years with no conflict.  Steve Brumm made a motion to approve the sanctioning agreement from the Panama City contest on 11/17-18/2017.  Robin Yelverton 2nd

Steve Brumm – Yes       Robin Yelverton – Yes               Matt Barber – Yes

Connie Washam – Yes

Steve Brumm made a motion to admit Ed Shemanski into the FBA Contest Representative program.  Kevin French 2nd.

Steve Brumm – Yes       Kevin French – Yes       Connie Washam – Yes

Ben Purvis – Yes           Robin Yelverton – Yes   Matt Barber – No Response

Most FBA contest organizers are unaware of the possibility that their contest could be in contention to become a State Championship contest.  At this date, Alabama and Georgia only have one contest.  After consideration and conversations with regard to establishing some criteria to be a State Championship contest it has been decided that criteria for the Florida State Championship contest should be established.

Connie Washam made a motion to cancel the approved motion to have Mulberry as the 2018 Florida State Championship and that multiple contests be considered after guidelines have been established.  Matt Barber 2nd.

Connie Washam – Yes               Matt Barber – Yes                     Ben Purvis – Yes

Robin Yelverton – Yes               Kevin French – No response      Steve Brumm – No response

Financial Report – Robin Yelverton

PNC $22,876.29

Paypal Account   $5765.57

Total $28,641.29

Writing checks for the reps for Winter Haven and will bring to the contest.

Membership Report – Connie Washam

We currently have 892 paid members

506 judges

9 member organizers

 New members

Individual: Daniel Wagner, Mike Roberson, Chris Watts, Robert Sarazen, Quentrail Carr, Dennis Caves, Kenten Monbarren, Dennis Morris (8)

Organizer: Michael Shelton, Eau Galle High School 4th Annual Smoke Off (non Sanctioned)

Restaurant: Joe Natoli, Sawgrass Smokers

Corporate: David Stiles, Black Dog Firewood, Safety Harbor, FL

 Get well cards sent to Forrest Dilmore (surgery) and Mike Espy (surgery)

Consent Agenda – President

  1. Approve contests, Perry FL, Panama City FL
  2. Approve 2017 Committee Chairman’s

Cooks – Ben Purvis

Judges – Lou Goldman

IT – Gary Washam

New Contest – Dennis Schmitz

Rep – Dennis Schmitz

Marketing – Matt Barber

Kevin French made a motion to approve the consent agenda, Robin Yelverton 2nd.  the motion carried unanimously


Cook Teams Ben Purvis

It is my hope that our judges go to a contest with a positive mind set. Ideally they show up in a great mood because they are going to get to eat some fantastic food that the pitmasters have been working on to get just right for up to 24 hours. We need positive thinking judges not people just trying to find flaws, even if they don’t affect tenderness, taste, or appearance. Celebrate the good.


Taste should be pleasing and represent the meat that it is. The rub and/or sauce that is present should compliment the meat and not be over powering. Rubs and sauces should also be well balanced and complimentary, meaning no predominance of any one flavor or seasoning.


Do not use any individually devised tenderness indicators. Several have been shown on the TV bbq shows, and many are shared in the judge’s tent. Examples include the fold test for brisket. It involves putting a slice of brisket on the plate and folding it back on itself. If the weight of the slice causes it to break, he deems it too tender. That’s nonsense. Another says you should expect the rib bone to turn white after a bite has been taken. What the bone does or doesn’t do has no bearing on the tenderness of the rib. Let’s not allow these and instead focus on common sense and what gives a pleasing eating experience.

Chicken: Sample the entry as it is presented. Do not remove any skin. Doing so significantly alters the taste and tenderness the pitmaster presented to you. This is not negotiable. Also bite the sample to check tenderness, do not pull it apart with your hands. The skin – if presented – should have a clean bite and not present a rubbery or unpleasant mouth feel. The chicken meat should release easily from the sample and should have a tender and pleasant mouth feel as well. If it is chewy, rubbery, or mushy/too soft it is either not tender enough or too tender. Tenderness should be based on mouth feel and the chewing experience.

Ribs: Bite the entry off the bone, do not pull it off the bone with your hands. Your bite should be from the middle of the rib and deep enough that your teeth gently come in contact with the bone. Do not bite the bone but bite to the bone. The meat should release cleanly and easily from the bone, and there should be a relatively clean outline of where your bite was removed from the rest of the meat. The entire piece of meat should not be pulling off the bone with your bite. The mouth feel and chew should be a pleasant experience.

Pork: Should not be overly soft or mushy. If medallions are presented take a bite of it to check for tenderness. There should not be any tugging required. Medallions, chunks, pulled, sliced or whatever should have somebody and maintain its integrity, and at the same time be easy to chew. Your senses will let you know if it was amazingly tender, as opposed to way too tender and unpleasant. Listen to your body and senses. Also understand bark. It does not follow the same guidelines for tenderness. It is acceptable for bark to be considerably more chewy than the interior meat, do not compare the two. Bark will also have much more intense flavors than the interior meat. It is supposed to so don’t mark it down for that. Good bark can be a chewy flavor bomb in your mouth. Understand what it is and how it is different than interior meat, and judge it appropriately. No entry should ever be scored down because a bite of bark was chewy and had concentrated flavor. On the other hand, if you are unable to chew it and eat it, and/or the flavor is bitter or too extreme, judge it as such.

Brisket: Typically presented as slices, burnt ends, and/or pulled or chunked. The accepted standard thickness for slices is roughly that of a pencil thickness. You should be able to gently pick the slice up from the box and it should stay together as one piece. It should be limp in your hand, hanging mostly straight down when held by one end. A simple pull test can be an indicator for brisket slice tenderness. Hold an end of the slice in each hand, and gently pull until the slice parts. If it separates before you pull it is likely to tender. If it separates with minimal pulling it is likely just right. If it takes more tugging and almost (or does) snap, it may be a little too tough. Ultimately, take a bite and let your mouth decide. Your first mouth feel impression will guide you.  Does it maintain its body and chew very tender? Does it maintain its body and take a little longer or more effort to chew? Do you have to pull your bite away from the slice with some force? If you take it from the box, it feels limp (not stiff and sticking straight out, parts with very little effort, and has a great mouth feel score it a 10 on tenderness. Ultimately how it chews and feels in my mouth will determine tenderness.  Sometimes you will be presented with Burnt Ends in the brisket box. A burnt end should be a tender, smoky, meaty bite sized piece of brisket. They are another component of the whole packer brisket, and come from the more fatty part of the brisket referred to as the point or deckle. They are typically sliced into cubes, and there is no particular standard size. Sometimes the point is presented as slices and would not be considered burnt ends. The tenderness for burnt ends is determined by mouth-feel. They should be very tender and offer little-to-no resistance when chewing. “Melt in your mouth” is also desirable, but not to the point of being mushy with off-putting tenderness and texture. You will know the difference between a mushy, grainy bite, and one that melts in your mouth. Since these do come from the fattier part of the brisket, they typically will be very juicy. The juiciness comes from intramuscular fat that is melted down and is a good thing. However if you find unpleasant chunks or globs of un-rendered fat in your mouth after chewing, those can be undesirable and cause a slight reduction in score. To turn in burnt ends in the box is totally the cook’s decision, and points should not be deducted if they are not there. You are judging what is being presented, not what you think should be presented.

Judges – Louis Goldman:

  1. Under Tenderness. While the paragraph may be good information but we feel that it doesn’t need to be in the Judges Manual. We don’t need to explain Moe’s technique, The bone may or may not turn white and we don’t know of any judges that pull a chunk of pork apart to examine the strands of the meat.
  2. Under ribs we see a lot of judges sampling the meat from the end of the rib. We should specify to sample from the center of the rib so the judge can obtain a complete bite.
  3. As you have mentioned that we should judge what is presented to us, in the case of chicken, pork or brisket there may be more than one type of meat in the box. We should judge all the different meats in the box as there may be some differences both in the taste and tenderness of the different pieces.

 IT Committee – Gary Washam:

Regarding the code audit.  Kevin referred a different person who felt he was unqualified but would be willing to refer to another person and be the middle man, at an hourly rate for his services as well as the other person.

  New Contest Liaison – Dennis Schmitz

I will be out of pocket from the Sonny’s until Feb 1, so sending this early.

I have sent emails to all the locations/contacts who have indicated they were serious about hosting an event.

I have heard back from Chattahoochee and they are going forward with planning.  I provided them a major sponsor contact point. I believe they will sanction, if not 2017, then 2018.

I heard back from Lake Wales, Camp Mack RV resort, and they are interested in hosting the Fun Cook.  Tentative discussions indicate they might give a 50% reduction in RV site rentals, and may have a

sponsor,  worth in the neighborhood of $2500.00, to assist us with expenses.  I would consider the position of FBA Organizer for this event.  If the BOD is interested, I would like to discuss parameters before committing.

We had a Fun Cook here previously.  They have a Community Hall, deck, motel, and pool on site.

Have not heard back from the Apalachicola folks, after initial email.

I am assisting a non-sanctioned charity event again this year.  The Hampton Veterans Memorial Fund is hosting a cook off in April.

Rep Committee –  Dennis Schmitz and Lorne Brumm

Ed Shemanski will be the first candidate to enter the new FBA Contest Representative Training program.

Marketing Committee – Matt Barber

Marketing Brief/Strategy

2017-2018 marketing plan:  Jan 2017


How do we grow the Florida BBQ Association? How do we want it to grow? Where do we want it to grow and how can we get this accomplished?

Aims and Objectives

  • To continue to grow the FBA inside Florida and outside its borders.
  • To grow it at a steady pace to maintain the highest standards
  • We can’t grow more contests without more cook teams and judges and reps
  • Increase brand awareness of the FBA inside and outside the state
  • Increase our territory and member base.
  • Get more contests, more teams, and more judges involved with the FBA
  • Develop business partnerships with large Florida based companies and organizations.
  • Target our consumers with promotional materials and information
  • Offer benefits to our members and our contest organizers


  • Home cooks and cook teams
  • Judges and want to be judges
  • Foodies • Food Truckies and Hispters
  • BBQ wholesale and retail stores
  • Civic clubs and non-profit organizations & community events
  • Large corporate sponsors
  • Potential contests organizers
  • TV and print (local and regional)

Marketing Material

  • Printed mailer for potential new contests organizers. To include chambers of commerce, civic clubs and non profit organizations. Current community events that we could combine with.
  • Printed posters that promote the FBA for point of purchase display in BBQ retail stores, butcher shops and gourmet retailers
  • Have printed FBA membership applications available to hand out at contests and to give to members to pass out.
  • Press releases. send to tv stations and newspapers telling them about the FBA and BBQ and to promote contests in their area. All contests organizers should be doing this as well.
  • Keep the website updated. Change the banner page photos. Use it to promote the next contest.
  • Create a simple video promoting the FBA that can be emailed to potential organizers. It can be used on the facebook page as well.
  • Promote other non-profit organizations. “Smoke it forward” could be our tagline.
  • Create member id cards. a simple laser printed version will work. The sheet paper costs under 25¢ per sheet. That will help when trying to provide benefits to members such as restaurant depot.
  • Advertise in trade publications. Include a membership application
  • Use the FaceBook pages to promote contests only. Limit member posts. Posts need to be approved before they get posted to the page. We need to clean up the negative posts.

Corporate Sponsorships

  • Collaborate with other organizations like SCA, Chili competitions, music festivals and seasonal local events like the strawberry festival etc. to add an FBA contest
  • Solicit sponsorships that can benefit members. Like Restaurant Depot, Sam’s, Publix, Bass pro etc. Members could get a 20$ gift card a year etc. or a special online coupon code etc.
  • Promote Judging classes to chambers of commerce, civic clubs and non-profit organizations and potential corporate sponsors. These would not have to be tied to a contest and could be held during the week.
  • Look for corporate sponsors that can help contests organizers. Such as generator rental companies, plumbers, electrician. Their sponsorship would be passed down to the organizers as a possible discount .
  • Have FBA members speak with civic organizations and corporations to promote the FBA and its community involvement.

Marketing Budget

Only budget needed for this would be for printing and ad space for printed advertising. Everything else would be donated by members or sponsors. Possible reimbursement for mileage and travel if needed for speaking engagements.

 Old Business – President

  1. Request the Cook’s Committee and the Judge’s Committee to finish reviewing the judges’ handbook and update the definitions and criteria for judging tenderness and appearance.
  2. Status of the availability and cost of a code audit for the web site. Can this be done in house?
  3. Status of Rep manual rewrite by Rep Committee.
  4. Membership cards and benefits: No clear answer on this. will be mailing issues, or post something on the website to show a valid membership.  Please send the BOD a list of possible benefit opportunities for members.

 New Business

  1. Head Cook members who don’t renew after they received TOTY points. Leave them on the list and if they compete in a contest as an expired membership they will not receive points.

Kevin French moved to keep Teams who have earned TOTY points on the TOTY list and any contests and TOTY points received while membership is expired will not be added to the TOTY points count.  Robin Yelverton 2nd.  Motion carried unanimously

  1. Time frame on when Reps receive their checks, Checks need to be sent out no later than a week after the contest.

Kevin French moved that the rep checks need to be post marked no later than a week after the contest, Matt Barber 2nd.  Motion carried

  1. Turn in boxes table placement. Ask for suggestions from the Rep Committee to standardize the method of placing boxes on the trays/tables. Keeping it in Score Card will limit the number of tools as opposed to a external tool.  Will Cleaver approximated the cost to do this around $2,500 to $3,000. to put into Score Card.  Score Card is written in PHP code.
  1. Computer table seating placement of judges. Would like the Rep Committee to weigh in on this also. Gary will get a quote and look into the details of it.  will determine next month whether to continue or let it go.
  1. Fun Cook – date, location, organizers, new ideas. Possibly make the fun cook about the new teams but hold mini classes or little seminars. maybe have some kind of reward for those teams who do help new teams and their competition have a mini competition for those mentor teams. Ben will put together a list of suggestions to get the Fun Cook going.  If we change the dates of the fun cook will we have to change the date of the beginning of the TOTY year.  Maybe each mentor has 4 teams under their wing

 Comments from members:

Faithy Harris: Are their no judges classes scheduled?

Lou Goldman: you identify judges that tend to score high and identify judges who tend to score low.  there are the middle of the road judges.  There is a problem doing this because the judges are human.

Marty Hyde: He has in the past tried to create an Excel program to try to track judges.  When one logs into KCBS all you get is the table average.  FBA judges would need to remember their judge number and go in and look at the scores to see how they judged.  Judges seminar instructors need to know the taste and tenderness suggestions.

Next BOD meeting February 27, 2017 8:00 PM

Call in number 1-712-451-0294   Access Code: 184732

The meeting adjourned at 9:48 PM