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CBBQA Advanced BBQ Judging Class Riverside, CA


photo courtesy of Harry Soo

Featured Article

CBBQA Advanced BBQ Judging Class – Riverside, CA

January 24, 2015

By Donna Fong

The Santa Ana winds were blowing fiercely in SoCal during the 2nd offering of our Advanced BBQ Judging class. NorCal instructors like me traveled south to Riverside to teach 67 students what we know and love about BBQ judging. The winds were so strong that my plane aborted its landing only a few feet off the ground. Our second attempt was successful and celebrated with a sweaty round of applause from the passengers. I’m not certain if wind was a factor, but a student didn’t make it to class when he got into a car accident on his way to UCR.

Amber Stipicevich, who taught the Appearance section in Alameda, fell ill and was replaced by our KCBS Representative, Kathleen McIntosh. Ben Lobenstein, who talked about contest organization, was replaced by former CBBQA president, Thom Emery. I spent my freshmen and part of my sophomore years at UCR and returning here warmed my heart. As a college student, UC Riverside validated that my early love of biology was not misplaced and so it seemed appropriate that I came back as a BBQ science instructor.

CBBQA member, Paul Richardson, works at UCR and provided three rooms for instruction, lunch, and breaks. This was held in the new part of the university. So the mahogany walls of the historic Alameda Elks club in the first class were replaced with the clean lines of a modern building and full audio/visual wireless capability. Paul could even setup a guest wireless account if you wanted one.

The Riverside class benefitted from a round of practice and comments. I think most of us were more relaxed and had a better feeling on handle on timing. Students were presented the same topics but in a different order from the Alameda class.

The sections presented were Working with Contest Organizers by Thom Emery, History of BBQ by Aaron Staines, Regional Taste Profiles & Types of BBQ by Abel Tirre, BBQ Anatomy by Donna Fong, Tenderness and Texture by Robert Bass, Ranch to Table by Donna Fong, Taste by Harry Soo, Appearance by Kathleen McIntosh, Roles and Responsibilities by Kelly McIntosh, Advancements in BBQ Judging by Scott Simpson and a panel discussion on Judging Myths which was moderated by Kelly McIntosh.

Collectively, the students in the room had judged over a thousand sanctioned contests. About a quarter of the students were primarily cooks and another third of the class were new to BBQ judging. Given the demand for the class, I was relieved that no one was turned away by the time the class was held.

CBBQA Vice-president and CBBQI Chair, Tim Wong and CBBQA Treasurer, Robert Bass and site coordinator, Paul Richardson worked countless hours registering, receiving payments, refunding cancellations, paying bills, and buying food and supplies. In the background was Judging Committee member, Kay Spencer who printed out the class materials and Able Tirre who drew up the class survey. If you add all of that to the hundreds of hours that the instructors spent designing and developing their coursework, you are talking about a lot of love and energy being transferred to the students.

Kathleen kept the schedule pretty tight and by the time lunch break had arrived, we were all hungry. We walked across the grassy courtyard to take a group photo before having lunch. I didn’t shy away and took my two full halves of sandwich from The SubStation plus some potato salad that was very good. The morning session spurred the lunch conversations around the table.

After a few more sections were done, we all took a much needed afternoon break. Everyone was looking forward to the much anticipated maple bacon cupcakes prepared by Paul Richardson’s wife, Tami. She had stayed up all night perfecting them and they were the single most photographed item of the day. They were lovely and perfectly delicious. Thank you Tami (and daughter Courtney)!


Volunteers, Lori Lieneke, Steve Alvarez, and Merrialyce Alvarez all did a wonderful job and made the class very smooth. Students enjoyed the class and gave it high marks with plenty of suggestions for future classes. Highlights of the class included Aaron’s note that McDonald’s originally served BBQ, Abel’s mention of Memphis dry rub ribs and Alabama white sauce, Donna’s lesson on where baby back ribs are on your body, Harry’s barbell lesson on weighting of scores, Kathleen’s counsel on not having pre-conceived ideas about BBQ, Kelly’s lesson on how we distribute responsibility in CA, Scott Simpson’s patience when addressing comments from the students, and Kelly’s careful guidance of what not to do in the judges tent.

It is our sincere hope that the class presented a solid foundation and advanced training for all of our judges throughout all of California. Many thanks go out to everyone who made this class possible but most of all to the students who thought our class was important enough to spend a valuable Saturday thinking about BBQ.


Photos (cupcakes and classroom) courtesy of Scott Simpson

Join the CBBQA

Our mission is to teach, enjoy, preserve, and promote barbecue as a true American food and to help various children’s charities by conducting barbecue events throughout the state of California.

CBBQA Membership

Upcoming Events


January 2015

February 2015

  • 21 - Guinea Pig II, Rancho Mirage, KCBS Competitor's Series & ToY

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

  • 2 - 2nd Annual Elk Grove Western Festival, KCBS

June 2015

  • 27 - Newport Beach BBQ Contest, KCBS

July 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

The California BBQ Association would also like to help promote your BBQ event. We work hand in hand with all the national sanctioning bodies for BBQ events each year here in California. Information on what options we offer the event promoters of California can be obtained by contacting us. If you have a charity that is interested in putting together a BBQ fundraiser, we would also like to hear from you.

CBBQA Directors / Officers

Board of Directors:
Andrew Soto
Bryan Rice
Bryan Wood
Ed Williams
Jerry Aguilar
Kimberly Moore
Tim Wong


President: Kimberly Moore
VP: Tim Wong Tim Wong
Treasurer: Robert Bass
Secretary: Jerry Aguilar

ToY Comissioner: Steve Wilson

Business Membership: Tracy Allen - PM

CBBQA Bylaws

Public Financial Documents

New BBQ Contest/Class/Event Information

The California BBQ Association would also like to help promote your BBQ event. We work hand in hand with all the national sanctioning bodies for BBQ events each year here in California. Information on what options we offer the event promoters of California can be obtained by contacting our Chairman of the Contest Committee.

Please send all BBQ event inquiries to-

Stephen Franklin

Please provide

  • Event date(s)
  • Location
  • List of what specific info you may be looking for.

If you have a charity that is interested in putting together a BBQ fundraiser, we would also like to hear from you.

CBBQA Team of the Year



Eggs by the Bay

Big Poppa Smokers

Woodhouse Chocolate

Simply Marvelous

updated 10-21-14

1- Simply Marvelous 456

Stephan Franklin ~ Ventura, CA

2- Burnin and Lootin 431

Jerry Aguilar ~ Corona, CA

3- All Hogs Sauced Up 426

Steve Madaule ~ Lancaster, CA

4- ZZYZX BBQ 403

Jason Miranda ~ Rancho Cucamonga, CA

5- Porterhouse BBQ 388

Raymond Porter ~ Banning, CA

6- Woodhouse BBQ 384

John Anderson ~ St. Helena, CA

7- Big B's Down & Dirty BBQ 381

Bill Souza ~ Pacifica, CA

8- Big Poppa Smokers 378

Sterling Ball ~ Coachella, CA

9- Porketeers 375

Dennis McGrath ~ El Cajon, CA

10- Lady of Q 370

Sylvie Curry ~ Ramona, CA

11- Jet Coatings "Monkey Style" 367

Mike Wheeler ~ Huntington Beach, CA

12- Ridge Route Boys 358

Curtis Trigueiro ~ Bakersfield, CA

13- Son of Smoke 352

Zak Galiste ~ Central Valley, CA

14- Knock UR Sox Off BBQ 346

Ryan Moore ~ Fontana, CA

15- Vicious Smoke 345

Steve Aguilar ~ San Diego, CA

16- Left Coast Q 343

Matt Dalton ~ Banning, CA

17- Wild Willys Smokin Hot BBQ 328

William Wilson ~ Riverside, CA

18- Smoqued California BBQ ~ 320

Ryan Chester ~ Buena Park, CA

19 Rooftop BBQ 300

Andy Allen ~ Menifee, CA

20- Pork Daddy's BBQ ® 295

Allen Seamans ~ Sacramento, CA

21- The Pit Crew BBQ of SoCal ~ 292

Steve Wilson ~ Anaheim Hills, CA

22- Ric's Righteous Ribs 286

Ric Gilbert ~ San Jose, CA

23- Hog Heaven Sauces 285

Ira Pupko ~ Temecula, CA

24- My Smokin Grillfriend 279

Jeff Pollock ~ Bakersfield, CA

25 Slap Yo Daddy BBQ 275

Harry Soo ~ Diamond Bar, CA

How to get sanctioned: ToY Event Application

® = 2014 Rookie Team

-Visit the CBBQA Team of the Year 2014 Page at CBBQA Team of the Year 2014 for Complete Official 2014 Standings for all categories.

-ToY Rules can be found at Team of the Year page

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