Miscellaneous/Anything Butt Entry


Dave from Denver

TVWBB Wizard
Our team registered for a miscellaneous entry along with the top 4 KCBS entries this year, and there seems to be a lot of conflicting information out on the internet about miscellaneous/anything butt entries at a contest.

The prevailing wisdom seems to be that desserts take the cake (so to speak) in the anything butt category since it is usually judged after the 4 KCBS meats and the judges are looking for something different.

However, in the contest that we're doing, the miscellaneous category is actually going to be judged before the KCBS categories. In addition, this contest also has a separate dessert category. I've got an email into the contest organizer to see if she could provide any further guidelines, but I'm not so sure about whether she's going to respond or whether she will give me any useful info.

Since the misc category is before the meats, and since there is a separate dessert category, I'm thinking that dessert is definitely not the way to go here. Last year the top two misc entries were a bacon explosion and lobster tails.

Our team has been bandying about some ideas including a beer-braised smoked elk shoulder, somewhat similar to Larry Wolfe's pepper-stout beef. However, I also have some extensive experience with creole specialties and know that I can submit a fairly bomber crawfish ettoufe, for example.

Rereading this I'm not so sure what my question is - I guess, is the sky the limit on this kind of thing, and have you guys had any experience with what works and what doesn't as far as general types of dishes? I know it's a lot to ask. Thanks in advance for any advice you care to give.
Dave, from what you describe I would go with an appetiser. The first thing that comes to mind is a shell fish, lobster, prawns scallops etc. Problem would be keeping it hot enough. I would keep your selection light and palate cleansing. A really nice shrimp salad might be good with a white wine dressing.
Hope you do well and let us know what you decide.

Thanks for the respons Mark. As I think about this more, it seems like given that you're going to be competing against a wide variety of dishes it's more important than ever to make sure that a miscellaneous entry is visually striking so that it stands out and has the quality of the "go to dish" at at the buffet table, as it were. This is probably a much bigger factor in an open category than in the KCBS categories where all the entries are going to look similar, with varying degrees of neatness, symmetry and sauce consistency etc.

I like your idea of submitting an appetizer type dish and I know that I can craft some delicious shrimp dishes hitting against the creole flavors I'm familiar with. I've never met anybody in my life who didn't like remoulade sauce....
I don't know if this helps but I just got a craving to try deboning a drumstick stuffing the cavity with crawfish or shrimp etouffe, smoke roasting it, slicing it like sushi and topping it with remoulade. Good luck with whatever you try but if u know u got something nailed down I'd follow your gut
Man, tough to say. That's a great idea and it sounds like a dish I had at Emeril's restaurant NOLA around 2001, chicken wings boned and stuffed with potsticker filling, then deep fried. Yum!

A couple of points come to mind from my experience working as a rep with contest organizers over the years.

Everything you find online about open categories is totally irrelevant to this contest so give up on that quest before you confuse yourself into a worried and conflicted frenzy. The KCBS has no policies regarding those types of categories (other than they cannot be counted toward determining GC and RGC).

Every detail about ancillary categories such as an Anything But or Desserts are completely up to the whims and notions of that particular contest's organizer. The rules for the extra categories at the Hooterville Hog Happenin' and Hillbilly Hoedown are applicable to that event only and no other.

First, you have to nail her down as to what her policies are as to what is and isn't allowed in the open category. It's possible she has not thought all the details all the way through yet. You could be doing her and all of the competitors a favor by rattling her cage and jumpstarting her thinking processes about it.

It's certainly reasonable to assume that because there is also a dessert category at the event, desserts would be automatically excluded for turn-in. But, if the rules don't specifically prohibit desserts, there's nothing to prevent a clever team from entering a dessert in the open category anyway and presumably having an advantage over all the other entries.

Second, what are the rules regarding presentation and garnish restrictions in both the open and dessert categories? Anything goes in all? Anything goes in one but not the other? Silver platters and gold leaf allowed? KCBS only? Must the entries fit within a standard clamshell? Does the lid on the clamshell have to close? And so forth...

Make sure you get her policies in writing and that she distributes that information to all of the teams well in advance of the event so the information will be consistent. Few things honk off a team more than discovering an organizer has given conflicting information on different days about the same subject. This leaves everybody wondering which version to believe.

Wherever rules and policies are vague and left to individual interpretation, that can lead to mistaken assumptions as to what the spirit of the category was all about, snap decisions, and ultimately heartburn and hard feelings for everyone involved.

Finally, in regard to what you submit for your open entry, it was always my belief that shellfish allergies were relatively uncommon and rarely encountered in the "real" world.

But, of the contests I've worked where shellfish in one form or another was presented in an open category, I'd say that at least half of the time one of the judges presented with the entry would notify us of their allergy and ask to not judge it. When this happened, another willing judge was brought in from another table to judge that entry.

That in itself is not necessarily a bad thing but it does slow down and disrupt the judging process considerably. This also gives more time for the judges to second guess their initial impressions about your entry as well as allows it to get cold (provided it was meant to be hot to begin with).

Off my soapbox now. Good luck and HTH!