How important is presentation when serving food? People say that you eat with your eyes first, so presentation is important. Other's say presentation isn't important; it's the appearance of the food and the taste! I wonder how come the aroma never seems to come into the argument.
In the BBQ competition world, there are two major sanctioning bodies. First is The Kansas City Barbeque Society and then there's Memphis In May. (There are other groups, but these two are the biggest)
Both contests consist of a blind judging element, where only the meat is to be judged, but presentation still plays an important role. If you're cooking in a KCBS contest, your meat may be garnished with lettuce and/or parsley. There are many competitors who feel that the garnish should be removed from the equation. I'm not one of them.
In a MIM contest, your meat is presented without garnish of any type. However, at both contests the meat as presented in the white Styrofoam judging container is judged on "appearance." On a side note, Memphis In May judging also contains a judge’s visit to your cook site where you are judged on whatever dog and pony show you can put on for them.
I cook in the KCBS circuit, and when I start competing this summer, I'll be putting up some pictures of the entries. Until then, well you'll just have to wait. But, here's a link to a blog that has hundreds of pictures of food. Enjoy!
If you are interested in the rules for a Kansas City Barbeque Society contest, click this link to BBQ Dan.
If you are interested in the rules for a Memphis In May contest, click this link to The BBQ Judge.