The smell, the smoke, the unmistakably savory taste. Barbecue is the cuisine Kansas City hangs its hat on, and thanks to Metropolitan Community College-Longview, you can learn to whip up some dishes right in your own home, or learn what it takes for barbecue to be crowned a champion!
MCC-Longview is offering a Certified Barbeque Judge class on Saturday, March 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. ($75 for Kansas City Barbeque Society members; $110 for non-members). You’ll learn to use touch, taste and smell to judge competition barbecue. Tami Morrow, community education coordinator at MCC-Longview, decided to provide this opportunity at Longview after taking a barbecue judging class with her husband before the American Royal barbecue contest a few years back.
“The class was a blast,” Morrow said. “We learned so much about judging and had the opportunity to eat some wonderful barbecue in the process. Watching and experiencing what it took to put on the class, I thought it would be perfect to offer through our community education program at Longview.”
This is the third year MCC-Longview has offered the barbecue judge class. It has drawn people from as far away as Japan. This year, they’re expecting participants from as far away as Maine, Kentucky and Arizona, but the majority come from the Kansas City area.
One of those people is Chris Stewart, special events coordinator for the city of Olathe. He’s planning on organizing the city’s first barbecue competition in March 2019, so he’s taking the class to learn what goes into planning an event like this.
“I’ve been around smoking meats for a long time, but I’ve never been through that (judging) part of it, so what a better way to learn,” Stewart said.
This year, for the first time, MCC-Longview is offering two cooking classes as well. Renowned barbecue pitmasters Jason and Megan Day of Burnt Finger BBQ are teaching a Brisket Boot Camp class Saturday, Feb. 24, 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m. ($105).They’ll cover the techniques for preparing traditional sliced brisket, as well as burnt ends, and they’ll share several of their brisket-inspired side dishes and “next day” recipes, including their American Royal-winning Smokey Kansas City Pit Beans.
The Days will switch their focus to Hands-On Ribs on Saturday, April 28, 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m. ($105). In that class they’ll discuss meat selection, proper trimming and skinning techniques, building flavor, fire management and smoke application.
It’s safe to say the Days know that of which they speak.
Jason Day and his barbecue partner at the time, Aaron Chronister, rose to fame when their creation known as the Bacon Explosion became an internet sensation in 2008-09. It earned a huge spread in the New York Times food section and quickly made the rounds of several national and worldwide media outlets including “Fox and Friends,” CNN, “Good Morning America” and the Guardian.
Jason and Megan hit the barbecue competition circuit right after getting married. “The weekend we got back from our honeymoon, we had our first barbecue contest,” Megan said. A few years later, Megan got involved in the team and to date, the Days have competed in more than 100 barbecue contests together, including 10 years in the American Royal.
After the success of the Bacon Explosion, publishers came calling, and soon Jason Day and Aaron Chronister’s debut cookbook, “BBQ Makes Everything Better,” was named Best Barbecue Book in the World by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. The couple began branching out and teaching.
“There was an immediate shift from being a competitor to telling people what we know, because people were coming to us and looking to us as experts, so we wanted to have fun with it,” Megan said.
Last year was a big one for them. Megan won the preliminary round of the Food Network’s “Chopped Grill Masters,” Season 4, and appeared on the “Today” show in a grilling segment. Their Burnt Finger BBQ team took ninth place overall in the American Royal Open Championship.
To sign up for one of the MCC-Longview Community Education barbecue classes, click here or call 816.604.2030.
View the Spring 2017 Longview Community Education course brochure here.