So it turns out there are “rules” to being a culinary judge. I have narrowed them down to two; do not show your reaction about a dish to the audience and NO double dipping. The second rule is probably more important than the first, at least to the judges. It sounds silly to have to tell adults not to double dip but apparently there are reasons for rules. I have to suspend my reservations about eating “public” food as a judge but did not consider a need to suspend my expectations for basic cleanliness. It is difficult eating from the same plate as others but more so if you think you’re sharing more. I did find the used spoon of a fellow judge on a dessert I still had to taste which elicited deep breathing and forced me to triumph over adversity. You see, Dear Readers, rules (and deep breathing) are apparently required after all.
Avid home cook and passionate instructor