KCQ Takes Title with Taco!October 19, 2011
The competition was at an all-time high for the Reser's Fine Foods American Classics Summer Series Potato Salad category at the American Royal in Kansas City. With 167 teams entered into the event and the field larger than ever, the winning team was going to have to come up with something special to wow the judges. KCQ did just that.
When is perfection not good enough to win? When you’re the Triple A Cookers. Six judges score the Reser’s Fine Foods Potato Salad category and each competing team’s five highest scores are used for their total aggregate score. Each judge can give up to 36 points for a total possible score of 180 points. If there’s a tie, the team with the highest ‘drop’ score wins the tiebreaker. KCQ and Triple A Cookers both made it to 180-point perfection but it was KCQ that had the higher ‘drop’ score and walked away with the championship.
The Reser’s American Classics Summer Series Potato Salad category capped off a hugely popular and successful 2011 campaign giving away nearly $10,000 in prize money over the course of this year.
“Barbecue and potato salad go hand-in-hand. And, we know the best potato salad recipes are often handed down from generation to generation,” said Barbara Jordan, head chef at Reser’s.
Beginning back in April at the Stagecoach Music Festival BBQ Championships, the series appeared at nine KCBS events in total and wrapped up its 2011 schedule at the American Royal.
At the American Royal the winning KCQ team consisted of Gerry Richardson, Janet Ryan and Marty Bodine. KCQ has competed at the American Royal in each of the last six years and participated in the side competitions for the last five.
“The Royal is the best barbecue competition in the country,” states Gerry Richardson emphatically. “At the Royal, we didn’t expect to take first, but we thought top ten was doable. Three out of the last four times, this particular dish has scored in the top ten.”
KCQ took the title with a dish Marty Bodine, the team’s side dish mastermind, calls a “Hot Potato Salad Taco.”
“I come up with a lot of crazy ideas,” said Bodine. “Some of them work. Some of them don’t. This one worked!”
KCQ’s invention, the Hot Potato Salad Taco, had a deep fried potato skin shell with hot and creamy potato filling then topped with cheese, onions and sour cream.
“Just imagine a taco’s shell,” describes Bodine. “A taco’s shell is hard and crispy, just like ours. Then that shell is filled with potato on the inside and topped off just like a taco. It’s a very difficult thing to make and a tedious process.”
KCQ’s creativity and extra effort is what makes the Reser's Fine Foods American Classics Summer Series Potato Salad category so special and likely what pushed their Hot Potato Salad Taco to a perfect score and championship.