What makes a good food festival? + Friday news

Seth of Best Memphis Burger Fest asked a really interesting question to competitors of his food festival and others on Facebook: What is most important to you about competing in a food fest? Is it prize money that at minimum covers the entry fee? Cool trophies? Bragging rights? Qualification into another festival? Something else? I responded on Facebook but I figured I’d post here as well and go into more detail.

(By the way – in the answer below I am speaking as Paul Ryburn, a guy on a food competition team. NOT as spokesman of the Moody Ques)

In order of importance as I see it:

Bragging rights – You betta’ believe I have been doing lots of bragging about my team’s trophies in Specialty Burger and Bloody Mary this week. Some people on the Facebook thread seemed to think bragging rights are not a big deal. Let me tell you, though, when you earn the right to tell people that your team makes a better anything-goes burger than LBOE… that’s kind of a big deal.

Ability for teams to bring in whatever kind of beer they want – A food festival without PBR is like a day without sunshine. Please don’t take my sunshine away.

(Goal for the weekend: Serenade a can of PBR with “You Are My Sunshine”)

Prize money – A major category win should have a cash prize greater than or equal to cost of entry. Minor categories, not necessarily. So first in Veggie Burger at Burger Fest should at least pay back entry cost; first in Bloody Mary doesn’t necessarily need to. Second and third in major categories should pay out something although it shouldn’t have to cover the entry.

Cool trophies – these are always fun to put on display. However, I would prefer holding an ACME Trophy Co. Model #SX94Z rather than an imaginative trophy that looks like the competition item if I’m not allowed to hold a PBR in my other hand.

Qualification into another festival doesn’t matter to me in the least. Yes, back when Burger Fest was affiliated with the World Food Championships, it would have been cool to qualify, but mostly for bragging rights. Having to take days off work and figure out how to haul our equipment down to the WFC host city would have been quite a pain.

On to the news…

Heels and Faux Killas headline the Dock Party series this week at Ghost River tonight at 8. $5 cover, family-friendly, patio is dog-friendly. Ghost River, by the way, announced that bottles of Midnight Magic Black Ale will soon be in stores.

Tony Allen returns to FedExForum tonight as the Memphis Grizzlies host the New Orleans Pelicans in a pre-season game tonight at 7. I mistakenly referred to this as a regular season game in a few conversations earlier this week. The Pelicans will return for the first regular season game next week.

Former Memphis Grizzlies announcer Rick Trotter has been indicted on four counts of taking upskirt photos of women at the church where he was a leader.

Whatcha gonna do, brother, whatcha gonna do… It’s going to be a new world order tonight when Hulk Logan plays The Front Porch, the restaurant in Beale Street Landing, tonight from 6 to 8, brother. I wonder if Mr. Logan plays “Eye of the Tiger” or “Voodoo Chile”?

That’ll do it for now. Off to work. May do another post at lunchtime.