A Day in the Life of a Food Judge

In anticipation of my first gig as a food judge, I reviewed the E.A.T. food-judging method, donned a pair of loose pants, and skipped breakfast. ☺ Here’s a summary of my day at the 2019 Taste of Tacoma in Point Defiance Park:

Kris shows off Food Judge Badge
10:30 a.m. Reporting for Food Judge duty with my fellow “Taste Buds.” We have over 40 entries to sample for Best Entrees, Best Dessert, and Best Food Truck. Status: Hungry!
Collage of food
11:30 a.m. Trying to multi-task…photograph, taste, rate, post on Instagram, repeat. The photography and posting pieces broke down at some point, but here’s a small sampling of the tasty treats. Status: Despite limiting myself to one bite per dish, starting to get full.
Judges seated at a food-covered table, eating
12:30 p.m. Food Judges “hard at work!” ☺ ~Thanks to Ejay O’Donnell (not pictured) for taking this photo and sharing it on Instagram. Left to right: @eatingpnw, @tastytacoma, @traveltacoma, me (@tacomaaromaflavor), and @justheretoeat. Status: Pretty dang full. Are we done yet?
Kris with a colorful cotton candy creature on a stick
1:30 p.m. Still eating. Our decisions are due soon. But first, let’s all take photos with this cute cotton-candy creature before we sample it! Status: SO. FULL. UGH.
Kris with an enormous wooden spoon, which designates the winning Food Truck
2:15 p.m. Judging is complete. Headed out to present the awards. Status: Won’t need to eat for days!
Group photo of the judges
2:30 p.m. One last photo of the 2019 Taste of Tacoma Food Judges A.K.A. The Taste Buds. ~Thanks to Travel Tacoma photographer Matt Wakefield for snapping this photo with one of our phones. Status: Hot, sticky, utterly sated, smiling!
A collage of Tacoma Aroma chefs
2:45 p.m. With my official judging duties complete, I head over to The Taste Cooks stage to cheer on my talented chef friends. Top left: Jan Parker of Jan Parker Cookery with Jacob Howell from En Rama; top right: Thierry Rautureau of Luc and Loulay with Kris Blondin of Devour. Bottom left: Hudson Slater of Asado with Jon Maley of ChūcH; bottom right: Shawn Tibbitts of Tibbitts@FernHill.
Kris sipping a fruit-topped beverage
7:30 p.m. Found a shady spot to sit and people-watch while sipping my Grande Jarrito Loco from Raspados Del Sur. Status: Still full. But thirsty. Thinking that tequila would be a nice addition to my tasty beverage…

What a great day—I hope I get a chance to participate again next year! Speaking of which, looking for an experienced food judge? Give me a shout!


P.S. For a look at the full weekend, check out my Taste of Tacoma Instagram story.

Photos by Kris Hay, Ejay O’Donnell, and Matt Wakefield
© 2019 Tacoma Aroma Flavor

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: