KCBS INTERNATIONAL OUTREACH TEAMKCBS has expressed a desire to present its cooking to Serbia. In addition to exams and certification by KCBS judges, as well as the Jim & Becky Johnson Cooking School (American BBQ kitchen), they will present American cooking through television appearance on Serbia's national TV stations, gastronomy schools and faculties, and other interested institutions. This is the reason they have announced the arrival of their representative team.
The team consists of three couples, Wayne & Maria Lohman, Bill & Debby Gage, and Jim and Becky Johnson. The Gages and Lohmans are all Master Judges, KCBS Reps, and International Certified Barbecue Judge (CBJ) instructors. About four years ago, they had a desire to take KCBS to Europe and beyond. They had judged several World BBQ Association contests and have been in charge of The International Village at the Jack Daniels for 9 years. The involvement and closeness they feel with the international teams is what led Maria, Wayne, Bill, and Debby to become very involved in their mission of increasing the knowledge and skills of European Competition Cook Teams to successfully compete in U.S. Competitions, with an emphasis on Southern Style BBQ.
Their dear friend and mentor, Tony Stone, was asked if he would like to go teach the cooks our beloved Low & Slow. He jumped on it with great enthusiasm and sparks flying. Tony had cooked on the KCBS circuit for 20+ years, taught cooking classes, certified judges, and was past president of KCBS. We all went over to Germany and held a class. The following year they were going to Amsterdam to work with organizer Harry Havinga, and hold a 2-day cooking and judging class. Tony was unable to go and subsequently passed away the following September. Thus the first European KCBS contest, in Amsterdam 2012, bore the name of Tony Stone.
The team was extremely lucky that 23 year veteran Memphis In May competitor, with multiple Grand Championships, and KCBS competitor, Jim Johnson, agreed to take Tony’s place. Jim’s wife Becky has also competed on the KCBS circuit and accompanied him to Amsterdam. They are both excellent teachers, and since they seldom compete anymore (due to a grueling schedule), share all their “secrets”, sauces, and rubs, holding nothing back. They also have a short class for international teams at The Jack Daniels BBQ.