Today we’re checking back in with Mercy Baron, AKA the Baroness of Barbecue, a Certified Barbecue Judge for the Kansas City Barbecue Society and host of the new Hand to Mouth Podcast.
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I originally reached out to Mercy (back in Episode 11) because she hosted the All Forked Up podcast, and I loved the name! Now she’s hosting Hand to Mouth, which also has a really interesting name. While the phrase “hand to mouth” usually has a negative connotation related to poverty, Mercy wants to turn it into a positive phrase because it’s a fun and evocative way to think about eating food.
A retired archaeologist, actor, musician and freelance writer, Mercy has embodied the true meaning of a Renaissance Woman. She is a social media influencer and public personality on the food scene in San Diego and has hosted two podcasts, “All Forked Up” and now, “Hand To Mouth.” She is also the administrator on a secret Facebook food group, filled with restaurant owners, chefs, FOH and BOH employees, food bloggers and foodies in general.
Six years ago, fueled by her love of the sweet and savory nature of BBQ and having watched so many BBQ competitions on TV, she took a class and was certified by the Kansas City Barbeque Society as a food competition judge. This has enabled her to judge at over 30 prestigious competitions including the Sam’s Club Regional and the World Food Championships, at which she was just a Top 10 judge in 2017. She is also asked to judge at many local food events and festivals, which includes the San Diego County Fair. She is currently reviewing over 40 BBQ restaurants here in San Diego, including ones all over the country when she travels. She was recently certified as a Master BBQ judge. To qualify, she had to cook with a team at a competition and take a written exam.
I love the world of food and beverage, everything about it, it’s soo damn sexy! Every time we eat and drink it ignites us sensually…the look, texture, taste, smell, sound all in a unique combination, encapsulating a moment in time. The act of sharing a meal with friends, chatting, eating, and drinking together is so forking perfect. It is a feeling that echoes a sense that All Is Good! Very, Very good!