Usually when you bring up the topic of ‘competitive barbecuing,’ images of uncles jostling for control of the grill at a Boxing Day family reunion are conjured into the minds of most people. But for lovers of the craft, it is so much more. Masters of heat, smoke and steam, pit their metal against each other, mano a mano, griller-a-griller, in a display of deliciousness to get your mouth watering – unless you’re vegan, then it’s probably a nightmare situation for you. For years now, the competitive circuit has been spreading across the world, rumoured to have begun in Northern America, and has begun establishing itself here on our golden, sandy shores – Sunshine Coast included.
On Saturday, the 28th of January in the new year, the Wharf precinct of Mooloolaba will play host to the MooloolaBaBQ Festival, featuring fourteen different grilling teams competing head to head for the Sunshine Coast BBQ Championship title for 2017. While the competition itself is definitely the headline event, there is plenty more to see on the day, including live musical performances by The Hi Boys, Brad Schultz, James Sinclair and the Alan Kelly Trio. There will be jumping castles, petting zoos and face painting for the kids (and the young at heart), as well as fireworks displays, a full meat and BBQ expo, market stalls, food trucks and a whole lot more, with plenty of craft beer and Jim Beam Premium Range to taste test.
Barbecuing has long been my favourite method for cooking. You simply cannot beat, for me, that char grilled taste from over some coal-fuelled flames. Barbeque of course, stems from the original method of cooking our meat over an open flame as cave men or what have you, but it has come so very far. With marinades and different cooking techniques being pioneered around the world and brought together in the pursuit of better flavour, it’s a whole new ball game. I’ve always thought myself pretty top-notch, and considered a foray into the competitive circuit myself, thought this may just be the best way to get my start – to see what the competitive world is like, and more importantly, what my competition will be like. So far the line-up of teams hasn’t been fully announced, but features the Shank Sistas BBQ, the BLVD Restaurant Barbeque team, The Bovine Technicians of Cotton Tree Meats, and many more. The title of Sunshine Coast BBQ Champion is sure to be hotly contested this year.
For more information on the festival, visit the webpage on the Wharf Tavern’s website.