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Cains Sizzle in Barbecue Championships

By Dan Hutton on November 22, 2011 in

It’s not the size that counts… it’s how you use it.

That was the case for Clovelly couple Greg and Vicki Cain who, together with two of their mates, recently won the inaugural Forbes Barbecue Society National Barbecue Championships, which were held at Forbes.

Vicki and Greg are no strangers to Forbes as they have been running the annual Flatlands Hang Gliding Championships there for the past eight years.

And it was during recent talks with Forbes Council about the upcoming Pre-World Hang Gliding Championships to be held there in January that they heard about the cook-off.

“Parkes hold the annual Elvis Festival in January every year and the Forbes Chamber of Commerce decided it was time to put Forbes on the map with the national championships,” Greg said.

“So being the foodies that we are, we decided to enter the competition, thinking it was just a case of cooking a couple of sausages and a bit of steak.

“But when we saw the pages of rules for the contest and found out we had to cook four dishes – lamb, pork, chicken and beef – to be judged by four MasterChef judges, we started to have second thoughts.”

One of the rules was that you had to supply your own equipment so Greg called on his nephew to borrow a small Weber Q barbie because it was easy to transport in the car.

Greg said they couldn’t believe it when 20 four-person teams had signed up for the competition with some ‘professionals’ travelling from Queensland and Victoria with their barbecues on box trailers.

“Some of these guys were really serious and a couple of them had been to America to enter contests,” Greg said.

“Vicki and I were standing there with our other team members, Ann Tildsley and Veronica Rebellato, and our small Weber, and these four-wheel drives rocked up and started winching their huge barbecues from the back of the box trailers they were towing.

“Some of the equipment resembled a mobile kitchen and some had flashing lights and all the bells and whistles.

“We were allowed to marinate our meat prior to the contest but couldn’t add any other ingredients on the day other than the original mixture.

“As we are not seasoned ‘barbecuers’ our cooking required a lot of guesswork and we didn’t have anything flash like a thermostat to help us.”

Greg said the judging was very strict and that points were deducted if you didn’t keep your utensils clean and washed after every dish.

“You wouldn’t believe the look on some the faces when we were announced the winners after we won the chicken category and finished second with our lamb dish,” Greg said.

After the success of the competition there are noises now being made to run the competition to coincide with the Elvis Festival and the annual hang gliding championships.

“There is nothing more Aussie than a barbecue and hang gliding started in Australia with Vicki’s father Bill Moyes,” Greg said.

“We will have 120 of the world’s best hang glider pilots in Forbes in 2013 for the world championships, so it makes sense to have an Australian barbecue championship at the same time.

“What a great tourist attraction that would be.”

Maybe the logo on the Moyes hang gliders will now be changed to a Weber barbecue with wings!