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    Rob Moir shows Zoe Wilson, 6, and Tess Wilson, 10, around at the 2018 Meat Meet.

Expansion chance for Meat Meet


The organiser of a major barbecue-cooking competition in Horsham’s Maydale Reserve next week is keen to explore developing the event into an annual food festival.

A Meat Meet weekend on August 24 and 25 will be one of the largest competitive gatherings of its kind in Australia and Robert Moir of Horsham believes it could expand in the future.

Mr Moir, who organises similar events across Australia, said he could see competitive barbecuing providing a platform for a large-scale community event.

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He added that a barbecue weekend would work best as a part of a collaborative effort and was open to ideas.

“The concept works well in partnerships and Horsham needs to keep promoting big community events,” he said.

“So the potential is obvious. My intention next year is to make it the biggest barbecue event in the country.”

The Meat Meet weekend involves two separate competitions. 

An American-sanctioned State Cook Association competition based on grilling steaks will be on the Saturday. A national championship round of the Australasian Barbecue Alliance featuring various meats cooked ‘low and slow’ overnight will be on the Sunday. Mr Moir said the weekend would involve about 350 competitors, 60 judges and 10 staff members and about 54 individual sites at Maydale Reserve, part of Horsham showground. 

There would also be market stalls and food vendors.

“We have competitors registered from mostly South Australia and Victoria and also some from NSW,” Mr Moir said.

“Between the two events there is $12,500 in prizemoney up for grabs.”

Mr Moir, who delves into an eclectic mix of professional, business, sporting and personal interests, stepped up from being a long-time competitor in barbecue events to running them last year.

PHOTOS | VIDEO | 2018 Meat Meet 

The Saturday event involves about 40 competitors drawing a number for supplied steaks to cook, with the overall winner getting a Golden Ticket to World Food Championships at Fort Worth in Texas in October.

The event also features ancillary categories such as ‘one-bite challenge’, ‘anything on a stick’ and ‘sliders’.

Sunday’s event, with more than 50 teams of up to five people, including Australia’s number-one and two groups, will compete in chicken, lamb, pork, beef and pork ribs categories.

Results will go onto a national leaderboard.

Mr Moir said people could see barbecue teams in action between 10am and 5pm and while food involved in the competitions would be unavailable for tasting by spectators there would be plenty of other food available. 

There is also a late opportunity to sign on to be trained as a judge.

“Results generally come down to appearance, taste and texture and while these events are a lot of fun, there is quite a serious side to it all,” Mr Moir said.

Organisers behind a fledgling multi-cultural Landcare Heartland Horsham weekend earlier this year have also flagged plans of expanding their event to include a food festival.

The entire August 14, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!