Fasten your aprons, start your gas burners and get ready for an all-out BBQ brawl as LifeStyle FOOD Channel kicks off its search for Australia’s # 1 BBQ’er!
The exclusive new series is a search for Australia’s best tong wielders who will grill against one another in pursuit of national glory. It’s a contest where the chef’s personality is just as important as their cooking skills. The winner earns the title of Australia’s best BBQ’er plus the chance to host their own show on LifeStyle FOOD along with $25,000!
Hosted by Jabba, the series celebrates all the best qualities of home BBQ’ing – it’s all about people having fun with food combined with tension, jeopardy and suspense.
Auditions for the series were held in 11 locations around the country. From these auditions the best 21 contestants were selected to compete in the Great BBQ Challenge and move on to the elimination heats.
Each of the seven heats will begin with three contestants cooking their signature dish for our judges – Ben O’Donoghue (our chef, his focus is food), Mark Adamson (our TV guru, his focus is performance/showmanship) and Julia Zemiro (voice of the viewer and front of camera experience).
Round two of the heat will grill competitors’ TV talent, where they must adlib with a mystery object. Round three is the speed ‘steaks’, where our stars compete head-to-head in a Formula One of food. The final act will see our contestants surrender their tongs for the announcement of the winner (and ultimately three wildcards), who will go through to the next stage.
In the week of semi-finals ten contestants will be simmered down to six. Each episode will see two hotplate hotshots prepare a challenging BBQ menu set by our chef, Ben O’Donoghue. Their showmanship and ‘host’ factor will continue to be scrutinised under the eternal gaze of our judges. The five finalists from each program, plus one wildcard, will go through to the pointy-end of the competition.
The finals are all about stamina, teamwork and variety, as our final six are whittled down to two. In each program one contestant will be asked to leave. In the first episode our six finalists get back to basics in a ‘Survivor’-style boot camp, where they must learn to build a fire and cook a roast for a platoon of hungry soldiers.
The remaining five will then have to manage and run a sausage sizzle for a bunch of children attending an athletics carnival. The twist? The contestants have only a matter of hours to make their own sausages and attract the most customers.
In probably the most demanding challenge of all, the final four will have to perfect the art of Teppanyaki, and take charge of the hotplate in a Japanese restaurant.
The penultimate episode provides the opportunity for the final three to again cook their signature dish – this time in a top restaurant for a table of distinguished guests. What have our contestants learned? What would they change? How has their character developed? At the end of this episode one will be asked to leave, and then it’s time for our viewers to vote for the remaining two.
What could be more Australian than a BBQ on Australia Day? Such is the setting for our live grand final. As the final votes are tallied we revisit the peaks and troughs of our BBQ odyssey, and the many new friends we’ve won and lost along the way.
Finally, it’s time for one of our finalists to step out of the backyard into the spotlight and be crowned Australia’s best BBQ’er. Who will have what it takes to win this sizzling challenge?
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For more information and recipes from this series, click here.