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Pitmasters cook up a storm

Tuesday 5 July 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Local, National

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Pitmasters cook up a storm
Festival and competition organiser, Tom McDonald (left) at the Barbecue Pitmasters competition. SUPPLIED/22070419

The second annual Barbecue Pitmasters competition was held on Saturday putting an end to the weeklong Raro Fire and Food Festival.

Festival and competition organiser, Tom McDonald said the event was a great success.

“I think we demonstrated that we can run a successful event and the competition is fair and equitable for everyone,” McDonald said.

Coming out on top of the competition was team Mone Mone led by Taua Elisa.

The team came first in the brisket, pork and pork ribs divisions, second in chicken and was the overall grand champion.

McDonald said the competition was a huge step up from 2021.

“The level of barbecue this year compared to last year is moon beams away,” he said.

“Last year it was just a very successful little fundraiser that just went ballistic, this year it was a weeklong event that geared more towards not only showcasing barbecue but also trying to help increase the tourist appeal.”

Raro Fire and Food grand champion team Mone Mone. SUPPLIED/22070415

McDonald said he hoped to get more parties involved in the festival next year.

“The more the Cook Islands own the event and it’s not just barbecue, the better it would be.”

For the future of the Pitmaster’s competition, McDonald said everything indicated the event would be part of the New Zealand BBQ Alliance’s (NZBA) competition circuit. It would mean New Zealand teams could use the Pitmasters competition to count towards the national barbecue title.

The competition this year followed the NZBA’s competition format and had NZ head judge Greg Hart judging the event.