Meatstock Auckland announces special guests


Six new special guests have been announced for Meatstock Auckland.

Two-time world champion pitmaster Charlie Mckenna will be running demonstrations for punters at Meatstock. This fiery chef will bring his award-winning competition barbecue and timeless Southern cooking technique to Auckland. McKenna has won numerous awards in the competition barbecue circuit including two first place wins at Memphis – which is widely regarded as the world championship of barbecue. McKenna focused on his barbecue roots opening Lillie’s Q (named after his South Carolinian grandmother, Lillie, and his father, Quito) and expanding the business further across the country. Their speciality is slow smoking pork shoulder, tri tip, baby back ribs, hot links and chicken in custom-built smokers over peach wood.

Diva Q (aka Danielle Bennett) lives by her own trademark ‘Life is too short for bad BBQ!’. Certified barbecue and grilling expert, pitmaster, celebrated TV Host, barbecue teacher, best selling author and former world grilling champion, not only is Diva Q well respected in the world of ribs and rubs but is also an industry leader with over 400 awards and has taught over 10,000+ students about barbecue. This influential woman is an expert barbecue judge on the Food network, BBQ Pitmasters, The Travel Channel America Grills and soon to be Meatstock Auckland.

Joining the pitmasters will be Sean Connolly, whose passion for quality meat and barbecue is unwavering. It is this discovery that led him to open award-winning restaurant ‘The Grill’ by Sean Connolly at SKYCITY Auckland in 2011. Also hosting his very own TV show ‘Sean’s Kitchen’, Sean was able to meet and collaborate with Texas’s best barbecue specialists. During his time in Austin, he researched everything from traditional southern cuisine to Texas BBQ. After working alongside some of Texas’ best, Sean spread his barbecue wings to many different events across ANZ receiving much praise and plenty of awards for his efforts in barbecue.

Meatstock will also be welcoming homegrown favourites Ants Franklin and Jared Macdonald plus Australian Big Willy, as flaming hot barbecue guests to run demonstrations for the public. The 18 year highly experienced chef Ants Franklin will be showcasing his take on the American ‘Low n Slow’ method where his traditional cooking roots stem from preparing meat and food over hot rocks (Umu). Macdonald has barbecued over 30 tonnes of ribs, butts, wings and briskets after finding his love and passion in South Carolina. From creating barbecue teams to competing at all major events at ANZ, he is highly experienced when it comes to barbecue. Big Willy will also be hitting the Meatstock stage, also known as Michael Willcocks, he founded one of the first competitive barbecue teams in Australia, Bad Ass BBQ. This team has taken on world stages like ‘Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational’ and are looking to scoop up more trophies this year.