The art of the BBQ

Local BBQ enthusiasts will have a chance to learn from the best of the best when American chef and restaurateur Charlie McKenna visits New Zealand next month.

A two-time world BBQ champion, McKenna is famous for his Lillie’s Q restaurants in Chicago and California, where his special brand of timeless Southern cooking has won critical praise and spawned the award-winning Lillie’s Q range of BBQ sauces, rubs, snacks and protein.

McKenna is heading to Auckland in February to attend meat and music festival Meatstock, and will share his expertise at a one-off BBQ masterclass at Hallertau Brewery in Riverhead.

Growing up in South Carolina where BBQ is a way of life, McKenna went on to study at New York’s Culinary Institute of America, before cooking under legendary chef Norman Van Aken in Florida. He also worked as a sous chef at two of Chicago’s four-star fine dining landmarks, Tru and Avenues in the Peninsula Hotel.

McKenna’s first trip to New Zealand will see him continue his mission to bring the evolution of Southern cuisine to the masses.

“I have been so impressed by the innovative, live fire grilling techniques coming out of New Zealand, that I knew I had to experience it myself,” he said. “It’s an honour to bring my BBQ style to New Zealand, and I can’t wait to see what kind of new culinary inspirations the destination brings.”