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Kiwi Takes Trans--Tasman Title For BBQ Ingenuity

10 February 2005
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The BeefEater "Search for New Zealand's Most Unique Barbecue" competition has revealed that Kiwis lead the way in backyard ingenuity -- beating the Aussies at their own game.

From September last year, New Zealanders were asked to produce the country's wackiest homemade barbecue, with BeefEater prizes up for grabs and trans--Tasman glory the ultimate reward.

Doug Kennedy, winner for the Wairarapa to Wellington region, competed against barbecue enthusiasts from nine other regions in New Zealand and took the national prize for entering the quirkiest creation -- a lobster barbecue.

Kennedy then battled it out for the trans--Tasman title in January, going up against the best barbecue from Australia's nationwide search that was running simultaneously.

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Amid tough competition, judges have awarded Kennedy with the top prize because his barbecue creation best fulfilled the criteria of originality, ingenuity and functionality.

Built at his home in Featherston, Kennedy's award--winning creation -- "Pinchy the Lobster" (pictured) -- originated from an old bathtub that was cut in two and mounted on a widened wheelbarrow chassis.

Kennedy says, after reading about the competition, he chose to create a lobster barbecue because he finds them such interesting creatures and the challenge offered him free reign to be totally outrageous.

"When I spotted the bathtub in my backyard the whole concept came together and, after a couple of rough sketches, I worked on Pinchy everyday to meet the competition deadline," says Mr Kennedy. "Pinchy took two months to build and I painted him red to give a genuine cooked lobster look."

"While most materials came straight from my backyard, the lobster's pincers are made from an old wringer assembly and the barbecue itself is a two--burner I retrieved long ago from the local recycling yard."

The judging panel says Pinchy the Lobster had all the qualities of creativity they were looking for, as well as a great sense of humour, which emphasises the fun nature of this competition.

"The competition has run in Australia for the last three years, but this is the first time Kiwi ingenuity has been put to the test. We were really impressed with the number and quality of New Zealand entries and it was great to see the ingenious creations Kiwis are capable of," says Roly Kerridge, spokesperson for BeefEater in New Zealand.

Kennedy is looking forward to redeeming his trans--Tasman grand prize -- a holiday for two to Australia's Tropical North Queensland, including international airfares and accommodation.

"I've never been to Australia, so it will be great to go and recharge my batteries with a well--deserved break. Pinchy was definitely worth all the work, and building him was a liberating experience," says Kennedy.

Kennedy's national prize includes a complete outdoor package including a top of the range BeefEater Signature Plus Barbecue and an outdoor furniture setting, while all regional winners are awarded with a BeefEater BeefMates 17--piece Chef Kit.

Photos of winning entries can be viewed at from late

February 2005. Regional winners are as follows: Northland -- Travis Dodds from Whangarei; Auckland -- Ryan Sheldon from Massey; Waikato -- Kelly Bland from Huntly; Wanganui/Manawatu -- Carole Pryce from Wanganui; Hawkes Bay/Poverty Bay -- Ray Edward from Te Awanga; Wairarapa/Wellington -- Doug Kennedy from Featherston; Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast -- Ian Teasdale from Runanga; Canterbury -- Malcolm Penty from Timaru; Otago -- Garry Hall from Arrowtown; Southland -- Norman McLeod from Invercargill.

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