BBQ SPECIAL

Reporter: Jackie Quist

Cordon Bleu chef turned barbie king, Bart Beek, reckons he's perfected the ultimate Australia Day lunch.

The golden rule? "Keep it simple. People try too hard, too many flavours, too much heat destroys it", Bart said.

Bart has worked in some of the finest, five-star restaurants in Australia, Hong Kong, the USA and France and now conducts cooking classes from home .. This passionate barbecuer claims the humble sausage still reigns supreme. "These days the ingredients are so much better in the making. The gourmet selection is 70% meat, 30% fill in fat which makes it nice and moist", Bart said.

"Cook 8 - 12 minutes, not too fast and don't prick them", he added.

Each year we eat 416 million barbecued sausages, 681 million lamb chops and 780 million beef steaks. To choose a good steak for barbequing "Look for the prime cuts, there are 5 starting with the rump", Bart said.

Rump is the cheapest and some claim the tastiest; today's cut of choice is the eye fillet.

And those BBQ hoods do serve a purpose and should be used. "More efficient, save on gas because cooking better you are using less amount of gas -- you get a quicker and better result, so hooded BBQ's, use them", Bart said.

Simple yet somewhat more refined since the charred old days of the 70's and 80's. Rynelle Penny from Barbeques Galore says while it is peak BBQ season, you don't have to spend a fortune -- their BBQ's range from budget - "We do have the Patio Master 2 burner on trolley is $199 on sale at the moment reduced from $249, especially for Australia Day", Rynelle said.

Best selling is, "At the moment would be the Cordon Bleu Deluxe now that comes in a 2, 4 or a 6 burner", she added.

To the big kahuna, "An impressive 7 grand worth of BBQ -- it is your outdoor kitchen, so is comes fully fitted with the working fridge, your sink, the ceramic tiles and the new quartz technology", Rynelle said.

The technology delivers radiant infra-red heat that apparently ensures a tender moist result. "You can even do casseroles and cakes in the BBQ if you really wanted to", Rynelle said.

"Now Australia Day would not be complete without a pavlova and this one here I've actually cooked on the BBQ -- 1 hour, 80 degrees, hood down - absolutely beautiful", Bart said.

With dessert done toss an iceberg salad and you're ready to celebrate the true meaning of Australia Day which of course is all about family and mates.

Further information:

Bart Beek's cooking classes - visit the website at: www.essencefoodstudio.com

The trick is to oil and season just before cooking on a hot grill. "Now don't keep turning the steaks. Half way through the cooking process turn it once more and that is it", Bart said.