Chefs tell us what’s cooking on their BBQ


There’s nothing more quintessential to a kiwi summer then standing on the deck and cooking up a feed on your barbecue wearing jandals and a bucket hat to prevent any mullet tan lines.

Sure, most of us have moved past the mullet but the barbecuing remains and for good reason, so we spoke with three local chefs and found out their favourite barbecue recipes and top tips.


Kevin Hopgood, owner of Hopgoods: Kevin is one of Nelson’s more well-known chefs and says he loves cooking on a barbecue in summer, but the key is getting the heat right.

“It can be a fine line between getting nicely coloured food rather than completely black food but with cooking on a barbecue, low and slow wins the race.”

Kevin’s lamb steaks and grilled summer veges

•  Marinate 4 Lamb leg steaks in olive oil, the juice and zest of a lemon, thyme, mint and 1 teaspoon of Harissa paste for 2/3 hours.

•  Coat peppers, zucchini, asparagus, spring onions and mushrooms in EVO salt pepper and grill on BBQ. This can be done first and served room temperature. Once grilled, arrange on a serving platter and scatter over lots of fresh herbs (chives, parsley coriander and mint), a touch more EVO Moroccan spice and lemon zest and chilli flakes

•  Grill the lamb to your liking and, before serving, let it rest, rule of thumb is if you cook for 10 mins let it rest for 10.

•  Serve on top of couscous, scatter with pomegranate seeds, coriander and mint. Season again and serve.

This meal is great with flat bread and tzatziti and Harissa.


Lincoln Womersley, Blinc Catering head chef and McCashins Brewery Kitchen & Bar owner: Lincoln says the key to a good barbecue is fresh ingredients, a good marinade, making sure your barbecue is hot enough, and a beer for while you cook.

“I love cooking up a big juicy chunk of meat, or some crayfish if I’m lucky enough, they’re always really fun to cook.”

Lincoln’s summer crayfish

•  Cut your cray straight through the middle, head to tail, add a bit of olive oil and season with salt and cracked pepper.

•  Place the cray flesh side down on the chargrill until chargrill lines appear on the flesh.

•  Turn both halves over so the shell side is on the grill then cook the cray until it is medium, liquid should start to come to the top at this stage.

•  Once off the grill, place a good teaspoon of garlic chilli butter on each half, letting it melt into the crayfish before adding a squeeze of lemon and serving.

•  To make Lincoln’s garlic chilli butter, mix together 250g of softened salted butter, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 2 tbsp of chopped parsley, 1 finely chopped birds eye chilli and a couple of pinches of cracked black pepper.

This meal is best accompanied with some seasonal chargrilled vegetable, steamed new potatoes and a good citrusy beer such as the Stoke Cheeky Czech or the Stoke Pilsner.


Matias Cacciavillani of Viva La Vaca food cart: Matias is making waves with his Argentinean inspired barbecue served from his food kart at Nelson events and markets.

“I cook everything with charcoal so the key is time, a lot of time – you can’t rush it and I love this recipe, the combination of all the spices, it’s very cultural.”

Charcoal Slow Cooked Lamb with Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients: 1 leg of lamb, 10 cloves garlic – peeled, olive oil, salt and pepper.

For the Chimichurri: 1 tablespoon sweet paprika; 1 tablespoon smoked paprika; 2 teaspoons cumin; ½ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley; ½ cup dried oregano; ¼ teaspoon salt; ¼ cup olive oil; 1/3 cup red wine vinegar; ¼ cup water; 2 whole cloves garlic; 1 fresh bay leaf.

To prepare the lamb:

Pat the leg of lamb dry.  Make incisions for the garlic cloves and insert. Rub with the salt, pepper and olive oil. Cover and leave to sit overnight in the refrigerator.

Prepare the charcoal BBQ so the coals are hot and cook the lamb for at least 2 hours – the longer you cook it for the more flavoursome the meat. It is ready when you pinch it and the juice that comes out is clear.

To prepare the chimichurri sauce:

Bring to boil the water, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf and salt. Add dry ingredients and remove from heat. Add fresh parsley and oil. Let sit overnight. Use as a side sauce to complement the lamb.