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"Barbecue is the enlightened application of heat, smoke, spices and ingenuity to protein, fruit and vegetables ... out of doors." – Bob Hart

The promise

Attend an A•B•A Masterclass, and you will leave with a clear idea of the way in which we arrived at this definition. Because, quite simply, there is more to barbecue than meets the eye. And in Australia, certainly, rather more than meets the nose and the palate as well. It is an ingenious way of enhancing the flavours and general appeal of the food to which it is applied - not a means of perpetrating an unspeakable indignity upon a blameless piece of protein, an innocent vegetable or even a well-meaning piece of fruit.

The process

Together, in the course of an A•B•A Masterclass, we will explore ways of applying the aforementioned heat, smoke and spices to a wide range of ingredients. We will discover how meat can be kept moist and delectable, whatever the cut. And how, when ingredients require only a very brief time on a grill, additional flavours can be added to make it clear that these are barbecued dishes. We will consider which added flavours enhance the central ingredient, and which do not. And how best to apply those flavours — whether through rubs, mop sauces, barbecue sauces or marinades.

Why bother?

The art of real barbecue is one of the fastest-growing food trends on earth, and there is a reason for that: understand the processes and the objectives, and you will deliver remarkable food, effortlessly, at home. A grillmaster, incidentally, is not a chef. He or she is simply a diligent and enthusiastic home cook who has taken the trouble to learn the ropes - many of which, frankly, involve smoke and mirrors, and none of which depends on great kitchen virtuosity.

A chef is a highly trained professional. A grillmaster, however, is simply someone who has done a bit of homework, has practised and, if they are really, really good, has probably attended an A•B•A Masterclass.

Masterclass fees

Each Masterclass is for eight participants only, to ensure effective levels of communication. Each class involves discussion, demonstration, participation and a generous amount of tasting, eating and drinking. There are ample opportunities for participants to gain hands-on experience, and every opportunity to have any barbecue questions, or even general food questions, answered, and problems solved.

The fee of $440 per participant covers everything — the food, the drink, and a distinctive A•B•A carry-bag containing apron, mitt and a copy of Heat & Smoke. It is an inexpensive and foolproof way of ensuring you derive full value from the barbecue investment you have made, or intend to make, in your outdoor eating area. You will emerge from the Masterclass with an advanced knowledge and understanding of what can be done with a barbecue, and how to go about doing it.

After that, it's up to you. But you will emerge in possession of knowledge and experience that will, in time, make you a legend in your own backyard.

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