SMOKING THE COMPETITION: Jesse McDougall and Jim Osborn are proud to be producing a nationally recognised product.
SMOKING THE COMPETITION: Jesse McDougall and Jim Osborn are proud to be producing a nationally recognised product. Bianca Hrovat

SHOCKED AND HUMBLED: Warwick business beats big guys

YOU don't win friends with salad but you sure can with barbecue as Bluebird Kitchen and Cafe turns up the heat at competitions across the country.

The carnivorous Warwick restaurant upped the steaks by winning third place for their brisket at the exclusive Kingsford Invitational in Sydney.

Owner and head chef Jim Osborn said it was one of the team's biggest moments since they entered the competition circuit.

"We were pretty grateful just to be there and we didn't really expect to do well because it was our first year competing,” he said.

"Then when we got third place it was essentially like saying we had the third best brisket in the country!

"We were shocked and humbled all in one go.”

The acknowledgement, alongside others such as highly commended from Toowoomba's BBQ Battle, expose the restaurant to hordes of new barbecue fans who travel for hours to reach the Rose City, sometimes just for lunch.

"We get people coming from Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast most weekends,” Mr Osborn said.

"Having our name out there is also really good because it helps us to promote the local products we use.

"It's all made possible by the help of awesome businesses like Rose City Meats and John Dee.”

Attendees at competitions grill the Bluebird team about their suppliers and Mr Osborn believes this will have a run on effect into the local economy.

More than awards, however, the team is hungry for knowledge to improve their offerings at Bluebird.

"Since we started comps a lot of stuff here has changed,” Mr Osborn said.

"Our processes have evolved as we've learned new things and we get our glazes shinier and distribute the rubs more evenly.

"It motivates you to make everything better every time.”

More exciting news could be on the way, as the Bluebird team cook up plans with the council to offer such a competition in Warwick.

"There's nothing confirmed yet but something like that could have a massive impact during a traditionally quiet period,” Mr Osborn said.

"Some competitions bring 10,000 to 20,000 people and it would be great to see Warwick host one.”



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