Mount Hunter couple wins prestigious barbecue honour

SMOKING: Mount Hunter couple Paul and Diane King, who own The King and his Q, celebrate after winning a barbecue grand champion award. Picture: Simon Bennett
SMOKING: Mount Hunter couple Paul and Diane King, who own The King and his Q, celebrate after winning a barbecue grand champion award. Picture: Simon Bennett

What started out as curiosity has turned into an award-winning career move.

Mount Hunter's Paul King has spent the past couple of years learning the art of cooking with a barbecue smoker.

Mr King and his wife Diane run their slow-cooked meat business The King and his Q.

The couple were rewarded for their dedication when they were crowned grand champions at the recent BBQ and Beer Roadshow in Queensland.

Mr King, who is a chef by trade, said it was a great honour to receive the award.

"We were pretty excited to win because there were 49 teams competing," he said.

Mr King said six judges graded each team's food appearance, taste and texture.

"Their scores were then tallied up and that's how we were named grand champions," he said.

"Individually, we came second for our pork ribs, fifth for our pork, sixth for our chicken and 17th for our brisket."

Mr King said it wasn't the first time he had competed at the BBQ and Beer Roadshow.

He served as another team's head cook between 2016 and 2018.

"I still wanted to compete and have fun, so I asked my wife if she would join me," Mr King said.

"Diane and I have a good relationship and we work well together."

Mr King said he had enjoyed cooking since he was 16 years old.

However, he said he was a relative newcomer with a barbecue smoker.

"I was given a piece of smoked chicken about two-and-a-half years ago, which I enjoyed and thought 'I could do this myself'," Mr King said.

"I decided to experiment on my Weber, and then I bought an off-set [barrel] smoker."

The Mount Hunter couple set up The King and his Q business at home soon after. They prepare and serve slow-cooked meals at events, festivals and functions across Macarthur and surrounding areas.

"We've done well with our business and we [recently] bought a new off-set smoker from the US," Mr King said.

"The biggest event we've covered was the Camden Show Ball."

Mr King said he enjoyed barbecue cooking for several reasons.

"I enjoy the food, the camaraderie, being with family and talking around the fire," he said.