Josh Collins has just been ring master at Beef Week for a pop-up version of his Alexandra Headland restaurant which managed to service 8500 meals including nearly four tonnes of barbecued beef.
Josh Collins has just been ring master at Beef Week for a pop-up version of his Alexandra Headland restaurant which managed to service 8500 meals including nearly four tonnes of barbecued beef.

The Coast restaurant that wowed Beef Week

NEARLY four tonne of beef, resulting in 8500 meals for the week, have been delivered by a team of Sunshine Coast chefs to the hungry patrons of Beef Australia, 2018, held in Rockhampton.

Among those meat orders were 70 extreme tomahawk steaks cooked to perfection and sold for $185 each.

Incredibly they could have sold more of the high-priced cuts, but ran out.

Black Bunny Kitchen of Alexandra Headland proprietor Josh Collins was still on a high yesterday after 10 intense days in which he was only able to grab two hours sleep a night.

"I'm still on cloud nine after what was a pretty amazing experience," Josh said.

"From 3am on May 3 until 5pm last night I think I've averaged two hours sleep a night. Forty five minutes was the worst night."

Along with him from load in to load out was chef Aaron West.

 

CHEF Aaron West who has been part of the Black Bunny Kitchen team from load in to load out, helped keep the smoked barbeque beef coming throughout Beef Week. He's pictured with Aiden Vella (back to camera).
Chef Aaron West who has been part of the Black Bunny Kitchen team from load in to load out, helped keep the smoked barbecue beef coming throughout Beef Week. He's pictured with Aiden Vella (back to camera).

Slow-cooking briskets and smoking other cuts was a 24-hour a day operation, meaning that while other food outlets at Beef Week headed for bed at 10pm, the Black Bunny crew were trimming huge slabs of meat and stoking fire pits.

The Black Bunny secured the gig courtesy of Noosa Boathouse executive chef Shane Bailey who also consults to Beef Australia.

Josh received a call from Shane in February with an invitation to help upgrade the food offer at an event the industry was increasingly marketing to international visitors.

He flew up to the Clermont to inspect part of the 35,000 head Signature Beef herd run by Beef Australia chair Blair Angus and then began putting together the logistics involved in the super-sized catering challenge.

Just getting the fire pits to the venue was a challenge in itself with Josh leaving Marcoola at 3am May 3, travelling to Rockhampton, unloading then driving back to Hervey Bay to pick up an extra pit from mates Smoking Hot Bros, completing more than 1400km for the day.

Teams of chefs from the Alexandra Headland restaurant then travelled north in shifts by car and train as they juggled to keep the Coast operation running as well as the fire pits to sate hungry Beef Week patrons.

As well as four tonne of Signature Beef and two tonnes of wood there was another two tonne of produce from Sunshine Coast Fresh and pallots of dry goods from Noosa supplier Markris.

The Black Bunny Kitchen ethos of ensuring the food is interesting, has a supply story with independent suppliers and seasonal, locally-sourced produce that was given the chance to show its own potential under-pinned the Beef Week exercise as it does its annual Woodford Folk Festival offer.

Josh said he would also have a pop-up restaurant at the Sunshine Coast Show with talks now also under way about a gig at the Ekka.

HOW TO COOK THE PERFECT STEAK

1. Buy the best quality you can afford

2. Bring beef to room temperature

3. Make sure your barbecue is thoroughly clean and the grill super hot.

4. Rest steaks for half of cooking time

5. Cut meat against the grain