Black Deer Cookout Competition

Hosted on the Live Fire Stage by US barbecue expert Dr.BBQ, join us for the inaugural ‘Cookout’. An action packed, fast paced, fire and smoke filled BBQ cooking competition taking place at the Black Deer Festival this June.
Running over the Saturday and Sunday of the event, each day sees four teams pitched against each other in live-fire cooking challenges judged live on stage by an expert panel including Laura Rowe (editor, Olive mag), Chris Pople (Cheese ‘n’ Biscuits blog), Helen Graves (Food writer and editor), as well as some of our guest chefs including Neil Rankin and Romy Gill.
The team with the most points at the end of the weekend gets crowned Black Deer Cookout ‘Grand Champion’ and will be awarded with a smoking hot prize pot.



The Rounds

Taking part right in the heart of the Live Fire Arena, Cookout is a highly interactive competition with teams engaging with festival visitors during the cooking.
There will be two rounds on Saturday, two on Sunday and teams will have plenty of preparation and cooking time for each.
Rounds will be:

Chef’s Choice

This is where the chefs get to show off. They can cook absolutely anything they like providing it’s cooked over live fire. The bigger and more extravagant the presentation the better!


Can you elevate the humble burger to something magnificent? Be it weird and wonderful ingredients or just doing the simple things incredibly well.

Black Deer Festival Live Fire



Black Deer Festival is located in Britain’s oldest deer park and this round is a tilt of the cap to such a wonderful creature. Under the watchful eye of Nick Weston (who has spent many years deer-stalking, butchering and cooking venison from the festival site at Eridge Park) teams will be required to butcher and cook a dish using the side of venison provided.

Pork ribs

Dr.BBQ has spent over 25 years competing in US low and slow BBQ contests where the battle for the best ribs is always fierce. Having been honoured with a position in the prestigious BBQ Hall of Fame he knows a thing or two about smoking this delicious cut. Teams will be required to present the ribs in the traditional KCBS style way.


Basic Rules and Info

– Each team will be required to prepare and enter 6 clearly identifiable portions per round to the judges table.
– Black Deer Festival will provide each team with the meat required for the pork ribs and venison rounds plus plenty extra to cook and give out to festival visitors.
– A ‘People’s Choice’ prize will be awarded to the team that the judges feel had interacted and engaged with the crowds the most. This includes feeding them samples of your food and sharing some of your secrets!
– All cooking must be done on a charcoal or wood fire. No gas or electric.
– A full set of rules will be sent to the final teams before the event.

To apply, fill in the Cookout Competition Entry Form here

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