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Southern BBQ Chef Pop-up at Fancy Hanks Last Month

Words & Images by Kelly Sargent

‘Finger lickin’ goodness’ with Lillie’s Q BBQ Chef, Charlie McKenna, in Melbourne for the first time!

Prime Brisket, Pulled Pork, Baby Back Ribs, Collard Greens, Southern Style Coleslaw
Prime Brisket, Pulled Pork, Baby Back Ribs, Collard Greens, Southern Style Coleslaw

There’s nothing quite like the taste of melt-in-your-mouth meat,  and that’s what renowned BBQ Chef Charlie Mckenna bought to Melbourne recently, at an authentic Southern American Barbecue pop-up at CBD restaurant Fancy Hanks. 

Owner of famous BBQ restaurant Lillie Q’s in Chicago, Mckenna is a two-time World Pulled Pork Champion, and credits his passion for Southern Cuisine to spending a lot of his childhood learning to cook with his Grandmother Lillie. Bought up in Southern Carolina, the ‘Q’ of Lillie Q’s is a credit to his Father Quito.  

Globally renowned BBQ Chef Charlie McKenna Photo supplied
Globally renowned
BBQ Chef Charlie McKenna
Photo supplied

Mckenna opened the first Lillie Q’s restaurant 8 years ago and has since opened four more across America. 

As a BBQ nation ourselves, I’ll admit the snags on the barbie do not even scratch the flavoursome, smokey taste of the deep south of America.

Fancy Hanks hosted Mckenna for a couple nights, where the Chicago chef served up the best in barbecue fare, complete with his entire range of popular Lillie Q’s Sauces. Chicken, pork and beef were severed alongside crunchy tasty slaw (a simple yet delicious carrot and cabbage mix with Lillie Q’s ‘ranch’ dressing), grilled greens and blue cheese chicken – all the flavours and textures worked. They just worked. 

Lillie's Q Sauces
Lillie’s Q Sauces



The night offered a flavour explosion of the deep south of America. Although we are a proud BBQ nation ourselves, let’s keep Mckenna away from Bunnings on a Saturday! Proud as we are of our ‘hardware store sizzle’, stand down Aussies – the real BBQ deal hit when McKenna arrived in town enroute to the Meatstock competition.

IMG_9036Lillie’s Q award-winning BBQ rubs and sauces are sold in over 100 stores across the country and 6,000 around the world – think slow smoked pork shoulder, baby back ribs and chicken wings like no other.

With 100% natural and gluten free ingredients, Lillie’s Q sauces and rubs make for an unforgettable addition to any BBQ – meats, tofu, veggies, whatever your preference the tantalizing taste will have you reaching for more!

**Melbourne based journalist, Kelly Sargent, was a guest of Charlie McKenna – Lillie’s Q/Evil Twin PR

**Additional Information and Images Courtesy of Charlie McKenna – Lillie’s Q/Evil Twin PR

Pimiento Cheese Biscuits
Pimiento Cheese Biscuits

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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Check out the pop-up menu and more pics…

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Wine and Cheese Fest 2018 – Meat Market North Melbourne Words and Images Sarah K. Gill In its sixth year and held in the beautiful heritage Meat Market building in North Melbourne, last weekend’s Wine and Cheese Fest was a fantastic day out for both wine and food lovers, where entry included a stylish … Read more

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Wine and Cheese Fest – A Celebration of the Senses


Quite literally, a sensory overload is expected to hit again at the Meat Market in North Melbourne on Saturday 17 March 2018. The Wine & Cheese Fest is back, and looking to delight all your senses all over again. Is there a better base than combining Wine and Cheese, to start off from on this foodie adventure?


There are over 30 quality exhibitors preparing to showcase and share their artisan products on the day. From wheels of fine cheeses and savoury sauces, to home-style pastries, pickled preserves, smoked and cured meats, luscious desserts, and of course a huge array of wine, ciders and beers for all palates, the Wine & Cheese Fest is a tantalising feast for both the taste buds and smell receptors.



With the senses of taste and smell taken care of, the focus will be on the sense of hearing, and as always, the Wine and Cheese Fest is accompanied by live jazz music entertainment as well as a DJ in the courtyard area. For a more private and personal audible treat the clinking of glasses will not go amiss.

© Ayden Aramze -
© Ayden Aramze –


If the sight of the delicious food and wine is not enough to feed the eyes, the heritage building of Meat Market should certainly provide for that wow effect. From the detailed ceiling to the cobble floors, it is truly a unique environment which will certainly add to the magic of the event.


Lastly, holding those glasses, and nibbling from those cheese boards, with the different foods and their textures, will ensure the sense of touch isn’t left out. It will certainly tie everything together and ignite all the senses, which when combined will produce a feeling than is greater than the sum of its parts. At Wine and Cheese Fest is is simply known as happiness.


If that’s not enough, there is much more to this and includes Masterclasses (included in your tickets). Learn how mozzarella is made by Giorgio from That’s Amore, learn about wine making from some of the industry leaders, learn about wine and cheese matching.


Also, the famous and unmissable Grape Stomp Comp is back, and will see keen stompers competing for the prize of the best stomper, squeezing out the grape juice in the original way…quite an insta moment! And not to forget – there will be a ‘kids zone’ for the youngest ones (Note: kids enter for free but must be accompanied at all times!).


Tickets for this event are available for both the morning and afternoon sessions, and entry includes a Festival glass to take home. A range of ticket options are available to choose from, such as the General Entry including tokens for tastings, Wine Indulgence tickets including a quality boutique wine bottle (RRP$25+) provided by our partners at the Chirping Bird Winery on the Mornington Peninsula, and, introducing Last Minute entry tickets for those that just want to grab some last minute bottles or cheese wheels to take home. Book early for discounted ticket prices.

Don’t miss out on this amazing Autumn event.


Event: The Wine and Cheese Fest

Date: Saturday 17 March 2018

Time: 10.30am-2.30pm and 3.30pm-7.30pm

Tickets: From $12.50 to $95 online via Eventbrite

Where: Meat Market, 5 Blackwood St, North Melbourne

More Info:

**Information & Images Courtesy of Wine & Cheese Fest/Sotir Stojcevski


Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

Follow us on Instagram:



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