I started out in firewood many moons ago as a way to supplement my income while living on a farm, wanted to stay close to home with my wife and two baby girls. Corporate life never appealed to me.
As a boy with 7 brothers and sisters it was my job to get the wood in, spent many a day out foraging in the forests with my old man, his most frequent comment to me was “you got sawdust for brains boy”.
We live in an OSH controlled society today but back then anything went and you learnt very quickly from your mistakes, hanging off cliff faces in a Ute with no hand brake, with my wife and I end over ending logs down slippery slopes by hand. Sometimes the chainsaw would end up at the bottom as well, mainly from frustration at the damn thing deciding not to work.
I did end up with a chainsaw addiction, the adrenaline of dropping huge trees or clearing scrub, the physicality of it, you never needed a gym. Back in the day it was still all about sustainability, trees weren’t cut for the sake of it, scrub (manuka) removed for pine plantations or pasture for stock. Often the big trees were originally planted as wind breaks but the larger they got they became wind tunnels and had to come down and be replanted.
Cin Cin on Quay was the very first restaurant I supplied wood to in 1986 and from then on hospitality started evolving but took a long time to be what it is today where wood and charcoal cooking are the norm.
I loved the work in the bush to then heading off into the city to do the deliveries, met so many amazing, interesting people from the owners and chefs to the kitchen hands, people from all over the world and all the different styles of cooking that came with it.
These days I am based in Wiri at the depot and have great suppliers who know what I need, have a delivery driver and all round backup (Chris) + a contractor (Lotu) who comes in and helps with the wood processing when the demands there, couldn’t do this without them.
A young pitmaster visited in 2016 by the name of Mike Hunt from Meatfingers, he needed some sticks and introduced me to the NZ Pitmasters page. Although I have been bbqing for over 30 years and yes not just snags and steaks, have been throwing roasts on for years but the quality of the food that the home bbqer produces now is next level, blows my mind!
Mike and others have given me my best education in the art of bbqing, have learnt so much which I happily share with others along with my experience of wood and charcoal. This game has been and always will be my passion.
Lastly huge ups to my nephew Aaron for putting this website together for us, your patience and professionalism has been greatly appreciated.