Asado Fest 2020

Asado Fest is a four-day program for ex-Australian Defence Force (ADF) members where participants are taught basic skills in wood fired BBQ cooking, blacksmithing, leatherwork, knife-making, and welding. Participants attend this program in pairs, bringing along someone significant in their life to learn the same skills at their side. During this experience, they will camp next to the Murrumbidgee River at the historic Cuppacumbalong Homestead in Tharwa, ACT.

This program has been made possible by a grant from the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Participants will use a range of traditional crafts to make their own Argentinian Asado wood-fired BBQ, brisket knife, and leather apron; they’ll also learn how to use it all under the guidance of a professional chef. By the end of the course they’ll have gained basic blacksmithing, knife-making, metalwork, and leatherwork skills - enough to go home and get started in any of these crafts at a beginner level.

Barbecuing isn't just about food; it also provides an opportunity for strengthening relationships. Participants will have the skills and equipment to host spectacular wood-fired BBQs for their families and friends. To assist with that participants will attend this program in pairs. They will be able to bring along someone who is important to them to share in the experience and gain the same skills in cooking and making. This could be a family member such as their partner, one of their children (age 16+) or a parent. It could also be someone from their community who plays a big part in their life such as a best mate or a neighbour.

All participants will travel to Tharwa ACT by their own means. They will also need to bring their own camping equipment (tent, swag, RV, caravan, etc) as well as clothes suitable for a metal workshop environment. There are bathrooms and showers on the site, and all meals are included.

The program will include four workshops with participants working in groups of two pairs.

Each pair will make and keep:

  • One Argentinian Asado BBQ
  • One large metal fire pit
  • Two large stainless steel brisket knives
  • Two leather BBQ aprons
  • Two cookbooks, with recipes from the course

Asides from taking home what they make, participants will also go home with the knowledge and skills required to pursue a variety of traditional metal and leather crafts at a beginner level.

This program will consist of three sessions conducted over the period November 2020 to March 2021. Participants will be drawn from rural and regional NSW and VIC (Covid-19 restrictions permitting). Applications are closed and results will be announced shortly.

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