The Bait Layers Win Big at the 2016 Australian Camp Oven Festival

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The Bait Layers

The Bait Layers Win Big at the 2016 Australian Camp Oven Festival

This year the Bait Layers attended the Australian Camp Oven Festival which was held on the Queens Birthday long weekend, 1st & 2nd of October 2016. According to the leading cook Terry, they had a great weekend. He said that they were so busy competing that they didn’t get to look at around the festival! But he commented that Mary and the team behind organising the competition teams did a really good job this year.

Terry and his team arrived from Kingaroy on Thursday afternoon to unload the truck, piled all of the treasures for the cooking area displays over the fence in the competition area and set up camp for the weekend.

On Friday morning they started setting up the competition area. They built the cook hut, set out all the camp ovens, collected and stacked the firewood, all in preparation for an early start on Saturday morning. Terry said that they cut all the poles and rails needed to build their shack from timber they got from a nearby farm.

The competition started at 6 am on Saturday with a crack of the whip. All competitors lit their fires and settled into 2 days of camp oven cooking.

Saturday’s Competition Entries

The first section of the competition was set into 4 parts,

  • Plain damper; we placed second.
  • Plain scones; we placed second.
  • A loaf of bread; we placed second.
  • Boiled fruit cake; we won.

The second section of the day was a three-course dinner with; oxtail soup; a roast meat or mutton with gravy or sauce, roast potatoes, pumpkin, carrots and at least one other vegetable; and for dessert a spotted dog with custard. We were lucky enough to win that section.

Sunday’s Competition Entries

The third section on Sunday started with 2 parts, Anzac biscuits; we placed second. Sweet or savoury damper; we placed third.

The fourth section was a signature dish, made with ingredients from our local area. We produced pork balls with satay sauce; marinated pork spare ribs with plum sauce; stuffed roast pork and pork crackling and baby honeyed sesame carrots, curly potato fries and steamed snow peas; salted peanut caramel fudge and caramel popcorn. We were lucky enough to win this one as well.

The Bait Layers

At the same time as the signature dish, we had to compete in the champion of champions competition. We had one hour to prepare and cook a traditional damper and a soup. For this, we cooked a plain damper and pumpkin soup. We somehow pulled this off as well.

The Bait Layers

Wow, what a weekend we had, placing in every part of the competition! We won the Grand Champion of the competition for the third time and also took out the Champion of Champion title as well.

I would like to thank my team members, my wife, Leagh and good friends Tom (Tom the blacksmith) and Chaseley Browning. For without this team our weekend would not have been so successful and so much fun.

The Bait Layers

There are so many people to thank for this festival, the Millmerran camp oven festival committee and especially Mary and her crew of helpers, the sponsors of the festival, especially DA Hall & Co and BCF and of course all the other competitors for without any of these people or organisations an event like this does not happen.

Thank you all.
Terry Leahy
The Bait Layers

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Click here to see all of my photos from the 2016 Australian Camp Oven Festival

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Mick The Camp Oven Cook

Mick The Camp Oven Cook

Mick is an experienced camp oven cook, who loves teaching others how to use a camp oven. Cheers Mick

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