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Ngātea man Adam Matete has organised an ‘Up in Smoke’ event for this weekend. File photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Up in Smoke to have a sweet twist

The return of Hauraki Plains’ hottest event will pay homage to the idea that kicked it all off.
Back in November, 2020, Ngātea man Adam Matete put the call out for the best carrot cake maker on his community’s Facebook noticeboard.
Six people entered the spur-of-the-moment competition, and in a surprising turn of events, the baking contest led to the development of a cook-off for “barbecutioners” that attracted hundreds of spectators and raised funds for the community garden.
Dubbed ‘Ngātea Up In Smoke’, the inaugural event took place on January 23, 2021, and featured competitors barbecuing and smoking meat for judging, as well as a chilli-eating contest.
It will be back this weekend after a year off following Covid-19 restrictions – and it will include a carrot cake bake-off.
“It’s going to be good. There are about eight [cake] entries so far, and the terms and conditions state that any remaining cake belongs to the event organisers,” Mr Matete told The Profile.
“Last year it couldn’t go ahead, because we didn’t want to scare everybody by having a big event just after the Covid restrictions had finished, and so we left it for a year.
“Now it seems that the scare of Covid is gone, and we are ready to go.”
Barbecue-show celebrities and “big-wigs” in the barbecue community will be attending the event, Mr Matete said, which will this year feature a new youth barbecue competition, a hot dog eating competition, a chilli eating competition and the barbecue cook-off.
“This year we’re restricting it to three different meats – we don’t want to make our barbecue experts broke,” he said. “We’ve gone with: beef short ribs, pork belly any way, and chicken lollipops.”
The event will also host a bouncy castle and games for children, live music, and a licensed bar at the rugby clubrooms.
All funds raised will go to the Ngātea community pantry.
“I’m excited to see how it’s grown, and the biggest thing for me is getting the community together, having a bit of fun, entertaining the kids, and giving a cash injection to the community pantry,” Mr Matete said.
“With all the flooding that we’ve had, it’s probably a good time to have a hot day out. We can barbecue your tears away.”
DETAILS: ‘Up In Smoke’ will be held at Hugh Hayward Domain from 10am on Saturday, February 18. Contact Adam at for more information. Registrations preferred.