Meat the People is a new series on where we catch up with people we find interesting and over a meal, talk about their food and food related Interest. Meat the People No.1 features old mate Willy and we’re eating Burgers at Chicken Confidential.

Michael Willcocks is a marketing professional based in Sydney and one of the founding partners of Men at Work, Australia’s first male focused communications agency. Garlo Pies anyone? Michael is also an avid barbecue competitor having recently returning from a contest in the USA – this side of Michael is a still a surprise to us; team Badass BBQ which Willcocks is part of have taken out the gong at numerous barbecue competitions so they mean business. At the recent Crafted Live craft Beer and Barbercue event in Wollongong; Michael was part of the Australasian Barbecue Alliance team; serving as a facilitator and guest judge. Let’s find out more about Big Willy as he’s affectionately known to all of us.

Mitch Davis, Michael Rose and Michael Willcocks. Team Badass BBQ.

Three words that describe you

  • Excitable
  • Over-the-top
  • Rebellious

You’re involved with BadAssBBQ: what do you like about it and what drew you to Barbecue considering it’s a style of cooking kicking off its popularity in Aus? How did you get your start in BBQ.

My grandfather was one of the first Barbeques Galore store owners way back in the late 70’s so outdoor cooking was a big part of my upbringing. Recently, I’ve been competing to the semi-professional circuit, and most recently overseas at The Jack World Championship. After years of cooking at home I guess it was a natural progression to start competing.

I believe competition barbecue is less about the contest and more about the companionship and the community that surrounds these types of events. I’ve met some real characters through competition and I think I will have a friendship with for many years. We do videos on Badass and we get to interview a lot of other teams and its always great to learn more about the different ways people are cooking and learning from them.

Chicken or Beef?

Both. My favourites are roast chicken over charcoal, once you’ve tried this you’ll never buy a cheap cooked chook from the major supermarkets again. As far as beef, my favourite cut is probably anything than can be reverse seared.

So we’re eating the food here today at Chicken Confidential. This your sort of food?

Yes but I like all sorts of food and love Vietnamese food; Yen’s in Redfern is a local favourite of my family. Always good to catch up for a beer and a burger at The Abbotts Hotel which is our local. Friendly people in there. Cheap beers. I think Sydney has gone really over-the-top for freak burgers. Take me back to an original Australian burger. Throw a bit of beetroot on there. I spent a few weeks in America binging on burgers and they were ok, but I still prefer a well made pub burger in Sydney!

How do you like your steak?

As rare as the chef will serve it!

Who or what inspires you?

On the barbecue front, we have met Tuffy Stone a few times in the past few months. In particular when he won The Jack in Lynchburg TN. in October. He’s coming out again next year. I encourage everyone to try and track him down and meet him. One of the most friendly, knowledgeable blokes on the scene and more than happy to have a chat.

My parents are in the pub game (I’m the only one in the immediate family who isn’t). Their ethos has always been to make sure people around them are having a good time. I think if everyone had this approach the world would be better place.

Mitch Davis, Tuffy Stone and Michael Willcocks

What’s your favourite place to eat in Sydney?

Right now I am loving No.1 Bent Street by Kitchen by Mike. I suggest everyone try and get in (typical for exceptional venues in Sydney). The menu is seasonal but I haven’t been disappointed with the fare yet. They serve food from a big wood fired oven dining room. It is very good.

Michael Willcocks BadAss BBQ.

What’s you social media channels?

A post shared by Michael Willcocks (@sydmichael) on

To find out more about Michael, find him on instagram for pics of Barbecue comp and Alpha male shenanigans.