Can Rocky butcher snatch Aussie Sausage King title?
ROCKHAMPTON man Reg Brooks is headed on a plane to Melbourne this weekend with a very special package - an Esky loaded with sausages.
While he might get some funny looks from other travellers and some raised eyebrows from security, the Parkhurst man has a good reason.
Mr Brooks will be competing in the Australian Meat Industry Council national competition where he will vie for the title of the Australia's Sausage King.
After taking out first in Capricornia last year, the butcher then went on to the next round at the Ekka.
His beef and cracked pepper sausages put him over the line as he came home from the Brisbane show with first in open class gourmet and the invitation to compete in the national titles in the Yarra Valley.
Mr Brooks will compete this weekend with butchers from all over Australia.
"I don't even expect to win,” he said.
"It's just a big honour to go down and rub shoulders with some of the best.”
Flying to Melbourne, the sausages will travel with Mr Brooks in a "six-pack Esky on ice”.
"I will be watching them, they will be sitting in my lap,” he said.
Mr Brooks flew to Brisbane for the Ekka last year and said it was quite funny to go through airport security.
"It was a bit funny, they have to go through security screening, all the security guards had a bit of a laugh,” he said.
The cracked pepper and beef sausages will make an appearance again as it a requirement of the national titles to enter the same product which won the state finals.
"It's a good flavour, really bold,” Mr Brooks said.
While it may seem simple, he said it has some hidden gems in it.
"It does have some secret weapons,” he said.
But he hasn't always gotten it right.
"We tried a pork and banana a few weeks ago and it wasn't the greatest idea,” he said.
Growing up with parents who had a butcher shop, Mr Brooks has been qualified as a butcher for the past 16 years.
Over the years he worked for other businesses until 12 months ago when he opened Parkhurst Quality Meats.
"It's crazy to think I have only had the butcher shop for a year and I have gotten this far.”
More than happy with his chosen career path, the Queensland Sausage King loves what he does.
"I have a real passion for what I do, I really love my job and my shop,” he said.
"And the guys that work for me are the real backbone, we all work together.
"The customer interaction and I really love coming up with new ideas for customers and dinner ideas.
"I love selling a really good quality product.”
While he does hope he comes away from this weekend with a win, Mr Brooks is grateful for his customer support.
"If I don't, it will be a good trip away to meet other guys and see what they do and get some ideas,” he said.
"For my first year in business it's been a really good journey, it's a really good community feel where we are here and they support me in what I do.”