Growing up in Brazil, Lelio Reiner’s weekends were reserved for family and cooking barbecue.
“Cooking has always been part of my life. My love for barbecues began years ago back in Brazil, where I grew up eating ‘churrascos’ – that is what we call barbecue,” Lelio said.
“As a child, I have been heavily influenced by my father, who was from Santa Catarina, a region in the south of Brazil where barbecues are extremely popular. Cooking barbecues on Sundays was part of our family tradition and an important part of my childhood.
“My dad would always cook churrasco for our family, and I loved to watch him cook and smell the delicious smell of smoked meat drifting through the air!”
Now an adult with a family of his own settled in Canberra, Lelio brings the time-honoured tradition and taste of churrasco to Canberra with a food stall on Horse Park Drive.
“In 2014, my family and I came to live in Australia. One of the things I missed the most was to eat that barbecue just like we used to eat in Brazil. Cooking had always been part of my life and it was clear to me by then that I had become very passionate, not only about eating but also about cooking Brazilian Barbeque! I really needed to find a way to have Brazilian barbecues back again!
“Last year when COVID-19 hit Australia I had enough time to reflect about my life, what I really liked to do and what would make me and my family happy. In the middle of all the uncertainty we were living with, my family and I decided to risk and start the barbecue project.”
Full of ideas, determination, and passion but short of budget, the family of four comprising Lelio, his wife Alice, and sons Enzo and Enrico took on the project together to devise everything from the ground up for their new business. The business name, logo, and design of the barbecue itself were all up for discussion and a family vote.
“The fact that my wife and I are both architects gave us the skills and knowledge to create our own barbecue and brand. Everything was created and built at home and in conjunction with my wife and sons. We decided to build our own barbecue using oil barrels and iron. We designed our own menu, logo and gazebo.
“Slowly but steadily, we could see our business project coming out of our minds and off the paper and turning into reality.”
A year since launching, Brazbecue is now open every weekend with slow barbecuing meat cooked to melt-in-your-mouth perfection. From their custom-made food stand on the side of the road on Horse Park Drive in Throsby, the menu consists of basic cuts of meat that are commonly used in Brazilian barbecue. The crowning glory is picanha – rump cap. Cooked simply over the fire with a little salt and time, the thick fat cap renders as it cooks, basting the meat and keeping it moist and flavourful. It is a real carnivorous joy to eat.
The menu also features linguiça, Brazilian-style sausages along with frango (chicken) and e costela de porco (pork ribs). Traditional accompaniments include a salsa vinaigrette, bread, green salad and farofa toasted cassava which you dip the meat into.
Brazbecue is located at Horse Park Drive at the Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve Car Park and is open on the weekends from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm.