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PUBLISHED: 13:22 28 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:44 10 June 2010

AN Exmouth firefighter has been crowned Britain s Best Barbecuer after proving he is king of the coals. Dave Cogger, 44, cooked his way into the top spot after originally entering the competition to make up numbers.

AN Exmouth firefighter has been crowned Britain's Best Barbecuer after proving he is king of the coals.

Dave Cogger, 44, cooked his way into the top spot after originally entering the competition to make up numbers.

Steaming through the heats, Dave walked away with the top prize and has also bagged himself a 10-day Florida holiday and an appearance on TV show Ready Steady Cook.

Blue watch manager Dave said the rest of the fire crew had been chief tasters in the run-up to the London competition final as he perfected his culinary skills during the night shift.

Now he has promised a fire station barbecue to demonstrate his winning ways.

And thanks to his wife Debbie posting the news of his win on the internet site Facebook, Dave has a list of friends vying for a barbecue invite.

Dave, a firefighter for 23 years, said his colleagues had dined well over the last few weeks.

He said: "I am looking forward to the prize that comes with it and also the opportunity to defend my title next year.

"I have been cooking for the watch on nights to perfect my technique.

"The rest of the watch have been very supportive and, fortunately, they like my cooking."

The champion barbecuer originally stepped forward to make up numbers when Tesco, in Salterton Road, held the regional heat.

But the firefighter soon found himself dreaming up a mouth-watering dish to serve up to the panel of London judges, which included the chairman of the British Barbecue Association.

Dave had just 45 minutes to prepare two dishes - one of his own.

To win the judging panel over he chose chicken ciabatta and also a fish kebab with firehouse summer salad, and bread and butter.

Dave said he was grateful to Tesco Exmouth for donating £50 of ingredients to help him secure the title.

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