I am a massive fan of Meatopia and attended for the first time in 2013 (which was also the year I bought my first grill and smoker!) It’s hard to explain to people what makes it so fantastic, telling people you are going to a BBQ festival doesn’t really describe the blast on the senses as you walk in and are hit by the smell of fire, smoke and food cooking but the photo below explains it quite well!
Tobacco docks is a cracking venue with loads of different little spaces scattered around and chefs cooking over live fire everywhere you walk. Each year the quality and variety of food just gets better and better plus the innovation of the chefs with their dishes just blows me away! I usually just go for a day but for Meatopia 2019 I went to all 3 days!
Bit of a random blog post this one but I wanted to share my photos and it wasn’t going to work on Twitter or Instagram without hundreds of posts so the easiest way was to put them all in a blog post then share the link on social media!
Friday 30th August 2019:
Started the trip right with a visit to Bleecker Burger: Bacon Double Cheese with hot sauce, angry fries and a black and white shake. For me it’s the best burger in London and I try to get down to Spitalfields whenever I can!
Absolute filth! Might have been a bit of an error as I wasn’t hungry when I got to Meatopia!
The first dish I went for was Cochinta Pibil Taco from Joan Bagur / Oaxaca. Slow cooked for 10 hours in banana leaves and served with xnipec sauce.
Such a tasty dish, the colours were amazing too.
Next up was Bharwan Tandgi Kebab (stuffed chicken legs) with white radish, coriander, pickled onion and celery salad from Amninder Sandhu / Arth.
This was a cracking dish, the chicken was really smokey and I had to work out how they had managed it so went to investigate! The chicken was cooked on skewers in a tandoor then finished on the grill. Definitely worth trying to recreate.
Next was Tacos Arabes – Shropshire lamb, corn tortilla, English green tomato salsa verde & crema from Andy Stubbs / Low ‘n’ slow.
Look at the colour of the meat and the rig cooking it, wow factor right there!
I walked past the guys at Sagardi who were cooking Txuleton Basque-Style Beef (ate some on Saturday, see later in the post!) – the colour of the fat was awesome.
I had read a lot about Max Levy & Siam Sattayaphan from Sausage Commitment before I came down and was keen to try their dishes. On the Friday they had Thai Sai Krok issan, cheung fun, nuoc cham, tamarind & assorted micro greens.
This dish was immense, the sausage was incredibly tasty but with the fish sauce and nuoc cham it blew me away.
I walked past Tim Byres who was cooking coffee and chile cured flank steak on an asado rig from London Log Co.
Charcoal Matt and T Bone Chops cooking up Chilli Sauce Salad with Boss Dana Kebab – Beef leg kebab, lavash bread, home pickle cabbage, chilli sauce, garlic yoghurt and fresh herbs with Jack May from Bare Bone.
Always nice to catch up with Matt, he’s a fountain of knowledge for all things wood, charcoal and fire related. Looking forward to buying some of his charcoal in November!
He must have asbestos hands as the heat of the fire was immense from where I was standing let alone right next to it!
My next dish was Jerk Spiced Cabrito Goat Sausage, burnt hispi cabbage, goat fat and beer vinegar from Sam Bryant & Alicia Specjalna from Whole Beast.
Another stand out dish from the day, I loved this. Need to add some goat sausages to my next order from Cabrito Goat!
Just walking around it’s amazing to see the rigs set up for cooking and the variety of ingredients folk are cooking. This was Irish stew of short ribs, beef cheeks and pork sausage, salt baked potatoes, grilled carrots and turnip from Killian Crowley from Aniar.
My next dish was Venison Shawarma & Burnt Mesquite Mayo from Keiran Mustafa from Le Bab.
The venison so was soft and tender, lovely.
Back past Matt’s fire.
The glow of the fire caught my eye here.
My next dish was Grilled Hen Patty and Sourdough Flatbread, sauerkraut, watercress and wild rocket salsa from Mark Tuttiett / Carousel.
So that was Friday, 7 dishes out of the 8 I had highlighted in advance (Duck and Smoked Black Lentils had sold out by 8pm).
Saturday 31st August 2019:
Since Dishoom started selling a double bacon naan it’s been on my radar to go and try one. Today was the day!
Then on to Meatopia for Day 2.
This was the rig Sam Evans was cooking on, note the chains at the bottom. The team had to pedal to rotate the rotisseries!
First dish of the day was Hogget ribs in black garlic sauce from Neil Campbell / Rovi.
Served with beetroot kvass, red onions and dukkah.
Followed by Caribbean Jerk Duck with peach sauce and grilled corn from Bryan Furman / B’s Cracklin.
It took me a while to find Tom Griffiths for some reason I had a total inability to read the map the whole weekend, having eaten his food before I knew he was going to have a massive queue all day so I went there early!
Chopped belted Galloway beef topped with bone marrow mayo, smoked chilli sambal filled into beef fat naan. Another great rig with the wow factor!
This was just so good, one of my favourites for the weekend.
Next up was Bhuna goat chops – Classic North Indian marinated chops, pot roasted in smouldering grill fire from James Whetlor (Cabrito Goat) X Brigadiers. I have wanted to eat at Brigadiers for a while so I was keen to try this. My goodness it was so good, again it was one of the standout dishes for the whole weekend. I had sauce all over my hands and face but it was so worth it.
From Ferdinand “Budgie” Montaya / Sarap was Longsilog – Filipino style longanisa sausage, toasted garlic rice cake, fried pullet egg & spiced coconut vinegar.
Back to Max Levy & Siam Sattayaphan from Sausage Commitment for Mala Jambalaya – Ghizhou style Mala Sausage, smoked duck, dashi stock & organic three colour rice.
Over to Ramael Scully / Scully for Duck rice and cabbage kimchi – Duck rice, cabbage kim-chi, chilli nam jim served with tuermic pickle daikon and baby gem lettuce.
Back to see Sam Evans / Hangfire, Lucy / Rockapinny and Beca Lyne-Pirkis (lovely to meet you all on the Friday night) for Cochon du Creole, Louisiana-style pork belly filled with Cajun andouille sausage fresh herbs on a pillow-light ‘pav’ slider, smoked pork butter & buttermilk broccoli slaw.
Look at that, what a fantastic looking dish. It tasted amazing too!
The Sagardi team again.
It rained really briefly so we took the opportunity to head outside so Mark Cole and Phil (Love2BBQ) could get Tom Griffiths dish before the queue built back up!
David Carter from Smokestak (one of my favourite restaurants) was at Meatopia with twelve hour smoked pastrami, hot mustard and dill pickle in a bun. Glorious!
On the cutting room stage Richard Turner was cooking a whole side of a 12 year old ex dairy Dexter (dual purpose breed) – fillet, rib eye and sirloin. Loads of it!
I had to have some this time, just fantastic!
Past Tim Byres again.
This was late on, the photo is blurry as is my memory by this point! Sausage commitment were cooking some different sausages which I tried with Richard Turner, really, really good.
The bars stopped serving at 21:55 and I found myself in a rooftop bar (top of a multi storey car park!) with Marcus, Gary (Glitch) and Rachel Snelgar.
Sunday 1st September 2019:
Feeling rather fragile only a trip to the Rib Man was going to sort me out! Great to catch up with Mark again and the rib roll really sorted me out!
Back to Meatopia for day 3.
First up was Harneet Baweja & Nirmal Save from Gunpowder with Beef rib in Kerala pepper sauce served with pickled onion.
Followed by Grilled beef bone marrow, pulled beef shortrib, kari sauce, pickled onions, coconut chips & herbs from Karan Gokani & Renjith Sarathch & Ran from Hoppers
Back to Max Levy & Siam Sattayaphan from Sausage Commitment for Balinese Urutan sausage, savoy cabbage, dashi jelly & Yunnan white cloud beans.
Next up was Tamworth pork belly, smoked eel crema, smacked cucumbers and almond XO crumb from Andrew Clarke & Sander Van Der Werf from St Leonards.
Followed by Slow cooked goat shoulder, roast cauliflower yoghurt, cauliflower kimchi, Rosary goats cheese and cabbage taco from Mary Ellen Mctague / The Creameries.
I missed out on a Donut from St John’s on the previous days and wasn’t going to miss out today!
I asked what the “Infamous Dr Henderson” donut was – It contains Fernet Branca, a bitter, Italian aperitif, as well as crème de menthe and is meant to be a perfect hangover cure. Sold!
Round to the cutting room stage to see Marcus Bawdon.
I was pretty full from all the food now so I took a wander around to look at all the food cooking.
Jackson Bristow – Nancarrow Farm beef hind quarter.
Ramael Scully and Tim “Tonto” Yates – Coffee spice beef ribs.
Nick Fitzgerald from Tacos Padre – Oak Smoked Chicken Taco.
Tom Brown from Cornerstone – Grilled Carlingford oysters with seaweed hot sauce.
What a photo!
Stephen Englefield from Gridiron – Chargrilled Chicken and green chilli slaw.
And that was it, 3 fantastic days at Meatopia and so much great food.
But, with a late flight back I needed some dinner! Back to Bleecker for a bacon cheeseburger, fries and an Oreo shake.
I am writing this on the Monday after arriving home late last night and am totally broken! What a great weekend, so much great food and drink but it’s also the people that make it such an awesome event.
Great to catch up with: Phil (Love2BBQ) and Mark Cole who made Saturday the best day out of all 3 for me! Plus everyone else I spoke to over the weekend, thanks for making it a great event.
See you in 2020!
KUNGFUBBQ: UK BBQ Blog and Ooni Blog documenting recipe cooks from various cookbooks, my own recipes, reviews of BBQ’s and Accessories plus handy hints and tips. UK BBQ Blogs