Presented by Amstel Light and Whole Foods, it seemed like nothing could keep us from melting, so we succumbed to the heat and stuffed our faces with meat. Over 45 renowned chefs, restauranteurs, farms, and butchers congregated on Pier 5 of Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday, July 23, 2011, where there was more than plenty of space to accommodate all of us hungry hungry hippos.
The most impressive spectacle of the event was the 850 lbs. whole steer by meat purveyor Pat LaFreida. Legs splayed out, it was mind-boggling to see an entire cow being cooked at once. We were told that they had started grilling the day before and it had been grilling for over 32 hours.
The end result was a beautifully cooked Black Angus slider topped with a delicious BBQ sauce, cooked thoroughly on the outside and slightly pink on the inside to retain some juices.
Pink on the inside, after 32 hours of grilling? I can’t say that I’m too educated on cooking meat, so I sat in on one of the demonstrations they hosted under the shade of the large tent to learn more about cooking. And more importantly, to learn more about meat.
Chef Michael Psilakis of the UWS Greek restaurant Kefi demonstrated how to prepare one of his signature sausages.
For a pro like Chef Psilakis, it probably would take him less than two minutes to make a whole slew of sausages, but he explained how deeply rooted food is in his family and culture, and how meaningful it is in bringing people together. He also explained some scientific elements of cooking meat (how you can cook a 45-day aged steak with mold and not get sick, but always use fresh ground meat), and also added in a spiritual element: to appreciate the life the animal gives to us for nourishment and not take them for granted. Despite what some vegetarians may claim, not all carnivores are barbarians. A two-minute sausage lesson turned into a great life lesson in food appreciation.
There were a great deal of outstanding dishes, so here are a few more.
Chef Philippe Massoud represented ilili Restaurant with a sumac and zataar-spiced grilled lamb ribs with Lebanese salad. My takeaway from this dish is that if you don’t know or can’t even pronounce any of the ingredients, it’s probably worth a try and it’s most likely going to be excellent.
Maybe a bit too adventurous for me was the elk shoulder crepenettes by Chris Hastings of the Hot and Hot Fish Club. On the other hand, my friend raved about the roast baby goat with arugula and sweet onion salad by Chef Floyd Cardoz of North End Grill. And while some people may consider pig foot, oxtail and beef cheek stew to be an outrageous offering from Chef Eddie Huang of Baohaus , these were bizarrely normal for me growing up.
Other curiosities included quail (Seersucker), wild boar (Fossil Farms), crispy pig’s head (Edi & the Wolf ), goat tacos (Centrico), chicken hearts (Animal), and so much more. I can’t believe I missed the spicy lamb sloppy joe’s from The Meatball Shop – arggh! For additional food porn money shots, check out the awesome slideshow from Grub Street.
About a thousand breaks were necessary to cool off, and fortunately there was no shortage of Amstel Light.
Capogiro Gelato Artisans was doling out gelato that instantly melted. Someone started a cruel rumor that there was bacon ice cream, but much to my disappointment, there was none to be found. The Whole Foods stand was giving out bars of desserts and a yummy hibiscus soda that seriously hit the spot.
The Whole Foods butchering contest was helping to promote their five-step animal welfare-grading program, so that customers will always be assured that they can find the best quality of meats in the store by the best farmers, no matter the location. In a similar spirit, Chipotle Mexican Grill was there highlighting their “Food With Integrity” program and providing an impromptu dance floor in front of their stand.
It was a fabulous event for meat lovers and we can’t wait to feast at some of the featured restaurants in the near future.
Check out event more Meatopia photos here.
Robert Newton: SEERSUCKER
Bacon and Sorghum-Glazed Quail with Watermelon-Sweet Corn Salad
Seamus Mullen: Tertulia
Spit-Roasted Whole Sheep
April Bloomfield: THE BRESLIN BAR & DINING ROOM
Barbecued Whole Mulefoot Hog
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo: Animal
Grilled Chicken Hearts with Burnt Eggplant Puree
Eddie Huang: Baohaus
“Doomtopia” Stew: Taiwanese-Style Pig Foot, Oxtail, and Beef Cheek Stew
Yuhi Fujinaka: Bar Basque
Hampshire Hog Seven Ways
Naomi Pomeroy: BEAST
Braised Beef Cheeks with Sour Cherry Glaze and Rustic Summer Herb Salad
Serafim Ferdeklis: bZgrill
Cypriot-Style Pork Gyro
Aaron Sanchez: Centrico
Whole Goat Monterrey-Style Tacos with Pickled Onion
Nate Appleman: Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chorizo Tostada with Tomatillo Salsa and Queso Fresco
Harold Moore: COMMERCE
Roasted Chicken with Foie Gras Croutons, Potato Puree, and Super Jus
Eduard Frauneder and Wolfgang Ban: EDI & THE WOLF
Crispy Pig’s Head Torchon with Green Beans and Horseradish
Julia Jaksic: EMPLOYEES ONLY
Grilled Cevapi (Croatian Sausage) with Pita, Kajmak, Onions and Tomatoes
Scott Smith: RUB
Double-Smoked Pastrami Burnt Ends
Ron Silver: Bubby’s Pie Companyox
Sausage and Bacon-Packed Pork Pie
RL King: HUNDRED ACRES
Pork Rilletes, Country Pate, Tongue Salad and an Assortment of Pickles and Spreads
Orhan Yegen: Bi Lokma
Turkish-Style Lamb Breast Stuffed with Fragrant Rice
Jo Ng: RedFarm
Kowloon-Style Beef Short Rib Tart
Floyd Cardoz: North End Grill
Roast Baby Goat with Arugula and Sweet Onion Salad
Anthony Goncalves: 42
Lamb Belly with Toasted Couscous, Radish, Piri Piri
Franklin Becker: ABE & ARTHUR’S
Grilled Kalamansi-Spiced Chicken Thighs Served with Scallion-Tomatillo Salsa
Amanda Freitag: The Food Network’s CHOPPED
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Thighs with Grilled Green Onion and New York Cornbread
Robbie Richter/David Shuttenberg: Big Apple BBQ/Dickson’s Farmstand Meats
Charles Grund, Jr.: HILL COUNTRY BARBECUE
Texas-Style Barbecued Mangalitsa Pork Belly
Chris Hastings: HOT AND HOT FISH CLUB
Elk shoulder Crepenettes with Olives, Clementines, Almonds and Frissee Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette
Sean Brock: HUSK (Charleston, SC)
Carolina Whole Ossabaw Hog BBQ with Field Pea and Ramp Chow Chow, Cooked Over Wood Embers and Pig Bone Charcoal
Costillar a las Brasas: Whole Roasted Veal Ribcage and Sweetbreads with Chimichurri
Philippe Massoud: ilili Restaurant
Sumac and Zataar-Spiced Grilled Lamb Ribs with Lebanese Salad
Michael Psilakis: KEFI
Greek Lamb Offal Mixed Grill
Ludo Lefebrve: LudoBites
Korean Marinated Hanger Steak with Goat Cheese Chantilly and Cauliflower Paper
Aaron Israel: Mile End
Bahn Juif – Jewish Bahn Mi – Petcha, Ground Veal and Garlic Chopped Liver
Fred Donnelly: Mo Gridder’s World Famous BBQ
Hand-Pulled Pork with Cherry Smoked and Dry Rubbed Baby Back Ribs
Eric Johnson: Mr. Bobo’s World Famous Traveling Allstars!
Barbecue Braised Beef Ribs with Bourbon-Infused Sweet Potatoes and Cabbage
Floyd Cardoz: North End Grill
Roast Baby Goat with Arugula and Sweet Onion Salad
Michael White/Bill Dorrler: Osteria Morini
Spit-Roasted Hampshire Porchetta with Sage, Rosemary and Lemon
Brad Farmerie: PUBLIC
Black Pudding Waffles with Red Wine Poached Pears and Whipped Foie Gras Butter
Bobby Hellen: resto
Veal Belly Gyros with Grilled Radish
Adam Sappington: The Country Cat Dinner House & Bar
Crispy Pig Head Stuffed with Scrapple on a Buttermilk Biscuit with Oregon Chow Chow
Craig Koketsu: The HURRICANE CLUB
Grilled Duck Magret with Green Papaya
Daniel Holzman: THE MEATBALL SHOP
Spicy Lamb Sloppy Joes
Sam Barbieri: WATERFRONT ALE HOUSE
Maple-Cured and Smoked Wild Boar Ham and Belly with Home-Made Mustard and Pickles
John Schafer: WILDWOOD BARBEQUE
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Chipotle BBQ Sauce and Creamy Coleslaw
Shane McBride: BALTHAZAR
Whole Smoked Hampshire Hog
Mike Price: Market Table
Nose-to-Tail Ground Veal Hoagies with Pickled Peppers
John Rivers: 4 Rivers Smokehouse
Pulled Pork Shooters and Collard-Infused Cheese Grits over a Black-Eyed Pea Puree