The Carnivore's Ball, A Meat Lover's Dream: Meatopia at the New York City Wine & Food Festival
If the name Meatopia isn't clear enough, its subtitle, The Carnivore's Ball, definitely explains what the festival, hosted by Michael Symon, is about. Ten years in, it's still bringing the meat lovers in full force. This year Meatopia partnered with the New York City Wine & Food Festival. Michael, Josh Ozersky, the event's founder, and Lee Brian Schrager (pictured above) introduced the event. "When Josh started this 10 years ago I thought it was brilliant," says Michael, a self-professed meat lover. The festival began simply to bring together meat-devoted chefs to cook their best dishes. With this new partnership, explains Michael, "not only is it a wonderful gathering of chefs ... but the money goes to a great cause to boot," calling it "the perfect event."
The first thing festivalgoers saw upon entering the tents was (vegetarians need not read further) an entire steer roasting over coals, which definitely brought out the carnality in the crowds atop Pier 92 as the sun set on a chilly Sunday afternoon in New York City. Chefs from as far as London were on hand to put their best meaty dishes on display. And the food offerings weren't just limited to the four-legged variety like pork, beef and lamb, as birds of a feather such as chicken, duck and quail were also included.
Chef Francis Derby of The Cannibal in New York City presented a garam masala-spiced quail served with pickled squash and quinoa, one of the more unique options — and one of two quail dishes at the event. The other, a quail spiedini from Chef Michael White's Altamarea Group, was also a standout.
Our friends at Dickson's Farmstand Meats, a favorite butcher shop in Chelsea Market, served up a revelatory pickle-brined chicken served with braised collards and smoked ham hock. Chef Jake Dickson revealed the chicken was brined for 48 hours to ensure the flavor permeated throughout the meat.
Hawksmoor restaurant in London served a charcoal-grilled rib eye with anchovy butter that had everyone waiting in a queue (to use British lingo). Chef Richard Turner was adept at handling the grill, and the aromas had everyone's mouths watering.
Chef Michael Psilakis of MP Taverna in Astoria, Queens, served up his Grecian spit-roasted lamb with grilled bell peppers in a taco smeared with dill sauce.
With help from Pat LaFrieda (whose company supplies the meat for the event), Chef Angie Mar of The Beatrice Inn in New York City roasted an entire steer, in fact a 24-hour slow-roasting process. Served on the side were mashed potatoes and a roasted prune with a sprig of thyme.
Chef Paul Qui of Qui in Austin served a charcoal-fired chicken inasal, which was marinated in Tabasco, ginger and lime. It was one of the most-flavorful offerings of the afternoon.
Chef Bryan Voltaggio of Range in Washington, D.C., didn't leave his fans wanting, offering an entire meal: a Baltimore-style BBQ veal sandwich with Tabasco tiger sauce and slaw on a soft roll, along with a Bloody Mary on the side.