Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, London, E1W 2SF (map)
Last Saturday saw a stampede of carnivores head towards Tobacco Dock in East London for the UK’s first Meatopia Festival – a celebration of meat which has been held in New York for almost 10 years.
There were TWENTY dishes on offer. I couldn’t try them all but I did manage to sample exactly 10 items. Half of the awesome food on offer from some of the best UK (and US) meat chefs all in one place.
The standard at Meatopia was incredibly high. Every dish was good in its own right. However the Pigs Head Slider from Dan Doherty and the Duck & Waffle Team blew me away. “Boned rolled Korean style pigs head with truffle slaw” meat cooked until soft and tender with a lovely unique flavour…
My second favourite was the fantastic Anch & Deck from Richard Turner and team Hawksmoor. (“Charcoal grilled deckle steak with anchovy butter”). In London, Hawksmoor is regarded by many as one of the best steak experiences available. The simplicity of the dish, a cut of meat with a anchovy butter was brilliant. Nice and soft with a hint of saltiness. Excellent!
Special mention to all the Americans who came across the pond to bring us some fantastic examples of smoked and slow cooked meats. Especially impressed with the most unusual dish from Chris Hastings, of “The Hot and Hot Fish Club” (Alabama) for their Smoked Chicken, Crimson Grits and Stone Fruit. (“Grilled free rance chicken with McEven &Y Sons crimon grits with smoked chicken, smoked fruits and verjus”). The smoked chicken and dark fruit combo sounds very unusual but the fruit gave the smoked chicken an excellent sweetness.
The event was not purely meat, although it did lack vegetables, there was plenty of live music and entertainment. My pick of the day was a fun duo called “The Gents“, self proclaimed “Kings of the 21st Century Knees Up’! This pair look and sound like a modern version of ‘Chas & Dave’ leading sing-a-long renditions of crowd pleasing tracks and performed a stellar job of getting the crowd to join in – here is a snippet of ‘I’m a believer’ from ‘The Monkees’
If you’re a lover of meat this is a fantastic event. Put it in your diary for next year. As with any popular event, the only downside were the huge queues which formed mid-afternoon. My advice, next year get there early… and as the staff t-shirts recommended… SKIP BREAKFAST