Meatopia took over Tobacco Dock in Wapping, East London, on Saturday 7th August for one day only, bringing the ex-warehouse alive with meat, smoke and a whole host of barbecue enthusiasts like ourselves. Running from 12pm ‘til 9, we arrived at lunchtime, where there was a large queue of ticketholders forming, all eagerly waiting to start spending their meatbucks (the currency of choice on the day) but how it was worth the wait!
Inside the venue, we were greeted with the tempting smell of hot barbecues, the hustle of busy chefs and the widest choice of meat we’ve ever had the pleasure to encounter! There was a line-up of over 25 top chefs and restaurants cooking on the day and they varied from BBQ favourites such as the Grillstock boys, Bar-B-Q Shack and Smokehouse, to restaurateurs Richard H Turner, Fergus Henderson and Daniel Doherty, who were all keen to show off what they could create outside of their usual kitchen environments.
Among our favourite dishes were Tayyab’s secret recipe lamb chops, Shake Shacks grilled confit of hog belly and of course, the Almost Famous Run BMC burger, which by the look of the never ending queue, was a definite crowd-pleaser! Not content with just serving us mains, the Meatopia organisers truly thought of everything as we discovered desserts out on the dock too. We felt it was completely necessary to test out the flourless chocolate cake and New York cheesecake from The Pudding Stop, and then of course proceeded to sample every single flavour of the Marshmallowists gourmet marshmallows.
Food aside, one of our highlights of the day has to be the line up of entertainment which helped to maintain the lively and upbeat atmosphere throughout the whole day. DJ BBQ hosted the Cutting Room stage where live demonstrations, competitions and Q&A sessions were held, meanwhile, The Gents took over the bar area with some cockney sing-a-longs, Maracatu Mafua brightened up the dock with their traditional Brazilian costumes, and live bands kept the main stage dancing all day.
Meatopia took London by storm and we cannot wait until the 2014 event. We fully recommend going and will keep you updated as to when tickets become available for next year.