It’s almost time for Meatopia, the annual New York festival dedicated to all things meat. I attended last year with my Nebraska-bred brother-in-law and loved every minute of it. We stopped by dozens of stands manned by meat-masters from across the country and around the world who were roasting everything from pork to lamb to an entire steer. We stuffed our faces with the finest cuts and washed it down with cold Amstel Light from the numerous beer tents. The sun was shining and we were living the good life. This year’s Meatopia is going to be held Saturday, September 8, 2012, on Randall’s Island, which isn’t quite as convenient for me as last year’s venue, Brooklyn Bridge Park, but dammit I’m going anyway, because the whole affair is so much fun. Let me school you on what you can expect.
First of all, the somewhat awkward portmanteau of a name says it all. Meatopia is a utopia for lovers of meat. There’s simply nothing here for vegetarians, so don’t even get on the ferry, my morally superior friends. For everyone else, start your meat fast today, because you’ll be in heaven on Saturday as you chow down on steaks, sausages, chops, fillets, and every other form of meat prepared by chefs from everywhere from Hong Kong to the U.S. Special Forces. And, although the animals involved probably wouldn’t be thrilled to know their fate, Meatopia only serves natural and humane meat. All meat providers have to fare well against a five-step animal welfare rating, which requires “no cages, no crates, no crowding,” and “enhanced outdoor access.” I can appreciate that.
This year’s theme is “City of Meat,” and they’re arranging their 40-odd chefs in meat neighborhoods with names like Carcass Hill, Offalwood, and the Meatopia County Game Reserve. (I’m looking forward to what’s on offer in the Deckle District.) Chefs will be on hand from such super restaurants as The Darby
, Fatty Crab
, and Mile End
. There’s going to be live music from meat-appropriate bands Woods
, The Living Kills
, and The Slackers
, and mural artist Laurel True
will be creating an “interactive meat mural,” which I simply have to see.
The main festival sponsor is Whole Foods, which pretty much guarantees that there won’t be anything of low-quality in this flesh bazaar, and the (truly essential) beer sponsor is Amstel Light, whose refreshing brew is the perfect accompaniment to the feast. But a few of the other sponsors are quite attractive, and I hope they have some stands set up to share their wares as well. I’ll be looking out for Crown Royal Black whisky, George Dickel Tennessee Whisky, Kahlua, and Zacapa
rum from Guatemala. Zacapa XO might be my favorite rum. You should try it.
You can get tickets in advance by clicking here
. Watch this space for my post-event wrap-up on Monday. Now I’d better go eat a salad.