Meatopia Here We Come!

Me and family arrived in NYC a few weeks ago… this place is hot and sticky: VERY SEXY! We are already having a fantastic time, walking all the time and bumping into friends at every corner, it is such a different experience than Los Angeles. We all agree that this is exactly what we needed. The food scene here is fantastic, and to me almost not comparable with my previous West Coast experience. The ingredients I grew up with, the cookies my grandmother used to bribe me with when I was a kid, the best imported cheeses and cold cuts… and finally, some real Guanciale! Don’t get me wrong, I miss L.A., I really miss it a lot, especially the glorious landscape… I have dreams of looking at the ocean from the mountains above Malibu, that is something so special about that that I will carry with me forever!

We obviously dove right into the middle of the local food scene from the moment we landed, and we were even able to celebrate our arrival in the city by throwing a one night pop-up restaurant in the West Village (you will see what happened during that night on the next season of Extra Virgin, premiering this fall). We had the opportunity to cook for local chefs and writers, and introduce ourselves and some of our recipes to a very selected crowd: it was a lot of pressure since it was our first time, but I have to say that everything went above my expectations. In that occasion we met the creator and organizer of Meatopia, Josh Ozersky. We got to talk meat a bit, and next thing we knew he invited us to join his roster of 40 chefs and cooked a meat of my choice for 2000 people: “You like meat? Come and Cook with us”. How could we resist such a temptation? Find below some basic information and links to their social media profiles and ticket pages, we truly hope some of you can join us!

The 9th annual Meatopia will take place on September 8th on Randall’s Island Park in New York and feature the biggest  line-up of chefs and meat dish offerings in the history of the event. This year’s theme is “Meatopia 2012: City of Meat” and will be the most ambitious iteration yet of the so-called “Woodstock of Edible Animals.” Chefs from all over ranging from Hong Kong to the United States Special Forces will be placed in groups of forty throughout the event in meat themed “neighborhoods” such as Carcass Hill, The Deckle District, Offalwood, and the Meatopia County Game Reserve.

Guests can also expect Whole Foods Market’s national Best Butcher contest to take place and again see its finalists butcher it out on the Meatopia stage. After months of regional competitions among the trained butchers at Whole Foods Market stores across the country, three finalists in the retailer’s Best Butcher competition are sharpening their knives to go head-to-head for the national title. During the event, pro butchers will not only execute and merchandise perfect cuts, but also, for the first time ever, create a brand new cut – a custom chop, roast or steak the world has never seen before. Their goal? Use professional equipment with precision to break down meat without sacrificing its integrity. Finalists will be judged on presentation, workmanship, cutting skills and more in three rounds of dazzling demos of knife work. The winner gets an all-expenses paid trip to New York, a trophy cleaver, and company-wide bragging rights.

Meatopia’s charity partner, the Armed Forces Foundation, will also be represented by a BBQ cooking team made up of active duty members of SEAL Team Six, as well as by “Wounded Warrior” VIP guests.  Other first-time Meatopia additions include live feature musical acts, including Woods and The Living Kills,  world-famous mural artist Laurel True creating an interactive meat mural with the crowd and at the end of the event, City Harvest will be receiving a large food donation for hungry New Yorkers.

For more information on the event and ticket prices click here.

Follow the event on Facebook and Twitter.