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If you haven’t heard of Meatopia, you might want to familiarize yourself this coming weekend.  Just what is Meatopia?  We like to think of it as a Carnivore’s Disneyland with succulence everywhere you turn.  In fact, forty great chefs from all over the world will be descending on Randall’s Island to cook for the occasion, including April Bloomfield, Michael White, and Joey Campanaro.

We’re not kidding when we say it’s a Carnivore’s Disneyland.  This year’s theme is the “City Of Meat” with neighborhoods the likes of Deckle District, Beaktown, and Meatopia Heights.  Famed butcher Pat La Frieda will be cooking up a whole 1000 lb. steer in Carcass Hill while Adam Perry Lang will be making  prime rib and BBQ short ribs in The Quarter.  There will be Veal Brisket with garlic scapes and “Brains & Bread” in Offalwood  and Harold Moore’s duo of Squab in Offalwood.

The brainchild of Josh Ozersky, the ninth, annual Meatopia will feature a butchering contest, unlimited beer, ice cream and a complimentary water taxi ride over to Randall’s Island.  Dubbed the “Woodstock of Edible Animals,”  there will be lots of food and live music (though we’re not sure about free love and drugs).  You can check out the menu map at and snag tickets.We checked in with Master of Ceremonies, Josh Ozersky, to discuss Saturday’s  festivities.

What makes Meatopia so special?
The Whole Foods Butchering Contest.  And that no culinary event I’ve ever been to has a higher chef-to-guest ratio. Every bite of meat is ethically, humanely raised. And I made a point to have every as many different styles of cooking, and as many cuts from as many animals, as  anyone has seen in one place. Any who loves meat would be nuts not to come.

How has Meatopia evolved over the last few years?
It’s gone from being a VIP invite-only party for chefs and the food media, to a funky, DIY ticket event on governor’s island, to an enormous, professionally produced sponsored event last year, and at last, to my dream event this year on a green lawn, run with military precision, and best of all — NO LONG LINES. (Well maybe for the biggest stars; but most chefs you can go right up to and get what you want.)

What are you most excited about eating this year?
Michael White’s grilled pork cheeks; Adam Perry Lang’s “rib roast cooked as steak”; the Fatback Collective’s whole hog and New Orleans boudin; and Zak Pellacio’s spitted ducks, among others. Not to mention the big steer.

What new additions can we expect?
We’ll be adding three live bands to the event: The Slackers, Woods, and The Living Kills; an asado master brought in all the way from Uruguay; George Dickel bourbon punch; and, I’m proud to say, the best ice cream in America, Jeni’s of Columbus Ohio, a James Beard Award winner. It’s all you can eat of everything,
of course.

Do you still have bouts with gout?
I may next week.

Where: Randall’s Island Park
When: September, 8th 2012
Tickets: $140.00

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