Very few people know more about meat than Josh Ozersky, the author of The Hamburger: A History and Colonel Sanders and the American Dream. He is also the man behind Meatopia, which, as the name suggests, is an extravaganza committed to showcasing and celebrating all things meaty and delicious. This Friday night, he takes his show on the road, bringing Meatopia from New York City to Oakland's Eat Real Festival.
Guests can expect to find an assortment of meat all-stars manning the grills, from Kim Alter (San Francisco's Haven) to Chris Lilly (Alabama's famous Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q) to Nicole Brisson (executive chef at Mario Batali's Carnevino in Las Vegas)—who shares her recipe for carne crudo, below.
"They'll be doing beef, pork, lamb, chicken," Ozersky tells us. "It's humane, sustainable meat, just like at Meatopia in New York. I'm really proud of it."
To help promote the idea of eating humanely raised meat, Meatopia has teamed up with Belcampo, a company that owns and runs sustainable farms in California, Uruguay, and Belize, plus a 20,000-square-foot animal-processing facility and a soon-to-open butcher shop.
The Eat Real Festival will also feature plenty of street-food vendors and local wineries and breweries to help feed the Bay Area's hungry gourmands. For his part, Ozersky hopes to take the Meatopia brand national with an event in Austin in the spring and in Los Angeles in the near future. With the inaugural West Coast event, however, he is starting off small—with 10 chefs, as compared to the 40 he featured at his New York event a few weeks ago.
So is there any difference between the farm-to-table chefs in California and their counterparts in New York City? According to Ozersky, "Really, anyone who is interested in making meat better—that is to say, more humane, more natural, without antibiotics and hormones—is part of an international community that's moving meat forward."
Meatopia takes place on Friday, September 21, at Jack London Square (65 Webster St.), Oakland. Tickets are $50 and include two free drinks, plus all the meat you can eat.
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CHEF NICOLE BRISSON'S RECIPE FOR CARNE CRUDO
8 oz beef tenderloin, trimmed
2 tsp shallots, finely chopped
2 tsp capers, chopped
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
4 oz beech mushrooms, trimmed
1/2 tsp chives, finely chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 baguette, thinly sliced and toasted
1. Grind beef through the grinder with a 3/8-inch die.
2. In a small bowl, combine ground beef with shallots, capers, and mustard to make crudo.
3. In another small bowl, combine mushrooms with chives, lemon juice, and olive oil.
4. Top each bread slice with a tablespoon of crudo and garnish with mushrooms.
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—Keith Wagstaff is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn. Follow him @kwagstaff.