Saturday, 27 September 2014

Pork Life / Ribstock at Dalston Yard

#PorkLife at Dalston Yard
#PorkLife at Dalston Yard
This event was kind of a culmination of the final weekend for the year (26-27 September) of Street Feast at #DalstonYard, with #Ribstock and #PorkLife all occurring simultaneously and, in many ways, overlapping.

The #Ribstock competition returned for its third year with seven competitors creating their signature ribs for the lucky 200 #Ribstock ticket holders to sample and vote which dish was to be crowned Best Rib of 2014. The 2012 winner (Redhook) and 2013 winner (BBQWhiskeyBeer) were both excellent dishes so expectations were high this year.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Brisketfest 2014 at Camden Town Brewery

Brisketfest 2014 flyer
Brisketfest 2014 at Camden Town Brewery
God Bless Texas Joe. Not only does he have the balls to be Texas Joe, and all that stands for, he also conceptualised and pulled off a brilliant event at Camden Town Brewery – Brisketfest 2014. Joe brought together eight chefs to produce their version of beef brisket and most of them did a great job.

I must admit, after six full servings I was again hitting the wall and struggled to finish them all. In fact, I did not as Miss P’s sold out by the time we arrived. So here is a review of the ones that stood out:

Prairie Fire BBQ

An American ex-banker (like myself) who would rather make beautiful BBQ than bang his head against a wall all day. His offering was old school Texas BBQ: beautiful brisket on white bread with two sauces, two different pickles and some burnt ends for good measure. We folded the whole thing up into a makeshift sandwich and dug in. It was perfectly balanced, no rough edges yet everything was flavourful and distinct. We all really enjoyed this.

Sunday, 7 September 2014


Meatopia at Tobacco Dock, London
Meatopia at Tobacco Dock, London
After Friday and Saturday nights, I was concerned if I could muster up the appetite for Meatopia, which is a two-day festival of meat, smoke and live music held on 6 and 7 September at the Tobacco Dock. As we had tickets and tokens already purchased, we soldiered on. Now, since we all know by now that Wifey does not eat meat, she of course tagged along in the spirit of it all. Which also meant that I had five tokens to myself – yes, I was set on a course to eat five dishes with no assistance.

The good news, of course, is that there was plenty to tempt me with so here were my five dishes in order of satisfaction:

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Cooking with a Michelin-star chef

Our dear friends Louise France and Richard Neat, who run Park Café Antiques and Restaurant, were in town from Costa Rica and so we thought, when a Michelin-starred chef is in town, lets get together and cook! And cook we did.

Richard prepared a beautiful first course of sautéed prawns and scallops with artichokes, trompettes and chanterelles. Paired with a couple bottles of vintage Chablis, it was delightful: light and flavourful, it tasted of the land and sea in the same dish yet perfectly balanced and executed.

We of course used the opportunity to fire up the smoker and offered beef short rib (smoked 8 hours) with a Guajillo chili sauce, which went down smoothly with our Street Feast find, 2010 Catena Cabernet France from Street Vin. As you know by now, we like to diversify the menu a bit as smoked meat does not always equate with American barbecue and perhaps vice versa. This Mexican chili sauce is blended with my beef and vegetable stock (bones courtesy of The Ginger Pig), which becomes a rich, mild sauce that marries perfectly with paprika-heavy beef rub I like.

All in all, it was an evening of great company, copious amount of wine, an excellent meal and smiles all around.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Street Feast at Dalston Yard

St Louis ribs from the Smokestak
St Louis ribs from the Smokestak
This weekend is shaping up to be a full BBQ weekend! Starting tonight at the Street Feast Dalston Yard weekend market before they shut down for the year at the end of September. Oddly enough, I did not bring much of an appetite; then again I was only really here to try some food at SmokeStak.

For those of you who don’t know SmokeStak, they have developed a very nice business model that we at the BBQ Collective firmly agree with: a small, focused menu in a mobile environment whilst sparing no cost on execution, as evidenced by the David Klose smoker and high quality meats.