Meatopia San Antonio, 2013
Rib eyes on the grill was a welcome first sight. The beef is American wagyu, sourced from Thomason River Ranch.
Jesse Perez, Josh Ozersky and Adam Perry Lang.
Whole Lamb from Las Ramblas Restaurant (San Antonio, TX)
Here, fire-roasted whole lamb is prepared in traditional Riojan style. The lamb spends between four and five hours over open coals before getting chopped.
Prime Rib of Bison from Spoon Bar & Kitchen (Dallas, TX)
John Tesar and team posed with their sea salt and herb-rubbed bison roast. Their preparation made a compelling case for the leaner but exceedingly flavorful meat.
John Tesar and his bison
Prime rib of bison with béarnaise and tallow-fried potatoes. The cut had all the hallmarks of a beef roast—a wonderful external crust and a succulent interior that was served at a perfect medium rare.
Toscano at the grill
Michael Toscano, of Perla Restaurant, did double duty last weekend, cooking rib eyes for a beefsteak dinner on Saturday and then smoking beef tongues and cheeks all night long for Sunday's event. Not surprisingly, he was seen sleeping the entire plane ride home on Monday.
Tongues on the grill
A close-up of Toscano's beef tongues, sizzling away on the grill.
Beef Cheek and Tongue from Perla (NYC)
These beef cheeks and tongues were slow-smoked, rendering them incredibly tender. Before slicing, Toscano finished them off over hot coals to crisp up the exterior. Blistered shishito peppers delivered a pleasing heat and a Bock beer vinegar sauce added some tang. It was one of the event's more popular dishes.
Whole Hog Barbecue from Cured (San Antonio, TX)
Prepared by Stephen McHugh, the pork ultimately found its way into a hearty gumbo.
Jesse Perez, of Arcade Midtown Kitchen
This smoker was custom-built for Perez' father in 1984, when Jesse was a young child.
Short Ribs from Arcade Midtown Kitchen (San Antonio, TX)
Broken Arrow Ranch short ribs were served with a mole rub, smoked butternut squash mousse, and huckleberry gravy. The seemingly disparate components all worked together to highlight the inherent beefiness of the dish.
Eat your veggies!
Perhaps a little macabre but it is Meatopia, after all...
These Texas-based sausage-makers are known for their prized chorizo. On Sunday, it made an appearance in a large paella that also saw some time in the smoker, making for an exceptionally smoky finish.
After smoking, these puppies were served in a large paella dish that seemed perpetually surrounded by hungry Meatopians.
Justin Smillie, of Il Buco Alimentari
The New York chef served flanken-cut short ribs after an unnamed mishap stopped him from serving his famed whole short ribs. No one complained—the succulent ribs had a wonderful flavor.
Flanken-Style Short Rib from Il Buco Alimentari
A close-up of Il Buco's final dish.
Lamb chops with lemon-mint pesto from H.E.B.
Supermarket sponsor H.E.B.served up a domestic lamb, served at a rosy rare.
Cabritos Asados from La Gloria Restaurant
This San Antonia restaurant displayed whole goat kid roasts.
Cabritos Taco from La Gloria Restaurant
Once the roasting was complete, the tender goat meat made its way into these colorful tacos.
Salt-Crusted New Potatoes with Braised Kale from Green Vegetarian Cuisine
That's right. There was one (and only one) vegetarian option on hand.
The lone vegetarian chef served up a potato with kale. He wasn't converting anyone to vegetarianism, but his offering was a somewhat welcome break from the torrents of meat.
Lamb Gyro from The Whole Beast (Oakland, CA)
Lamb necks were marinated overnight in yogurt and an earthy, cumin-heavy mix of spices. Smoked and shaved, it made the perfect filling for a gyro.
Grilled Lamb Heart from The Monterey (San Antonio, TX)
One of several organ-centric dishes of the afternoon.
A grin from the energetic chef of Austin's Foreign & Domestic.
Crispy Lamb Ribs from Foreign & Domestic (Austin, TX)
These ribs had a perfect bark, aided and abetted by some fiery pickled chills.
Jennifer Dobbertin of Hot Mess Food (San Antonio, TX)
Dobbertin served up some wonderful marinated Thai baby back ribs with sticky rice & 'Naam Jim Jaew' hot sauce. The ribs were slow-smoked and then finished over coals to give them a nice crunch.
Pork-Fried Rice from 42 Restaurant (White Plains, NY)
Last Meatopia, Anthony Goncalves served up one the hits of the event—a pork belly paella. His pork belly-fried rice was received to similar effect this year.
Adam Perry Lang, of Serious Barbecue
Barbecue guru Adam Perry Lang was on site with his giant barbecue trailer/pit. He smoked short rib, prime rib and an entire hind leg of a steer.
Adam Perry Lang's Sandwich from Serious Barbecue
This was unquestionably one of the highlights of the show. Perry Lang's sandwich of smoked short rib, prime rib and whole smoked beef leg was topped with onions, pickles and Asiago cheese.
Ford Fry, of no246 (Decatur, GA)
Grass Roots Farm-pastured breast, shoulders, knees and toes of chicken. The chicken feet might have been a little disconcerting for first timers, but most brave tasters found themselves pleasantly surprised.
Charcoal-Grilled Chicken from Rene Ortiz
A finalist for the 2013 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest, Ortiz served his chicken with pixie chili paste, palm sugar, black vinegar, and cumin.
Orange-Lambic Bruléed Chicken from Jeff Balfour
The renowned San Antonio chef turned out succulent portions of free range chicken, served on a bed of peppery arugula.
Olive Oil-Poached Beef Tenderloin from The Carillon
Austin chef Josh Watkins is the winner of the 2012 Austin-San Antonio Rising Star Chef award. He served up one of the more ornate dishes: a grilled olive oil-poached beef tenderloin with potato purée, sweet smoked syrup and paprika.
Ultra-Prime Rib Eye with Chimichurri from Smoke Restaurant
Dallas chef Tim Byres prepared this wagyu steer from Flannery Beef. The rare, well-marbled meat had a deep, rich flavor, balanced by a bright chimichurri sauce.
Smoke and trees and perfect blue skies.