Smokestak founder DAVID CARTER was born and raised in Barbados. His early life was centred around outdoor living and open fire cooking. After he graduated, he moved to a role at the Four Seasons Los Angeles and in 2008 David moved to London. After three and a half years with Gordon Ramsay Holdings, David took on the General Manager role at Japanese restaurant Roka. Three years later, he decided to fold in the day job, buy a 4.5 tonne smoker in Houston, USA, and embark on a barbecue pilgrimage from Texas to Dalston!
With his focus on quality of product, David has fine-tuned his craft and has now opened his first Smokestak restaurant in Shoreditch. Using the wood- burning smoker in a very literal sense, David plays with wood, fire and smoke in equal measure to create something a bit different, taking Smokestak to another level.
BERBER & Q is the product of a lifelong exposure to diverse cultures and cuisines. Growing up in North London for JOSH KATZ meant regular visits to the many Israeli restaurants, falafel shops, Middle Eastern grocery stores, bakeries, butchers, and Shawarma houses – all regular after-school haunts. Swathes of time wandering markets in Istanbul, Marrakech and Tel Aviv have also impressed themselves on Josh’s cooking as well as the unpretentious American BBQ joints experienced in New York.
Most of all, Josh is inspired by what all of these cuisines represent: the epitome of informal eating, enjoying delicious, unpretentious food with friends and family.
After stints at Marco Pierre White’s Titanic and Quaglinos RICHARD SANDIFORD got a taste for the pop-up scene working at Bistrotheques’ Raindeer and Supersonic Masonic Supper Club and also the Green Onion supper club. Combining forces with Emma Jerrard, who has run events for over 15 years, he introduced Rockadollar dining which operated out of various Pie and Mash shops across the east end.
Flamin’ Liberty is Richard’s latest street food experience based on great quality meat, cooked over logs and hardwood charcoal on a drumbecue, offering seemingly simple dishes which are bang on flavour.
ANGIE MAR has spent most of her life around food. A native of Seattle, Washington, she comes from a family of food lovers and restaurateurs and has had the privilege of spending time in some of NYC’s renowned kitchens, including honing her skills in whole animal butchery and open fire techniques at lauded Brooklyn restaurants Reynard, Diner, and Marlow & Sons. Angie went on to work for April Bloomfield at The Spotted Pig, where she learned an unparalleled dedication to perfection and a love of simplicity, affording her the skills and confidence to run her own kitchen.
In October 2013, Angie took the helm of storied West Village restaurant, The Beatrice Inn. Best known for her love of working with whole animals, live fire and dry aging techniques, her signature 45-day dry aged burger is widely regarded as one of the best in the city. Angie was named “Chef of the Year 2016” by Thrillist.
HARNEET BAWEJA founded his first restaurant Gunpowder, a homestyle Indian restaurant in Spitalfields in November 2015. Born and raised in Kolkata, Harneet grew up surrounded by the flavours and aromas of his family’s cooking and the city’s street food, with school days rounded off queuing for pani puri.
Harneet and his wife, Devina moved to London in 2014 and were captivated by the city, and its vibrant and diverse restaurant scene. Drawing on previous experience with two solo business ventures under his belt, Harneet wanted to bring the food of his youth to London. He and his wife set about collecting generation-old family recipes and along with the help of Head Chef, NIRMAL SAVE, the team brought those dishes to Spitalfields.
In May 2017 Harneet, Devina and Nirmal will open their second restaurant, Madame D’s in Spitalfields, bringing their love of the darker, oriental flavours of the Himalayas to London.
YOTAM OTTOLENGHI is a cookery writer and chef-patron of the Ottolenghi and Nopi restaurants and delis. He writes a weekly column in the Guardian’s Weekend magazine and has written five bestselling cookbooks: PLENTY and PLENTY MORE (his vegetarian collections) and, co-authored with Sami Tamimi, OTTOLENGHI: THE COOKBOOK and JERUSALEM. His most recent book: NOPI: THE COOKBOOK, co-authored with Ramael Scully, was published in September 2015 and his next book, SWEET, is out in September 2017. Yotam joined us at Meatopia 2016 and is going to be the first chef cooking vegetables at this year’s festival… and who better?
TOM’S passions and skills lie within gastronomy and he has been a part of the industry for over 12 years. In late 2015, Tom opened his first restaurant, Flank, a pop-up residency with a Nordic and British slant. Flank focused on complete sustainably with meat using the entirety of the animal. Not only that, Flank was heavily driven to plant based and woodfire cooking and exploring zero waste.
Tom is returning to Meatopia for his second year but this time with his new restaurant, Pascere. Pascere is due to open in Brighton this year.
HUS VEDAT is a London born chef with Turkish origins who started out working in the family butchers shop in north London.
Hus then went on to work through the ranks of various 4 and 5 star kitchens, which eventually led him to work at the St Ermin’s hotel as Executive Chef. He helped created Caxton Grill at the St Ermin’s hotel, which gained 2 AA rosettes. Hus then went on to become the Executive chef of Barbecoa, where he was able to utilise his butchery skills and knowledge as well as embracing his love for cooking with fire. Currently Hus is the Executive Chef of Yosma London; a Turkish Meyhane, Mangal & Raki bar inspired from the streets of Istanbul.
Originally from Kent, NATHAN OUTLAW now calls Cornwall his home and is a proud ambassador of all things Cornish. His style of cooking is one of simplicity but with complex flavour combinations using local, seasonal, responsibly sourced ingredients. Nathan was proud to be named the AA Chef’s Chef of the Year 2014/15. Nathan’s first professional post was with the late Peter Kromberg at the Intercontinental Hotel, Hyde Park Corner. However, his love for seafood cookery was ignited when he came to Cornwall as a young chef to work with Rick Stein.
Nathan currently has two restaurants and a pub in Cornwall along with Outlaw’s at The Capital Hotel in London. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, based in Port Isaac, is currently placed at number 2 of the ‘Top 50 Restaurants in the UK’ in the Waitrose Good Food Guide 2017.
Since opening it’s doors in 2013 THE OX has fast built a reputation as purveyors of Bristol’s best steak, and is widely regarded as one of the city’s best restaurants. With a focus on all things meat and a nose-to-tail ethos, the group has fast expanded.
Chef TODD FRANCIS has been instrumental in setting up and running the food program at these award winning restaurants with a wealth of experience spanning over a decade. Vibrant and exciting small plates are combined with exceptional dry aged beef cooked lovingly over charcoal to produce an exhilarating dining experience.
RICHARD TURNER joined the Hawksmoor team in 2009 to fulfil his life long ambition of working on a great steakhouse concept and his mark has been felt ever since.
Richard has held Head and Executive chef position in a number of London’s esteemed restaurants and has, over the years successfully opened nearly twenty restaurants as a chef consultant. Apart from being Hawksmoor Executive Head Chef, he has recently brought Meatopia events to the UK, co-owns Turner & George butchers and Pitt Cue Co. Richard’s first solo cookbook, ‘Hog’ was published in April 2015 and more recently ‘Prime’.
BEN QUINN is founding chef of Woodfired Canteen – a team renowned in food experiences, cooking over live fire and serving honest food to the centre of long tables in unusual locations. Ben is known for more than a plate of food, with bold wood-fired flavours and genuine family focused ethics. Ben’s knowledge in live fire cooking techniques has seen him not only lead outstanding events with Woodfired Canteen, but to support many other chefs, restaurants and events in doing so. As such this world class operation, based in Cornwall, enjoys working alongside the very best of people in live fire cooking and Ben travels the world doing so!
This is Ben’s second year at MEATOPIA and with him on the grills are like minded individuals that are a huge part of Woodfired Canteen’s continued journey.
“Machneyuda” restaurant opened in July 2009 in Jerusalem. The three chefs URI NAVON, Asaf Granit and Yossi Elad designed the place taking inspiration from the nearby market. When asked what food they were going to serve, their answer was “happy food”.
About a month after it’s opening a review was posted by one of the toughest critics in Israel entitled “Restaurant of the Year” and has continued to grow from strength to strength. In 2014, The Machneyuda Group opened their first UK venture, ‘The Palomar’ which was swiftly named one the hottest restaurants in London, followed by another hit more recently in ‘The Barbary’.
ROMY GILL is one of the few female Indian chef/owners in the UK, having opened Romy’s Kitchen in Bristol in 2013. She was awarded a MBE for her services to the hospitality industry in 2016. Romy recently appeared as a judge in 2016 Celebrity Masterchef finals and will be seen more on TV in 2017. She contributes regularly to food publications such as Crumbs, Olive, Delicious and Saveur.
This year Romy will be collaborating with James Whetlor of Cabrito. Calling on his ten years’ of chef experience and contacts in London, James set up Cabrito and began selling goat meat, sourced from British dairy farms.
In 2010 ZAN KAUFMAN tried the best burger she had ever eaten. She was working as a corporate lawyer in New York City and the burger was at Zaitzeff, an East Village burger joint. Soon she started moonlighting there in her free time. She wanted to know everything about this burger: how it was made, where the ingredients came from and how it tasted so damn good.
When she moved to London a year later she decided to leave her previous career behind for good. She bought an old van, converted it into a food truck and started grilling up burgers for hungry Londoners. This was the beginning of BLEEKER ST. and London’s new cult burger joint.
After a successful early career in New Zealand, culminating in awards including Chef of the Nation in 1998, Chef HAMISH BROWN was eager to broaden his culinary base and left New Zealand to come to England.
In 2006 he met Zuma and ROKA creator and co-founder Rainer Becker. The following year, Hamish accepted the position of Head Chef at Roka Restaurant, soon becoming Group Executive Chef.
The position at Roka means Hamish is never restrained by the disciplines of any one culture’s cuisine; he has celebrated the opportunity to fuse his knowledge of Japanese ingredients with his more recently acquired love for quality, seasonal, British produce.
GILL MELLER is a chef, food writer, author, food stylist and cookery teacher and has been part of the River Cottage team for 11 years, working closely with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall across the breadth of the business. He also regularly teaches at Park Farm, the home of River Cottage HQ, a small holding and cookery school producing many of its own ingredients in a simple and respectful way, following an organic model. Gill is a big advocate for simple, seasonal cookery and making the most of ingredients and the natural qualities they possess. His cooking is a reflection of his surroundings and takes inspiration from the landscape, his locality, and the amazing farmers, growers and fisherman that produce the ingredients he uses.
Though an acclaimed restaurateur, chef and author, MITCH TONKS has a love of seafood and an insatiable desire to share that passion with others. His prestigious restaurants are International and National multi-award winning, with Rockfish taking 2 awards at this year’s Seafish awards and The Seahorse being in the Sunday Times Top UK 100 restaurants. His book ‘Fresh’ scooped ‘Best Fish Book’ at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Mitch’s desire for sharing wonderful food is in evidence across all the restaurants in his group, from his flagship Seahorse to Rockfishes in Dartmouth, Torquay, Plymouth, Brixham & Exmouth.
Mitch is committed to constantly giving back to the community, having embarked on an academy scheme to train new chefs in partnership with South Devon College. On matters of UK fishing, sustainability and supply, his is arguably one of the most erudite, passionate and credible voices out there.
Raised between Australia and Malaysia, RAMAEL SCULLY has been honing his skills as a chef for over 20 years. Working in fine dining restaurants such as Bathers Pavilion in Sydney, and spells in London and Moscow have given him a worldly and complex education in the craft.
Scully moved to the UK in 2004, with a cooking style influenced by Asia, the Middle East and Europe. His open and experimental style of cooking is touched with a little bit of genius and lies behind so many of the Ottolenghi and NOPI dishes. Scully has co-written the best-selling NOPI cookbook with Yotam Ottolenghi which came out in September 2015.
Scully is a passionate and articulate ambassador for his cooking philosophy and spends much of his time presenting and demonstrating his dishes to audiences appreciative of fine food.
Celebrated chef, restaurateur and food writer MARK HIX is known for his original take on British gastronomy. After 17 years as Chef Director at Caprice Holdings, he opened his first restaurant, HIX Oyster & Chop House in 2008 followed shortly by another five HIX restaurants, scattered across London. Mark is frequently lauded as one of London’s most eminent restaurateurs with an unrivalled knowledge of ingredients with provenance. Most recently Mark received an MBE for services to hospitality, appointed within the New Year’s Honours 2017 list.
At this years Meatopia, Mark will be collaborating with the award winning Irish meat supplier, Hannan Meats, founded by Peter Hannan in 1991.
Tandoor Chop House is the meeting of a North Indian communal eatery and a classic British chop house. It combines the essence of these two traditional restaurants — the tandoor ovens, Indian spices and marinades with select prime cuts of meat, and a buzzing atmosphere.
Chef director ROSS CLARKE curates the menu for Tandoor (and sister brand The Hoxton Hotel) and was previously a director operating restaurants including Meatopia alumni The Rum Kitchen, but also Foleys, Senor Ceviche and Dirty Bones. Prior to this, he earnt his stripes spending time as a Creative Development chef in the 3 Michelin star Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen.
Returning to Meatopia, LEWIS HANNAFORD comes from a family of great chefs and worked with some of the most acclaimed names in the business before moving to Hawksmoor, where he met Richard Turner. The success of Foxlow at St John Street led to a second opening in Stoke Newington, proving the public’s love of good meat isn’t slowing down any time soon. Richard Turner has worked extensively throughout the restaurant scene and has successfully opened nearly twenty restaurants. Most recently Richard has work with the Meatopia across the globe, Turner & George Butchers and Pitt Cue Co. With Lewis and Richard at the helm, we’re already getting in line.
NIALL DAVIDSON grew up on his granny’s beef farm in Ireland, left school to take up butchering, then moved to London to become a chef. Niall was eventually named one of six “Secret Weapons Behind London’s Top Restaurants” by Zagat 2016.
He stared his career at St. John Bread and Wine, as breakfast chef, eventually joining the dinner team. His next gig landed him in Belgium, working at In de Wulf. Niall went on to stage in some of the worlds most exciting restaurants and launching an acclaimed pop-up called “Beef Cartel,” intended to showcase the worlds best beef and in doing so met IAIN MACKAY on the Island of Mull. This year he will open his first butchers in Scotland and his flagship restaurant and bar in Old Street, London and will work with Iain to showcase the worlds best Beef at Meatopia.
Born in Argentina, FRANCO FUBINI grew up between Egypt, Holland and Italy. Sparked by a desire to rediscover the flavours he had encountered as a child, he spent years perfecting cooking techniques and knife skills alongside his business studies in the US.
He first joined Philip Britten at Solstice, leading supplier to the restaurant and catering trade, before founding Natoora in 2005. With Natoora, Franco set out to revolutionise the way people think about and consume fresh fruit & vegetables. Today, he oversees an intricate supply chain that delivers exceptional fresh produce to over 500 top chefs and into three retail stores across London, while driving the company’s expansion in New York and Paris.