More where this came from this weekend at The Historic Pearl Brewery during Texas' first annual Meatopia.
More where this came from this weekend at The Historic Pearl Brewery during Texas' first annual Meatopia.
Jaime Solis

From brisket to barbacoa, it’s no secret that San Antonio is a meat lover’s paradise.  So it’s only fitting that the Alamo City host the first ever Meatopia in Texas, joining New York City and London as host cities for the meaty festival. (The Rivard Report has tickets to give away. Read on for details.)

Meatopia brings some of the best chefs from Texas and around the country to The Pearl this weekend to work their culinary magic and cook some of the best cuts of meat over live fire.  No propane allowed.

Some of San Antonio’s most lauded chefs will be on hand to show their cooking prowess. Johnny Hernandez, of La Gloria, will create cabritos asados de leñaJason Dady, of Two Brothers BBQ and Bin 555, will prepare porchetta and fire-roasted clams with charred sourdough.  Tim Rattray of The Granary will prepare a Cuban pulled pork sandwich with mojo sauce and mustard infused jicama. Andrew Weissman of Il Sogno Osteria & The Sandbar Fish House, among others, will be serving braised stuffed breast of veal with potatoes mousseline sauce madere.


There also will be chefs from around the country. Mike Toscano of Perla in New York City will serve beef cheek and tongue with blistered shishito peppers and bock beer vinegar sauce, and Chef John Fink of The Whole Beast located in Oakland, CA will be dishing out lamb gyros made with chermoula spiced lamb necks served with harrisa, a chermoula yogurt sauce, and cucumber onion salad on a whole wheat lavash.

Hungry yet?  You should be.  Meatopia is billed as a two-day “Carnivores Paradise” that seeks to showcase mouth-watering culinary dishes that would make even the most diehard vegetarian think twice.

“Meatopia was meant to be the world’s greatest meat event, a celebration of humane farming, genius cookery, and the natural love of human beings for meat,” said Founder Josh Ozersky.

You can also quench your thirst with a nice cold beer and listen to a wide array of  local music by some of San Antonio’s favorite musicians, from bluegrass, South Texas Jazz and, of course, Tejano –it wouldn’t be a real San Antonio barbecue without Tejano.

This event is expected to sell out (Saturday general admission, $75, already has), but we have two Sunday tickets to for a lucky reader.

All you have to do is tell us what you think the official meat of San Antonio should be.  Leave your suggestion on the comments section of this post and your name will be entered into a drawing.

When commenting, include your first and last name along with your email address in the appropriate fields. Your email will not be visible to the public unless you enter it into the comment text field. We advise you to enter it into the provided field so that only our team can see it – it will not be used for any purpose but to contact winners.

More where this came from this weekend at The Historic Pearl Brewery during Texas' first annual Meatopia.
More where this came from this weekend at The Historic Pearl Brewery during Texas’ first annual Meatopia. Photo courtesy

The contest starts now and will end at midnight, Oct. 31 (yes, Halloween night). The winner will be announced on Friday, Nov. 1.  The grills will start to heat up at noon 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Good luck – and if you win, show up really hungry.

Here is a list of participating chefs:

John Tesar of Spoon (Dallas, TX)

Known for his stylish, modern American cuisine prepared with classic European techniques, Tesar will create sea salt and herb rubbed prime rib of bison with béarnaise and tallow fried potatoes.

Rene Ortiz (Austin, TX)

Finalist for 2013 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest, Ortiz will serve charcoal grilled chicken with pixie chili paste, palm sugar, black vinegar and cumin.

Laura Sawicki (Austin, TX)

Finalist for 2013 James Beard nominee for Outstanding Pastry Chef and 2013 CultureMap’s Tastemaker Award winner for Best Pastry Chef, Sawicki will feature one of her specialty desserts.

Ned Elliott of Foreign & Domestic (Austin, TX)

Finalist of Food & Wine magazine’s “The People’s Best New Chef: 2012 Southwest”, Elliott, a major force in the world of cutting-edge meat cookery, will prepare a dish with crispy grilled lamb ribs.

Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due (Austin, TX)

Winner of Edible Communities 2012 Local Hero/Food Artisan Award and 2013 James Beard book award nominee for single-subject with Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish, Griffiths will prepare doves for the VIP section.

Geronimo Lopez of NAO (San Antonio, TX)

Influential Venezuelan chef Geronimo Lopez will prepare wood roasted whole leg of veal with Argentinian grilled sweetbreads topped with spicy chimichurri chorizo and grilled peppers.

Jeff White of Boiler House (San Antonio, TX)

Winner of People’s Choice Award for the Taste of Elegance, White will create hot paprika beef heart and melted beef cheek with charred haricot vert salad, goat cheese and cardamom cashews.

Steven McHugh of Cured (San Antonio, TX)

Chef of the eagerly anticipated Cured restaurant at Pearl, McHugh will serve whole hog gumbo.

John Fink of The Whole Beast (Oakland, CA)

Trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa, Canada, Fink strives to create transformational dining experiences that can be seen in his Meatopia dish of lamb gyros made with chermoula spiced lamb necks served with harrisa, a chermoula yogurt sauce and cucumber onion salad on a whole wheat lavash.

Anthony Goncalves of 42 (White Plains, NY)

Travelling to Meatopia Texas all the way from New York, Goncalves, a pioneer of “the new Iberian cuisine,” will bring one of the most-loved Meatopia dishes of recent years, a pork-belly paella with farm eggs, to Texas.

Ford Fry of No. 246 (Decatur, GA)

Semi-finalist for 2013 James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurateur, and one of the leading chefs of the South, Fry will serve grass roots farm pastured breast, shoulders, knees and toes of chicken.

Chad Carey of The Monterey (San Antonio, TX)

Named number six on Texas Monthly’s “Where to Eat Now” 2012 list, The Monterey owner and chef will prepare grilled lamb heart anticuchos, smoked chili.

Jeff Balfour formerly of Citrus (San Antonio, TX)

Known as one of San Antonio’s most innovative chefs at a fine dining restaurant, Balfour’s dish will be orange-lambic brulee’d chicken with thyme and arugula.

Jennifer Dobbertin of Hot Mess Food (San Antonio, TX)

Owner of Hot Mess, Dobbertin will create marinated Thai baby back ribs with sticky rice & ‘Naam Jim Jaew’ hot sauce.

Nelson Millan of San Antonio Country Club (San Antonio, TX)

Millan will serve lechon and trunchetta, essentially a whole, boned roasted Duroc hog cooked in La Caja China double-decker grill boxes, accompanied with mojo picked onions.

Bruce Auden of Biga (San Antonio, TX)

James Beard Award finalist chef, Auden will prepare Broken Arrow Ranch venison chili topped with grilled Bandera Quail, cornbread and all the “fixin’s.”

Josh Watkins of The Carillon (Austin, TX)

2012 Star Chef Austin-San Antonio Rising Star winner, Watkins will be serving one of the event’s most refined dishes, grilled olive oil poached beef tenderloin with potato puree, sweet smoked syrup and paprika.

Ben Runkle & Bryan Butler of Salt & Time (Austin, TX)

Named one of the top 10 Best New School Butcher Shops in America by First We Feast, Salt & Time will offer a selection of house made sausages, salumi and charcuterie to VIP guests.

Jordan Mackey of Las Ramblas (San Antonio, TX)

CIA graduate and chef at Hotel Contessa and Las Ramblas’ signature restaurant on the famed River Walk, Mackey will serve fire roasted whole lamb in the Riojan style.

Jeff Foresman of Zocca Cuisine D’Italia  (San Antonio, TX)

With extensive experience in the hotel restaurant industry, Foresman will prepare grilled Italian piadina topped with seared bison tenderloin carpaccio, wild arugula, Hill Country olive oil and shaved horseradish pecan cheddar.

Mike Behrend of Green Vegetarian Cuisine (San Antonio, TX)

Known as San Antonio’s only 100-person vegetarian and kosher restaurant, Behrend will create salt-crusted new potatoes with braised kale.

Jaime Solis is the Director of Marketing and Development for the Rivard Report. Follow him on Twitter at @_JaimeSolis and contact him at

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Jaime Solis

Jaime Solis is the director of development and advertising sales for the Rivard Report. You can contact him at