For 2012, we're bringing the Bay Area a taste of Meatopia, New York's celebrated meat-centric food festival. Kick off Eat Real Oakland with a star-studded night of meat-tastic offerings by a stellar lineup of chefs from across the country! Experience barbeque like you've never had before and try unlimited tastes from masters of meat that will not be available throughout the rest of the festival. This event is ticketed and space is limited, so secure your spot now!
Chris Lilly -- Chef and partner of the acclaimed Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama, and head of their competition team. Lilly and the Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Cooking Team have amassed three World Barbecue Grand Championships and 12 world titles at “Memphis in May,” the American Royal International Cook-Off and Jack Daniels World Barbecue Championship --the most recent at the 2011 Memphis in May competition (Grand Champion and first place in pork shoulder) and the 2011 Jack Daniels World Barbecue Championship (Awarded Reserve Grand Champions). His first cookbook, “Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book: Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint” was published in 2009 by Clarkson Potter and outlines his signature style—slow cooking over low heat. In addition to his work at the restaurant and on the competition barbecue circuit, Lilly also lends his expertise to Kingsford® charcoal as a national spokesperson.
Nick Pihakis -- Nick Pihakis founded Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q in 1985. Twenty-seven years and twenty-eight restaurants later, Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, has become one of the South’s most respected restaurant groups. Nick’s commitment to traditional recipes, scratch-made integrity with no-short cuts, and genuine community service has garnered recognition by the James Beard Foundation with consecutive nominations for Best Restaurateur. Nick has a passion for supporting local farmers and traditional foodways whenever and wherever possible and sits on the board of Jones Valley Urban Farm and, through Jim ‘N Nick’s is a strong supporter of The Southern Foodways Alliance.
Nicole Brisson -- Starting as a prep cook in upstate New York when she was only 14 years old, Nicole Brisson went on to attend Johnson & Wales University, the renowned cooking school. After studying, Nicole staged in some of the best kitchens in Italy and was then brought to Las Vegas in 2005 to open the Wynn under Chefs Steven Kalt and Paul Bartolotta. Nicole later served as Chef di Cucina at OTTO Pizzeria for 3 years and is now the Executive chef of Mario Batali's restaurant Carnevino in Las Vegas at The Palazzo Resort.
Doug Keiles -- Pitmaster of the Award Winning BBQ Team Ribs Within from Hillsborough, New Jersey, Doug Keiles has won five out of 14 grilling competitions and established his own line of rubs featuring "Rub-4-All." A no-nonsense pit master, and a veteran griller, Doug takes to smoke and charcoal like second nature. He creates a unique mélange of seasonings reminiscent of Caribbean and Asian flavors with a zesty Cajun kick. He has been seen on All-American Festivals - Guitarbeque and recently on Chopped Grill Masters - as one of the top 16 Grill Masters, where Judge Amanda Freitag applauded his 'Grilling Genius' during the entree round.
Rodney Scott -- Rodney Scott has spent most of his life working in Scott’s Bar-B-Que, the business that his father built in Hemingway, South Carolina. He cooked his first whole hog at the age of 11 and never looked back. His whole hog barbecue restaurant has been featured in the New York Times and on ABC Nightline. Rodney has cooked at New York’s Big Apple BBQ Block Party and the Charleston Food and Wine Festival and was the subject of Joe York's 2010 short film Cut/Chop/Cook, produced by The Southern Foodways Alliance.
Chris Phelps & Zak Walters -- Chris Phelps began his culinary career at the age of 16 working with Chef Mark Henry at the acclaimed Oregon Grille in Maryland. Zak Walters made a name for himself as the sous chef at the West Holloywood eatery, Cube. Now they're both stationed in Los Angeles and partners in the ownership and cuisine at Salt's Cure. Their West Hollywood restaurant opened in August of 2010 to rave reviews, including being listed as one of Los Angeles Magazine's 10 Best New Restaurants. Salt's Cure handcrafts all products in-house and only sources ingredients grown & raised in California.
Harry Stewart -- Award-winning barbeque competitor Harry Stewart opened up Great American BBQ in Alameda in 2007. His restaurant prides itself on special recipes and amazing meat. He made the San Francisco Chronicle's "Top Bargain Bites" list in 2009 and 2010, landed himself in the National BBQ Association's Who's Who of BBQ, and became a featured lecturer for the association's national conventions. He has competed in KCBS-style barbecue competitions, is a certified judge for KCBS and was involved in the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.
Rick Hackett -- Chef and owner of Bocanova in Oakland, CA, Hackett started off learning the principles of nouvelle cuisine at Yannick Cam's acclaimed Washington D.C. restaurant Le Pavillon before moving to the Bay Area himself in 1979. There he became part of the American culinary revolution, working at such establishments as Chez Panisse, Bay Wolf, Oliveto, Postrio, and Acme Bread. More recently the Executive Chef at the popular MarketBar in San Francisco's Ferry Building, Hackett created Bocanova as the perfect showcase for his innovative Pan-American cuisine, combining flavors and techniques from North, Central, and South America with Mediterranean traditions.
Kim Alter -- Executive Chef at Haven, the latest addition to chef/restauranteur Daniel Patterson's growing restaurant group. Previously, Alter had worked throughout the Bay Area with the esteemed chefs in the kitchens at Aqua, Manresa, Acquerello and Ubuntu. In 2010 she helped open Plate Shop, the Sausalito restaurant where she served as head cook, gardener, and butcher and made waves in Marin with her diehard devotion to nose-to-tail eating. Now in Haven, Jack London Square's newest restaurant, she still does plenty of whole animal (and whole vegetable) cooking as well as their noted "Let Us Cook For You": 4 or 5-course family-style menu.
Charlie Hallowell -- Hallowell is the chef-owner behind Pizzaiolo, the instantaneously popular Neapolitan pizza restaurant that opened in Summer 2005 in Oakland’s Temescal district. At age 21, Hallowell found himself working in the kitchen at Chez Panisse. For the first time in his life he felt completely engaged and enlivened by his job, and the intellectual life that permeated the culture at Chez Panisse. After eight years of working in the kitchen, a degree in English literature, and almost a decade in the Bay Area, Charlie felt it was time to try a project of his own. Thus Pizzaiolo was born. Four years later, he opened Boot and Shoe Service which continues the trend offering casual, wood-fired pizza topped with seasonal ingredients. A third venture is currently in the works.