ASH HEEGER was raised in Cape Town, South Africa and started off her career with Luke Dale Roberts at La Colombe then moved with him to The Test Kitchen. After four years she moved to London to the kitchens of The Ledbury and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.
Ready to start out on her own, she moved back to Cape Town and in June 2016 opened her own restaurant – Ash. The restaurant focuses on charcoal cooking with all elements of each dish cooked over flame using ethically sourced, free range and seasonal meat and produce.
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.
Originally from Buenos Aires, ESTANISLAO CARENZO has worked in some of the most influential restaurants in the world from New York to France. Returning to Argentina he went on to open Sudestada, the first real South East Asian restaurant in Buenos Aires. After three incredible years he moved to Japan to learn about Japanese cooking. Deeply influenced by his travels, he opened the European branch of Sudestada in Madrid.
Since then, he has opened three further restaurants. Estanis now heads up the food at independent hotel Casa Bonay in Barcelona. At the flagship restaurant Elephant Crocodile Monkey Estanis’s menu focuses on South East Asian cuisine cooked with the best ingredients the Mediterranean has to offer.
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.
ANDY STUBBS set up Low N Slow in May 2013. His stall is a regular at Digbeth Dining Club in his home town of Birmingham where you can find him most weekends cooking ribs, brisket, pork shoulder and tacos. Voted Birmingham Food, Drink & Hospitality Awards best street food 2016 and a YBF finalist 2016, Andy travels the country cooking BBQ at street food events and taking over kitchens. It was always a dream of his to be invited to cook at Meatopia alongside the people that have inspired him.
SEBASTIAN and FREDDIE met while hosting joint taco parties last Summer. Ahead of their forthcoming East London restaurant, Snackbar, they will be throwing a few parties and dinners across London over the next few months.
Sebastian currently heads up the food at The Laughing Heart La Cave, after running the kitchens at Chiltern Firehouse and Sager + Wilde Paradise Row. Freddie runs pop-ups under her ‘F.A.T by Freddie’ banner, released a cookbook called Pickled in 2016 and heads up PR and marketing at Lyle’s restaurant.
MATTI HURTTIA is the owner of RukaTonttu Hotel & Restaurant in Ruka, Kuusamo, Finland, a spot that has the grills and smokers going all year round – in Matti’s own words, ‘Charcoal and open fire is the truth’. With over 25 years experience, Matti has drawn influence from Mexican, Italian and Spanish kitchens as well as, of course, Scandinavian, particularly the Lapp style of cooking.
At Meatopia this year Matti will be joined on the grill by ‘The Wings’; Chef Risto Mikkola, a judge for Masterchef Finland and Marko Suksi, the ‘Chilli Witch Doctor’.
Trained in the Basque Country, ROBERTO CASTRO learnt the art of traditional Basque cooking, skills that he brought with him to London where he soon became head chef at Tapas Brindisa in 2010.
In 2015 Roberto set up his own restaurant with a bunch of like-minded friends and Lobos was born, from the love of excellent meat cuts, good wine, hospitality, Spain and London. It’s a fusion that makes these “lobos” howl. Lobos have recently opened their second restaurant in soho.
The culinary brainchild of chef ELLIOT CUNNINGHAM, Lagom is all about balance and live-fire cooking. Influenced by Elliot’s British/Scandinavian background, and drawing from both cuisines, it’s origins are as old as mankind. Using this ethos of ‘Lagom’, the concept aims to showcase balanced, seasonal, ingredient-lead dishes, always prepared over wood, charcoal or smoke.
Born in Iceland 1977 , SIGGI GUNNLAUGSSON has been with Tommi´s burger joint in London from the very start of their first small pop up in Marylebone Lane in 2012. He has previously worked in kitchens in both his home country as well as in Norway, before signing on with Icelandic burgerlegend Tómas “Tommi” Tómasson for the first venture of the burger franchise outside of Iceland. Since then they have opened branches in 5 more countries and continue to spread the burger gospel.
MIKEL VIÑASPRE started out in the ancestral trade of grill masters at the best grills of the Basque Country where great aged beef “txuletones” are a religion. As the heir of a rich gastronomic past, he and his brother Iñaki co-founded the project of Sagardi Basque Country Chefs over 20 years ago with a clear goal to spread the traditional Basque culinary culture all over the world.
Sagardi has established itself as a first class restaurant and has brought the Basque grill to London, Mexico, Buenos Aires and Porto. We look forward to welcoming them to Meatopia.
Executive Chef NACHO DEL CAMPO hails from Vitoria, the capital of the Basque Country, a region recognised as the gastronomic heartland of Spain. It’s a place where wonderful food and drink, friends and family are central to living, and Nacho brings those values to Camino with his hearty, flavourful tapas.
Nacho’s style of cooking stays true to his origins – simple, honest food and hearty flavours, made all the more exciting with his incredible passion and creativity. His focus is always on using the best quality ingredients, largely imported from Spanish suppliers, and cooking them as authentically as possible, using original Basque Country grills.
Seasoned British chef, NATHAN GREEN started his career at the two-Michelin starred Gidleigh Park and subsequently worked at renowned establishments such as Tom Aikens, The Square and the Michelin starred Arbutus where he was Senior Sous Chef. In 2004 Nate was voted “Young Chef of the Year” by the Restaurant Association. In March 2014, Nate was hand-picked by Jason Atherton to take on the Executive Chef role at 22 Ships and Ham & Sherry in Hong Kong.
In June 2016 Nate opened Rhoda in partnership with award-winning restaurateur Yenn Wong of JIA Group. Rhoda offers simple, delicious dishes cooked over the charcoal grill.
ANDREW CLARKE is no stranger to Meatopia, always a welcome and iconic sight with his trademark viking beard and long blond hair, tattoos and orange leather apron. While he looks perfectly at home amongst the wood, flames and smoke, the Chef Director of Brunswick House balances live fire cooking with a profound seasonal focus led by intuitive and thoughtful vegetable cookery, presented as carefully considered plates that stand up to the powerful savour of lovingly reared and butchered meat, suitable to the absolutely unique quality of his restaurant in the crumbling grandeur of a large Georgian mansion in Central London, and making him one of the most highly regarded chefs working in the UK today. This year Andrew brings a little of Brunswick House and his forthcoming Bastien restaurant to the Friday late shift.
Leading the charge as one of the best burgers in London, JOE GROSSMANN is bringing Patty & Bun to Meatopia once again.
Having been inspired by his travels around America, Joe opened the first Patty & Bun in 2012 – a small, stripped back restaurant in the heart of Marylebone, serving great tasting burgers, using the best and freshest ingredients he could get his hands on. With this in mind, “the menus are kept small, so there is no room for error and we put out the best food we can possibly do, this is the main goal.”
Meatup’s executive chef STEPHEN HINKLEY has been at Meatopia every year cooking alongside chefs such as Andre Lima de Luca. With a varied cooking background from his early days with D&D running gastropubs and grills around London and more recently at Foxlow, he opened Meatup last year.
Meatup is focused on live fire bbq, butchery and smoking, it is a lively British BBQ restaurant in Wandsworth Town cooking giant ribs, fire grilled lobsters, and rarer cuts of steak. This year Stephen will be bringing his own food to the fire for the first time and with his team behind him will be pulling out all the stops.
Bad Sports is a neighbourhood Taqueria and American Sports Bar on Hackney Road. The menu focuses on tacos based on fresh corn tortillas pressed daily on site and filled with predominantly charcoal grilled meat and fish from the UK and Spain. After several years running restaurants for the Hawksmoor group, LIAM DAVEY brought his love of cooking over wood and charcoal while MATT SCOTT’S experience (Kanada Ya, Pidgin, Bao) brings a geeky love of Japanese knives and a little bit of refinement to Bad Sports taco game.