All good meals must come to an end, and Meatopia is over. But the highlights package only goes to show what a barnstormer of meaty goodness it really was this year

Now the fires have died down, the smoke has dissipated, the meat sweats have ebbed away, the last pickings of flame-cooked flesh have been dislodged from the teeth and the final bearded, tattooed chef has loaded up his van and exited, we can look back on the orgy of carnivorous activity that is Meatopia.

picture-13The HotJoint posse was in full effect eating, drinking, making merry and cladding some of the world’s best chefs in our funktastic BBQ aprons. So what memories linger along with those nagging thoughts that a month of vegetarianism might not be the worst idea?

Wrestling with a big tomahawk steak has left HotJointers wondering whether this will produce happy dreams or nightmares, but one thing is for sure: it was delicious!

Honest burgers’ Honest Kebab wins some sort of award for being utterly brisketly awesome (chipotle gravy and chips?!). Big up!

Talking of brisket, SmokeStak was in the house and on-point as usual. Wow.

And how about Francis Mallmann’s lamb al asador. Just the sight of a crucified sheep on a cross over the a holy fire was enough to bring a grown man to his knees.

And Selin Kiazim’s baharat-spiced duck with flatbread, figs and feta was f’ing amazing.

picture-12But what of the Meatopia head honchos themselves? After a period of recovery what are their highlights? Mat Kemp, Meatopia organizer, curator and meat master, was wowed by New York’s “princess of pork” Angie Marr: “She was awesome both days and in the Cutting Room,” he tells HotJoint. “Her bone marrow crème brulee was phenomenal.”

If you are in any doubt that Meatopia is the world’s most interesting and tastiest and honest food festival in the world, Mat also sings the praises of Matti Hurrtia’s Lapland Round Trip (“a triumph!”) and Andre De Luca’s Peter Hannan salt-aged steak (“sold out in three hours”). “All the meat from the Mackays was unbelievable; Hawksmoor’s from Perth and Nial Davidson’s from Mull,” he adds.

Mat has had a Lagunitas epiphany over the weekend, pronouncing it his new favourite beer and declares the music element the best ever at Meatopia: “Jazzie B killed it,” he says. “Then Norman Jay restarted its heart and then killed it again.”

Meatopia UK founder Rich Turner, who buzzes around all weekend socializing, cooking and eating, was still lying down in a dark room a week after the event recovering. “Niklas Ekstedt was awesome,” he told HotJoint. “Most everything else was a blur … ”