Set against the picturesque backdrop of Herbert Park, this four-day extravaganza will take place from August 17 to 20, showcasing the best of Irish and international culinary talent.
Led by the elemental power of fire and the allure of exquisite ingredients, the Big Grill Festival 2023 has assembled a stellar lineup of renowned chefs and barbecue experts from around the globe.
Familiar faces in the food and BBQ world will be back at Big Grill this year, including Chris ‘Chops’ Taylor of the great festival machine that is the DJBBQ feast experience, Nico Reynolds of Grill Seeker and Lil’ Portie, Andy Stubbs of Birmingham’s Low’n’Slow, Gubbeen’s Fingal Ferguson, Cian Mahon and Rama Basilio of Parrilla by Baste, DJ and chef Marcus O’Laoire, Kwanghi Chan of Bites and Ellie Kisyombe of Our Table.
Brad Leone, the beloved internet chef and former host of the popular Bon Appétit YouTube series “It’s Alive” and celebrity-guest show “Taste Testers,” will grace the festival. Joining him is Melissa Thompson. Melissa is an award-winning food writer and live fire cook. She is also the author of “Motherland,” a book that delves into the evolution of Jamaican cuisine. Her slot will feature BBQ demos inspired by her rich cultural background and cookbook.
Travelling all the way from Nashville, two hot new additions are set to make their Big Grill debut. Trevor Moran of Locust known for his impressive stints at Nashville’s The Catbird Seat and Copenhagen’s Noma. Additionally, Pat Martin, one of the South’s most acclaimed pitmasters and author of “Life of Fire,” renowned for his West Tennessee-style whole hog BBQ, is on the line up. Joining them from the United States is the esteemed restaurateur and pitmaster Billy Durney. Billy is known for his ventures at Hometown Bar-B-Que and Brooklyn’s Red Hook Tavern. Where he perfected his legendary cheeseburger over an eight-month period.
Making a welcome return to the festival is Andy Ricker. Andy is a two-time James Beard Award winner and the mastermind behind PokPok restaurants and Som beverages. Andy is coming all the way from his base in Thailand to collaborate with Dublin’s Hang Dai. The duo are slated to create an exceptional Chinese-Thai fusion culinary experience.
BBQ expert Genevieve Taylor, who has authored a staggering 12 books on the barbecue is flying in for the festival. Her publications include bestsellers like “Charred – A Complete Guide to Vegetarian Barbecue” and “Foolproof BBQ,”. She will conduct in-depth masterclass demos in Bastecamp, providing invaluable insights into the art of grilling.
Fans of the acclaimed documentary series “Chef’s Table” will be delighted to hear from American film and TV director, writer, and producer Brian McGinn. Brian is a founding partner in the production company Supper Club and co-developer of the renowned Netflix series. He will share his experiences and behind-the-scenes stories with attendees.
Another international addition is Argentinian chef Mercedes “Mecha” Solís. She will showcase her passion for marrying fire with locally sourced produce in her new Patagonian restaurant. Aishling Moore of Cork’s Goldie will explore her specialist subject of fish, preparing tantalizing dishes over live flames. Jess Kelly of The Village Butcher will focus on sausage-making and butchery demos at Bastecamp.
Restaurants feature too, including Hawksmoor, From the Ashes Barbecue, Hang Dai, Bites by Kwanghi, Bahay, Parrilla by Baste, Happy’s, Crudo, Reyna, Reggie Does Pizza and Bahay.
Elsewhere on CHAR: How to pick a good restaurant on TikTok