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15th Aug 2023

Top 6 picks for Big Grill Fest 2023

Emily Mullen

Europe’s biggest BBQ & Food Festival is back with a bang for four-days of fun, smoke and grease between 17th–20th of August

Fanning the flames in the leafy environs of Herbert Park this week will be a festival dedicated to the ancient art of cooking over the fire. This year the organisers (the people that brought you Me Aul Flower earlier in the year) are bringing their biggest lineup of sizzlers from across the globe for a weekend of demos, talks and spits.

With one of the highlights of the foodie calendar is almost upon us if you need a hand narrowing down the lengthy line-up we gotchuu:

6. Nick Solares

August 17th til’ 20th | Host at OFFSIDE 

Many will be familiar with the work of NYC-based food writer, photographer, broadcaster and self-proclaimed carnivore Nick Solares. His insights into restaurant culture and food trends, often reach across the pond and have influence here and in his native-UK. Anyone who has listened to a podcast with him knows he will be a lively and engaging host throughout the festival!

5. Pat Martin

19th Bastecamp Demo | 20th Cooking

A big dog within the industry, Martin is the founder of Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, Hugh-Baby’s BBQ & Burger Shop, and Sweet Milk. The Nashville restaurateur is one of the few pitmasters still carrying the torch of West Tennessee-style whole hog barbecue- a tradition he’s spent a lifetime studying, teaching, and celebrating.

4. Hunter Gather Cook

August 17th-20th | OFFSIDE Dining

As the name might suggest, these guys aren’t buying their ingredients in Tesco’s, instead foraging, hunting and sourcing them in the wilds of nature. Built on the tenant that “things that grow together should end up on the plate together” the team led by founder Nick Weston, run a series of courses aimed at arming students with the means to become modern-day hunter-gatherers.

3. Brad Leone

August 19th & 20th | Bastecamp Demos

You might recognise this fella from Bon Appétit YouTube series It’s Alive and celebrity-guest show Taste Testers. Praised for his laid-back approachable mix of enthusiasm and authenticity, Leone has become a bit of a behemoth within the outdoorsy food industry. Expect some freaky fermentation and some Swiss-army knife skills from Leone at these demos.

2. From The Ashes BBQ

COOKING | All festival 

For some truly inventive nose-to-tail BBQ, follow the smoke to catch Martin Anderson and Curtis Bell’s output. Growing out of a lockdown-delivery concept, the lads have since done residencies, festivals and events all over London, with a menu that rests on the principle of the ‘smoke, fat, fire’ achieved when cooking the animal whole. Expect low-smoked pork shoulder and big, meaty beef ribs to gnaw on, this will be one worth queuing for!

 1. Melissa Thompson

August 17th | Bastecamp Demo

It would be tough to host a BBQ fest without an appearance from live fire cook Melissa Thompson, whose debut cookbook, Motherland tracks the incredible legacy of Jamaican food on the island and beyond. Prolific in her writing, when she’s not penning recipes, and columns she’s calling for more diversity, inclusion and diversity within the British food industry.

What are you’s looking forward to? Let us know on [email protected]

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