After its scorching return in 2022, Europe’s biggest BBQ & food festival, the Big Grill Festival 2023 is back in Herbert Park this summer, running from August 17th to 20th. Over four fabulous days of fire, food and fun, the very best Irish and international chefs, restaurants and barbecue experts will come together to celebrate and explore the delicious challenges, skilful techniques, and pure magic of cooking over live fire.
It’s a festival led by ingredients and fed by fire and this year’s line-up sparkles with smoking talent from all over the world.
In this first round of names announced, Big Grill Festival 2023 welcomes Brad Leone, beloved by millions internet chef and former host of the popular Bon Appétit YouTube series It’s Alive and celebrity- guest show Taste Testers. Award-winning food writer and live fire cook Melissa Thompson, author of Motherland, exploring the evolution of Jamaican food from the island’s indigenous population to today, will lead BBQ demos inspired by her background and cookbook.
Two hot new additions also making their Big Grill debut, and flying in all the way from Nashville, include Trevor Moran of Locust (whose pedigree includes Nashville’s The Catbird Seat and Noma in Copenhagen) and one of the South’s most acclaimed pitmasters and author of Life of Fire Pat Martin, renowned for his West Tennessee-style whole hog BBQ. Also joining them from the States at Big Grill will be restaurateur and pitmaster Billy Durney of Hometown Bar-B-Que and Brooklyn’s Red Hook Tavern, the man who took eight months to perfect his legendary cheeseburger – those are some secrets you won’t want to miss!
A Big Grill favourite, Andy Ricker is back. The two-time James Beard Award winner and founder of PokPok restaurants and Som beverages will make the journey
from his base in Thailand to cook Chinese-Thai food with Dublin’s Hang Dai. Also returning is BBQ expert Genevieve Taylor has literally written the book on barbecue — 12 of them so far, including the bestsellers Charred – A Complete Guide to Vegetarian Barbecue and Foolproof BBQ — and will give in-depth masterclass demos in Bastecamp.
Chef’s Table fans will look forward to hearing from American film and TV director, writer and producer Brian McGinn. McGinn is a founding partner in the production company Supper Club, co-developer of documentary series Chef’s Table, the longest-running programme on Netflix, and co-creator of Netflix series Street Food.
Argentinian chef Mercedes “Mecha” Solís joins from Patagonia where she is opening a new restaurant marrying fire and her favourite local produce, Aishling Moore of Cork’s Goldie will be exploring her specialist subject — fish — over live flames and Jess Kelly of The Village Butcher will focus on sausage-making and butchery demos at Bastecamp, underscoring the festival theme of excellent ingredients.
Donegal-born Ben Quinn of Cornwall’s Woodfired Canteen brings his experience feeding hundreds of guests exceptional produce cooked over fire in beautiful locations all over Europe to OFFSIDE at Big Grill 2023, and Nick Weston and his crew of Hunter Gather Cook will also feature in OFFSIDE, with an exclusive Wild Dinner, and will give Bastecamp demos too. Founder and head chef, Nick began Hunter Gather Cook in 2011 as a way for people to experience food in the outdoors, equipping them with the practical skills and tools to become modern-day hunter-gatherers, cooking exclusively with fire. At Big Grill Nick and his team will be using foraged ingredients from the Wicklow Mountains and rabbits hunted in Kilternan by Festival Director Andy Noonan. Nick Solares, the NYC-based food writer, photographer and broadcaster, will also host and conduct OFFSIDE experiences including ‘A Matter of Time’ with Ger Garland pairing never before tasted blends from Midleton Distillery and some of Peter Hannan’s most exclusive aged beef which will have been aged up to 300 days.
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.
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.
With more names to be announced and a detailed schedule with an increased focus on niche, skilled and in-depth demos happening this year also imminent, further information and tickets for Big Grill Festival 2023 are available on biggrillfestival.com
Led by ingredients, Fed by Fire