What’s different about this year’s Meatopia? It sounds just like last year’s.
How wrong you are! While last year’s Meatopia was the most ambitious ever, by far, this year’s will be even better. We are returning Meatopia to the green, pastoral, park-like setting where it belongs, as it settles into its new home on Randall’s Island. There will be live music on stage this year, featuring multiple bands including Woods, The Slackers, and the Living Kills. We are at work on creating a bourbon and scotch lounge with a cigar bar, a tented lounge area, and much more. More importantly, from the point of view of everybody who sweated in last year’s heat, we have moved the event to September 8 and are starting it later in the day, so we expect heat not to be a problem. Finally, we have put together a go-for-broke chef roster with over half of our chefs making their Meatopia debuts, including such meat superstars as Adam Perry Lang, Marc Forgione, Justin Smillie, Zak Pelaccio, and many others, including a few yet to be announced. Celebrity judges will include Andrew Zimmern, Morgan Spurlock, Ted Allen, and Adam Richman.
Meatopia is for people 21 and over only this year. What’s up with that?
For insurance reasons connected with alcohol and open fires on-site, no one under 21 can be admitted. We’re sorry, but it can’t be helped.
Last year’s event only cost me $85. Why can’t I pay that this year? I don’t plan on drinking beer, so why should I have to pay last year’s beer price?
This is the question we’ve gotten most frequently, and we’ll give it to you straight: last year’s general admission price was artificially low. Last year was a Hermes event at DKNY prices. Meatopia is a spectacular, over-the-top event, with more chefs per guest than any event I’ve ever been to, personally. That makes it a fantastic experience to attend, but it also makes it astronomically expensive to put on. If we charged $85 we would lose a fortune of money. And we can’t afford to do that this year. I’m not a giant music tour, or a multimillion-dollar corporation. I’m just a well-connected glutton with a love for ethical meat.
There is one price, which includes all the food, all the beer, wine, spirits, the James Beard Award winning Jeni’s ice cream, cold San Benedetto water, Honey Drop Tea, Robicelli’s cupcakes, and even a ferry ride to and from the event. It’s a hell of a bargain, considering that a lot of very crappy events, with very long lines, and very mediocre food, routinely charge $250 or more. So our plan is to keep doing the best culinary event in the world, making better each year, and charging what we have to.
Your event is too expensive. I don’t want to pay that much. I would rather stay home and eat ramen noodles.
My wife / child / life partner is a vegetarian and won’t be eating anything. Does s/he have to pay to attend?
Yes, everybody has to pay, I’m afraid. Meatopia is an inclusive, no-cash event. We don’t police who is eating what. It’s a giant open meat bar, essentially.
Will there be any vegetarian options at your event?
I see where the event ticket includes a ferry ride. Is this like two years ago, when everybody had to take a boat to get there? That took hours!
Our new home on Randall’s Island does indeed have a beautiful boat dock, just feet from the entrance to Meatopia. But it’s also accessible by car and bus, and has extensive parking facilities. In addition, we are partnering with Uber to provided discounted car service for any guests that choose to use it. Download the Uber app on your smartphone today.
Do you have a charity partner?
We do! Actually, we have two. Our main charity partner is the Armed Forces Foundation, who we will be making a sizable donation to, irregardless of Meatopia’s profitability. (To learn more about the AFF, and their work on behalf of veterans, visit their site here.) So a team of active duty Navy SEALs will be cooking game, and fifty Wounded Warriors will be enjoying a great time along with everybody else, as guests of Meatopia. In addition, City Harvest will be collecting food for distribution to hungry New Yorkers.