There’s no mystery ingredient at Meatopia, a festival that wears its rump, sirloin, brisket, cheek, leg, head, heart and mouth-wateringly more on its sleeve – this event on September 7 is as close as you’ll come to meat nirvana, as 25 top chefs cook one fleshtastic dish each over fire and coals.

The ‘Meaterati’ will debate the virtues of meat (with arguments for the affirmative and the affirmative, we presume), against a background of live music and all-round meaty merriment. To find out what we can expect and to get an insight into the juicy world of committed carnivorousness, we caught up with four chefs who’ll be on the coals next week.

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Richard H. Turner

Chef and restaurateur who got his chops with kitchen royalty such as Albert and Michel Roux Jr and Marco Pierre White, now of Hawksmoor, Pitt Cue Co and Turner & George acclaim.Meatopia dish: Anch & Deckle – charcoal grilled Deckle steak with anchovy chilli butter.

Favourite cheap cut of meat? Pig’s head. 

What would you do with it for your last meal? Braised with spices, maybe in a macaronade.The best way to sex up a steak? Charcoal.

Turn a steak once or lots on the barbecue? Lots.

Secret to a great barbie that anyone could do? Season well, keep heat to medium hot.

What’s your happiest meat memory? My mother’s lamb belly.

Can you explain vegetarianism? Without vegetarians there would be nothing for carnivores to eat.

What’s a meat dish you love that´s a bit of a hard sell for others? Pigs snoots (snouts).

Your favourite drink with meat? Ice cold Meantime London Lager with a Pappy Van Winkle 15 (bourbon) back.

You don’t make friends with salad, but what’s your fave meat side? Salt.

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Tim Byres

Old West-inspired chef with his background in Pan-Asian and modern Texan cuisines. Released the book Smoke, the same name as his restaurant in Dallas, Texas.

Meatopia dish: Whole hog on a brick pit barbecue and tacos.

Favourite cheap cut of meat? Ox tail.

What would you do with it for your last meal? It’s better to ask, who would it be with? It’s not about the food but the community that results from it. I’d smoke the ox tails, then braise in red wine and onions. Serve with horseradish, sour cream, grilled toast and a beer.

What’s the best way to sex up a steak? Simple is sexy. I like to contrast charred, smoky, meaty flavours with the acidity of lime, garlic and fresh herbs like chimichurri. Eat with your fingers!

Turn a steak once or lots on the barbecue? Turn once. I like to grill with a live fire, not just with charcoal.

Secret to a great barbie that anyone could do? Be committed and practice! Cooking with fire requires patience and leaving it alone. Don’t mess with it once its cooking and let the fire do its thing. Trust yourself and cook with the flavours and ingredients you like that are locally available to you.

What’s your happiest meat memory? The most current one is Valentine’s Day 2013. My wife surprised me and the family with Big Night (acclaimed film about an Italian restaurant) and cooked the Timpano (delicacy from the movie) – it’s a meaty, sausage, cheese masterpiece. She completely pulled it off!

Can you explain vegetarianism? It’s unnecessarily plain and uncreative most of the time. They should treat an eggplant or mushroom like it’s meat. Grilled broccoli with hummus, roasted and ground cauliflower, yellow squash carpaccio…

What’s a meat dish you love that’s a bit of a hard sell for others? Brick roux gumbo with boudin and andouille sausage and buttery crusty bread.

Your favourite drink with meat? A pale ale like Real Ale Rio Blanco Pale Ale or Shiner Bock Blonde.

You don’t make friends with salad, but what’s your fave meat side? Pickles, raw herb salads, high acidity side again to cut the abrasive flavours of smoked meats, vegetable dishes and blue cheese coleslaw. 

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Neil Rankin

French-trained Scotsman who’s fused Korean, Malaysian and American BBQ techniques at John Salt and now-opened Smokehouse (guess what they do, really well) in Islington. 

Meatopia dish: I am afraid I cannot disclose it yet!

Favourite cheap cut of meat? Ox cheek.

What would you do with it for your last meal? Smoke it then fry it up with some nice gravy and creamy, buttery mash with a bottle of good red wine.

What’s the best way to sex up a steak? Lots of salt and eat it with your hands.

Turn a steak once or lots on the barbecue? Lots and lots.

Secret to a great barbie that anyone could do? Don’t bombard your meat with heat. And don’t leave it till the end to rest it.

What’s your happiest meat memory? My first taste of great beef. I think it was Dexter, which I cooked at home with my wife – changed everything for me.

Can you explain vegetarianism? Yes I can, it’s a movement of people who prefer side dishes.

A meat dish you love that’s a bit of a hard sell? Pig’s head. In fact any head of any animal is pretty good.

Your favourite drink with meat? A good burgundy and some Dexter beef and I’m anybody’s.

You don’t make friends with salad, but what’s your fave meat side? Good tomatoes with a touch of salt or chips. You can’t go wrong with chips and béarnaise.

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Tom Adams

Chef and co-founder of Soho restaurant Pitt Cue Co, which has a charcoal grill and two smokers as the kitchen’s hub.

Meatopia dish: Smoked pig’s head and trotter sausage.

Favourite cheap cut of meat? I wouldn’t say ‘cheap’, but I think a pig’s head is a pretty special thing. When we get a pig in from the farm the head is always one of the things we get most excited about.

What would you do with it for your last meal?

  We have smoked pig’s jowl on the menu a lot, so I’d go with that. Or a whole smoked head with loads of pickles and salad.What’s the best way to sex up a steak? A great piece of beef shouldn’t need to be sexed up. Add salt and grill. Serve rare.

Turn a steak once or lots on the barbecue? Lots of times. 

Secret to a great barbie that anyone could do? Use amazing meat. Good quality produce is the deal breaker.

What’s your happiest meat memory? Butchering my own pigs that I reared for the restaurant. And then eating them.

Can you explain vegetarianism? It can’t be explained. I have no issue at all with vegetarianism, and a great deal of modern meat production would push me towards it. Fortunately there are still lots of people out there doing it right.

What’s a meat dish you love that’s a bit of a hard sell for others? I love grilled heart, others not so much!

Your favourite drink with meat? A Pitt Cue ‘Pickleback’ (a shot of bourbon, followed by a shot of pickle juice). Then wine, lots of it. And a straight bourbon to finish. 

You don’t make friends with salad, but what’s your fave meat side? A great salad with homemade dressing is underrated. Provides a welcome contrast to the main event. 

Meatopia, September 7, 12pm-9pm. 
Tickets from £45 (includes two dishes and two drinks) to £89.25 (six dishes, six drinks, express queuing and goodie bag). Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, E1W 2SF  
meatopia.co.uk  
Tube | Tower Hill;  Shadwell 

Photos: From Smoke (Rizolli, £25) by Jody Horton