‘Meat’ the stars of Fire & Feast

The country’s leading meat experts are ready to be grilled for information at this year’s Fire & Feast Meat Festival presented by Crown National. This proudly meaty gathering, taking place at Joburg’s Ticketpro Dome from 8 to 10 June, gives visitors a platform to engage with the best in the meat industry on the ideal cuts, meat benefits and best places to source quality beef, pork, lamb and chicken.

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‘Meat is such an inherent part of the South African culture and we want to use this festival to celebrate all aspects of meat while offering advice on how to improve every meal associated with meat,’ says Sandra Jardim, general manager: The Fire & Feast Meat Festival. ‘Visitors will get the chance to interact directly with industry experts while watching live demonstrations that will give some inspired meat prepping and cooking ideas.’

Dedicated meat theatres

Succulent tips on everything pork, chicken, lamb and beef can be discovered in the four dedicated meat theatres, all of which feature sponsored products from Chad-O-Chef and @home’s Breville, Robert Welch, Baccarat and Smeg cookware.

Seasoned chefs and lambassadors from Lamb and Mutton South Africa, including The Bearded Chef and charming trio of chefs – Naledi, Thutu and Tshepang – will turn up the heat in the Lamb & Mutton SA Theatre. Visitors can expect demonstrations on new ways to cook with lamb and, to really whet the appetite.

The organisation, which is responsible for consumer awareness on South African lamb and mutton, takes its role seriously and translates scientific research into consumer-friendly messages. This includes highlighting the numerous health benefits of South African lamb and mutton.

‘Recent South African scientific studies have confirmed that the fat content of South African lamb is significantly lower than those of other countries,’ explains Marina Bester of Lamb and Mutton South Africa. ‘Lamb is a good source of bioavailable, high-quality protein, iron and the B vitamins, especially vitamin B12. When consumed in the correct portion sizes, as part of a balanced diet, South African lamb is highly beneficial to one’s health.’

She explained that each cut of lamb has its own characteristics, something which the onsite chefs will explain through demonstrations at the theatre. ‘We encourage consumers to ask questions, to find out where their meat is coming from and discover what cuts work with what cooking abilities. These are some of the elements we’ll be sharing at Fire & Feast.’

Beefing up the meat-and-greet opportunities at Fire & Feast is The Sparta Beef Theatre where the internationally-renowned Sparta team will educate visitors on all manner of beef products, such as their mature portioned steaks, beef bacon, burger patties and beef sausages.

‘As the official Beef Theatre sponsor, Sparta is thrilled to offer visitors taste testers, giveaways, memorabilia and quality beef to buy,’ says Abby Schoeman, marketing co-ordinator of the Sparta group. ‘We will also be offering a rare opportunity to buy Woodview Wagyu and Sparta Angus Beef!’

Woodview Wagyu and Sparta Angus Beef are two incredibly popular beef products globally, primarily because of the greater marbling of the meat which improves tenderness and flavour. Sparta experts will explain the differences between the two brands as well as ways to analyse the marbling class of each cut to ensure maximum flavour at every meal.

‘Beef is rich in protein and provides the consumer with B12 which is essential for the metabolism. As a proudly South African company, we can’t wait to share this experience with visitors at the Fire & Feast!’ says Schoeman.

At the top of the poultry pecking order is this year’s Poultry Theatre brought to you by County Fair & Festive. Visitors are certain to flock to this dynamic theatre, which is backed by a leading South African integrated poultry producer, Astral Foods Limited. They will be featuring two of their chicken brands, County Fair and Festive, with culinary chefs displaying interesting ways to prepare this versatile meat.

‘We are excited to educate the consumer about the chicken industry in South Africa as well as the numerous benefits associated with this meat,’ says Colin Smith, marketing executive of Astral Operations Ltd. ‘Many people don’t realise that chicken is still the least expensive meat protein available in the country and is one of the healthiest protein sources when it comes to meat.’

The team at County Fair & Festive will debunk a lot of the myths associated with chicken farming and poultry production, while offering some useful tips on chicken preparation and cooking.

‘Astral’s poultry is all hormone-free, with our chickens raised in poultry sheds designed to keep them as comfortable as possible,’ he explains. ‘They are fed on a specially-formulated diet consisting of maize, protein ingredients, as well as key vitamins and minerals and have unrestricted access to food, water and natural light 24 hours a day.’

The result is a nutritious, wholesome chicken meat that visitors to this year’s Fire & Feast Meat Festival will get to sample. Visitors to the Poultry Theatre brought to you by County Fair & Festive stand a chance to win a County Fair & Festive chicken product hamper daily and go into the final draw, with a chance to win the main prize.

The South African Pork Producers Organisation (SAPPO) is throwing its weight behind this year’s Pork Tasting Room where representatives will be chatting about the benefits of South African Pork and the world-class quality assurance scheme, Pork 360. Focused on consumer education and the promotion of fresh pork consumption, SAPPO is excited to be using the Fire & Feast platform to fulfil their role.

‘We are ready to engage with consumers about the fact that South African pork is delicious, totally safe and affordable,’ says Marieta Human of SAPPO. ‘There are just so many benefits to the meat – it is an excellent protein and vitamin source, is low in cholesterol and saturated fats and the taste and texture make it naturally suited to low-fat cooking methods.’

She explained that pork is a high-quality meat, very affordable and extremely versatile – it can be cooked on the braai, roasted in the oven, or thrown into a potjie for a succulent stew.

‘We will be providing visitors will all the essential pork information, offering yummy tasting samples as well as some super easy take-home recipes at the theatre,’ she concludes.

MyBraai Meat & Wine Pairing

A bonus to this year’s meat board will be the tasteful inclusion of the MyBraai Meat and Wine Pairing feature. Sponsored by MyBraai online butchery, this is a dedicated meat and wine pairing theatre where visitors can de-cant and devour while learning about the importance of meat and wine flavour fusion. Here, chefs from MyBraai will team up with Leopard’s Leap sommeliers to discuss the perfect drinking wines to complement four meaty dishes – beef, pork, lamb and chicken. Tickets to the MyBraai Meat & Wine Pairing – available at www.computicket.co.za – will include entrance to the Fire & Feast Meat Festival as well.

 Braaitology

The carnivorous catering continues in the smoking hot Braaitology, sponsored by leading Gas Grill & Hybrid Braai manufacturer, Chad-O-Chef. Visitors to this meaty hotspot will find 10 chefs from the South African Chef Association (SACA) each preparing one appetizer-size portion using either chicken, beef, pork or lamb. Knowledge gleaned from the four dedicated meat theatres will be stewed, sautéed, flambéed and braai’d into delicate bit-size delights. One taster = R25 == one BraaiBuck

Through the smoke screen and flames, visitors catch a sighting of South Africa’s own BraaiBoy, tongs in hand cooking his favourite recipes on his favourite Chad-O-Chef Hybrid. One lucky guest could even win the chance to cook with the braai wonder by entering the Fire & Feast social media contest.

Meaty exhibitors

There is no end to the meat-centric offerings at Fire & Feast with a really impressive exhibitor line-up making sure no meat gets the chop. Visitors can expect to see, smell, hear and…most importantly…taste meaty bites from A Cut Above, Begk’s Smoked Food, Dano’s Food, Dawn’s Kitchen, Home Made Thai Cuisine and Lynca Meats, among others.

The Fire & Feast Meat Festival promises a mouth-watering line-up of features for visitors to sink their teeth into, including:

  • Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Bar & Restaurant
  • Jack Daniel’s Man Cave
  • BRM Brands Bistro
  • Wine Tasting Area
  • Craftology
  • Live entertainment daily
  • SA’s Winning National Butchers Team supported by Crown National
  • A range of exhibitions which complement the ultimate South African meat and braai experience

Eat, meat, feast and repeat at the ultimate meat, braai and music celebration. Tickets are available from www.computicket.co.za or at the door. No alcohol will be served to U18’s.

For more information follow Fire & Feast Meat Festival on: www.fireandfeast.co.za