The Big Grill debuted in Herbert Park in Dublin 4 last year and welcomed a lot of BBQ and craft beer fans to the leafy suburbs with a feast of meat, a bunch of ale and a lot of smoke. The festival returns to Ballsbridge this month with a lot of extras and one of these is Banter. After a summer where we’ve done our thing at various festivals up and down the country, the well travelled and highly seasoned series of public talks, conversations and interviews will be live in a tent in Herbert Park for the weekend
On the menu: four days of prime-time discussions, heated conversations and entertaining panels featuring grilling experts and opinionated folks to talk about a whole bunch of issues.
Thursday Aug 13
7.15pm: The opening shout
We set the scene for the weekend with DJ BBQ (BBQ evangalist and broadcaster), Andre de Luca (the main man at Boss BBQ, Sao Paulo), Catherine Cleary (resturant reviewer at The Irish Times), Aoife McElwain (Forkful) and guests talking turkey (and beef, pork and chicken) about food, drink and everything else.
Friday Aug 13
7.15pm: A round with Tyson
Tyson Ho is the proprietor and pitmaster at the Arrogant Swine, an American beer hall specializing in old-school North Carolina whole hog BBQ located in Bushwick, Brooklyn. We find out more about the man who swapped careers in fine dining and finance to become the pastor at the church of pork.
Saturday Aug 14
2pm: The History of BBQ
DJ BBQ rewinds the tapes to tell the story of how BBQ became so darn popular
3.30pm: The rise and rise of fast casual
It’s the new sweet spot, that point between fast food and full table service which is gathering all the plaudits and, more importantly, punters at present. We talk to Tom Gleeson (Bunsen Burger), Kellie Hasbury (Grillstock) and Barry McNerney (Juniors, Paulie’s Pizza, The Old Spot, Lotts & Co) about the unstoppable rise of the fast casual gaffs.
5.00pm: The drinks revolution
We’ve had the craft beer movement – and the crafty beer reaction from the big breweries – we’ve had the signature whiskey buzz, we’ve had the cocktail revival and we’ve got prosecco and cava bubbles everywhere. So what’s next? We kick back and talk to new school drinks connoisseurs Cameron Wallace (Eight Degrees), Caroline Hennessy (journalist, broadcaster and co-author of “Sláinte – The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider”), Kevin Hurley (global ambassador Teeling Whiskey) and Dave Morrissey (The Portherhouse, Dingle Whiskey) about what they see on the horizon.
Sunday Aug 15
2pm: The business of BBQ
Can I give up my job in the morning and start smoking? Advice about the big jump from DJ BBQ, John Relihan (Duagh BBQ Festival), Oliver Byrne (Bison and Group Executive Chef Press Up Entertainment Group), Matt Williams (Oxford Charcoal Company) and Donal Cahill (My Meat Wagon)
3.30pm: How food festivals became the new rock’n’roll
The Big Grill is just one of a plethora of food festivals which are taking place in Ireland in 2015 and that’s before we look at all the the fests which have food as one of the chief attractions. Just what is behind this trend? We look at the growth, the motivations behind them, the patterns and the future of food festivals with Rebecca Cronin (Ballymaloe Litfest), Ger Mullally (Savour Kilkenny), Ketty Elizabeth (French Foodie In Dublin) and Samuel Bishop (Street Feast Ireland)
4.30pm: Food & music
We close our weekend at The Big Grill with a dive into the Venn diagram between food and music with Levi Roots, Billy Scurry and DJ Yoda talking about their love affair with food and why so many musicians have a blast when it comes to grub
Full information on The Big Grill’s other attractions here.