MEAT LOVERS’ PARADISE: Crown National’s The Fire & Feast Butcher’s Festival is the first of its kind in Joburg and looks set to entice foodies this weekend.
How well do you know your meat? Unless you are a chef or butcher, you are probably still thinking about it. That said, you might want to visit Crown National’s The Fire & Feast Butcher’s Festival this weekend.

Aside from it expanding your knowledge on meat, you will pick up invaluable tips, as well as sample some of the dishes.

Paul Edmunds, the sponsorship and content manager at Reed Exhibitions, explains the genesis of this festival.

“While at a restaurant, having lunch, a waiter arrived with a meat board. To be honest, the waiter nor myself knew what meat should be paired with which dish,” he said.

This incident led to a deeper look at the issue.

He continues: “So we took it upon ourselves to create a feature that, with the festival, explains the different cuts of meat, how to prepare and cook it and how to pair it. It’s a sort of one-stop shop from an explanation point of view.”

The festival is split into The Pork 360 Kitchen, The Lamb and Mutton SA Kitchen, The Beef Zone and The Blue Ribbon Sandwich Square Theatre. Aside from getting to meet highly-acclaimed butchers, the public will also receive tips from several food experts/chefs.

MEAT LOVERS’ PARADISE: Crown National’s The Fire & Feast Butcher’s Festival is the first of its kind in Joburg and looks set to entice foodies this weekend.

Edmund says: “There is a huge demand from the public to know where their meat comes from. They want to know how the animals are fed, whether the produce was chemically enhanced and so on. This is where the butcher becomes the hero again. More butchers are starting to pick up business by helping people understand more about the cut.”

With more than 100 exhibitors, there are various drink stands - from gin, wine to craft beer - as well as food stalls, food trucks and demonstration areas. The plan is to also launch the festival in Cape Town.

Chef Raynor Dreams,the executive chef at The Crowne Plaza in Rosebank, will be manning The Beef Zone alongside TV celebrity chef Sasha Zambetti.

He says: “I will be preparing an ox heart sandwich with salsa verde. It’s taking offal to the next level. It’s the most underrated cut of offal that most consumers don’t eat that’s why I am cooking with it to change consumers’ perception of ox heart.”

Meanwhile, Kabelo Segone, the vice-president of SA Chefs and brand ambassador for Lucky Star, will be in The Pork 360 Kitchen.

He says: “I will be making pork curry, gammon and roast kassler. When cooking delicate pork cut such as fillet, it should be cooked medium done, or at the most medium to well done. Overcooked pork is dry. Modern South African pork is 100% protected by strict quality assurance systems to ensure that it is safe and healthy, and can be eaten when cooked to a medium stage.”

Looks like foodies can feast on knowledge and different cuts of meat this weekend.

The Fire & Feast Butcher’s Festival, presented by Crown National, runs from 10am to 6pm from Friday to Saturday, and until 5pm on Sunday. Tickets for the event at Ticketpro Dome cost R100 for adults, R80 for pensioners and R50 for kids under 12.