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What Not to Miss at this Weekend's Big Grill Festival

It's finally here. The Big Grill Festival is happening this weekend from Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th August in Herbert Park. There is a lot to see (and eat), so we've put together our top picks for the weekend which might help you navigate things.

The Food

The restaurants pitching up at the site to cook over live fire include Clanbrassil House (famous for their in-house charcoal grill), Fowl Play (who only cook using live fire in their Hogan Place site), Smokasa, Kinara Kitchen, the Dublin Pizza Company, and Smokestak, purveyors of game-changing barbecue in London, whose main man David Carter will be cooking brisket tacos with sesame, cucumber and chilli on Friday and Saturday (do not miss them).

On Thursday and Friday, Mark O’Brien from Jamie Oliver's Barbecoa will showcase Irish fish cooked using traditional fire methods. He’ll be serving Irish oysters with pickled wild garlic stems and smoked Irish trout with late summer salad and bread and butter pickles.

Ramael Scully, former head chef of Nopi and owner of one of London's most talked about openings in the past year, Scully Restaurant, will be cooking smoked goat rendang on Saturday and Sunday, and Paul Flynn of The Tannery in Waterford will be there on Sunday, cooking smoked pork belly with Highbank Orchard syrup, with the help of Fingal Ferguson.

John Relihan, one of the best pitmasters in Europe, will be cooking all weekend at his Mexican BBQ pop-up, Smokasa. Dishes include grilled Picanha steak, the Smokasa burger and Dirty Squash Tacos. Fowl Play, owned and run by two of the founders of The Big Grill Festival, Andy Noonan and Trev O’Shea will be cooking ‘The Bird Cage’, 6 hour fire-roasted free range chicken and game.

Michelin starred chef JP McMahon from Aniar in Galway will also be there over the weeked cooking with Heineken Wild Lager, which he's paired with rib-eye steak with garlic pesto and roasted hazelnuts, and monkfish with asparagus and woodruff. Another one we definitely wouldn't want to miss is award-winning Brooklyn chef Billy Durney from Hometown BBQ, who's cooking smoked beef rib with pickles, white onion and toast on Saturday, and doing a barbequed smoked ribs demo on Sunday.

Talks and Demos

On Saturday, food writer and hamburger expert Nick Solares will host “The State of the Irish Hamburger” with Grainne O’Keefe, culinary director of Bujo and Tom Gleeson, owner of Bunsen. O’Keefe will also be cooking throughout the weekend with Clanbrassil House, where she's head chef, famous for their in-house charcoal grill which much of the menu is based on.