What happens when you put 38 chefs, hundreds of carnivores and thousands of pounds of meat on an island? It becomes Meatopia -- a glorious city of meat where everyone is nice, the beer flows like water and the answer to "what's good here?" is always MEAT. Meatopia 2012 was probably food writer Josh Ozersky's most ambitiously carnivorous event to date, and we have to admit, we had an amazing time in this year's "City of Meat."

We all had apprehensions about the weather holding out that day (there were crazy thunderstorms and even a tornado in Brooklyn/Queens just hours before!), but as soon as we stepped onto the water taxi headed for Randall's Island, got handed an Orleans aperitif and a meat pie and started cruising toward the smell of grilled meat -- we sort of forgot that rain is a thing that exists. All the chefs, bartenders and staff at Meatopia were amazing, and aside from our obvious favorite part (the MEAT), one of the best things about this event was how organized, orderly, spacious and chaos-free it was. Even when the skies opened up part of the way through, everyone calmly found their places to hide (we selected a beer tent, because we have incredible survival skills), while the downpour cooled everyone down and gave us all second winds. For eating MEAT.

There was no denying our unanimous favorite: Aaron Franklin (Franklin Barbecue in Austin, TX) made a beef brisket that may have actually changed our lives. We'd heard the hype before attending the meatfest, but had no idea what a treat we were actually in for. Not only was it the best brisket we'd ever eaten, we all agreed that we had no idea that brisket could even be that good. (Stay tuned this week for a video of us freaking out about this brisket.)

Here are nearly all of the dishes from Saturday's festivities, starting with our top ten favorites from the Meatopian wonderland.

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  • Beef Brisket

    Aaron Franklin, <a href="http://franklinbarbecue.com/" target="_hplink">Franklin BBQ</a> (Austin, TX)

  • Duo of Squab: Rillette of Dark Meat and Roasted Breast Ancienne

    Harold Moore, <a href="http://www.commercerestaurant.com/" target="_hplink">Commerce</a>

  • Kor Moo Yang (Hog Collar) With "Jaew" Thai Chili Dip

    Kris Yenbamroong, <a href="http://www.nightmarketla.com/" target="_hplink">Night Market </a> (Los Angeles)

  • Canard a la Presse with Sauce Chasseur

    Alex Guarnaschelli,<a href="http://thedarbynyc.com/" target="_hplink"> The Darby</a> (New York)

  • Whole Hampshire Hog With Spicy Pepper Seasoning

    April Bloomfield, <a href="http://thebreslin.com/" target="_hplink">The Breslin</a> (New York)

  • Dry Rubbed Best Butcher's Steak with Pickled Celery, Mustard Caviar & Buttermilk

    Tim Byres, Smoke (Dallas. TX)

  • "Brains and Bread": Scrambled Brains and Eggs with Crispy Sweetbreads And Lamb Liver Bottarga

    Jonathan Sawyer, <a href="http://thegreenhousetavern.com/" target="_hplink">Greenhouse Tavern</a> (Cleveland, OH)

  • Wood-Seared Intercostal "Finger Meat" with Pickled Watermelon Remoulade

    Naomi Pomeroy, <a href="http://beastpdx.com/index.htm" target="_hplink">Beast</a> (Portland, OR)

  • Whole Uruguayan-Style Lamb with Chimichurri Sauce

    Santiago Garat, <a href="http://www.belcampomeatco.com/shop" target="_hplink">Belcampo</a> (New York)

  • Spit-Roasted Short Ribs With Castelvetrano Olives, Celery, Walnuts And Horseradish

    Justin Smillie, <a href="http://www.ilbucovineria.com/" target="_hplink">Il Buco Alimentari</a> (New York)

  • Paella Portuguesa with Pork Belly

    Anthony Goncalves, <a href="http://www.42therestaurant.com/" target="_hplink">42</a> (White Plains, NY)

  • Zatar and Sumac-Seasoned Pulled Lamb Shoulder Sandwich

    Phillipe Massoud, <a href="http://www.ililinyc.com/" target="_hplink">Ilili</a>

  • Grilled "Vegas Strip" Steak Two Ways with Pickled Red Onion and Carrot Salad

    Jon Adams, Pub & Kitchen (Philadelphia, PA)

  • Grilled Veal Breast Roulade with Arugula, Peach and Rye Bread Mustard Vinaigrette

    Eduard Frauneder, <a href="http://www.ediandthewolf.com/" target="_hplink">Edi & The Wolf</a> (New York)

  • Grilled Rib Steak with Bone Marrow Maitre 'D Butter and Pickled Grilled Onions

    Marc Forgione, <a href="http://www.marcforgione.com/" target="_hplink">Marc Forgione</a> (New York)

  • Grilled Sefalia Sausage with Caul-Fat Wrapping

    Serafim Ferdekis, <a href="http://bzgrill.com/" target="_hplink">BZ Grill</a> (New York)

  • Mini-Balkan Burgers with Kaimak and Avjar

    Julia Jaksic, <a href="http://employeesonlynyc.com/" target="_hplink">Employees Only</a> (New York)

  • Sangria Marinated Butcher Steak with Hearts of Romaine alla Caesar

    Joey Campanaro, <a href="http://www.thelittleowlnyc.com/" target="_hplink">the little owl</a> (New York)

  • Scrapple Sliders On Martin's Potato Rolls With Chow-Chow Viniagrette

    Andy Little, <a href="http://www.sheppardmansion.com/" target="_hplink">Shepherd Mansion</a> (Hanover, PA)

  • Sizzling Smoked VealBrisket with Hot Pickled Tomatoes

    Noah Bernamoff, <a href="http://www.mileenddeli.com/" target="_hplink">Mile End</a> (New York)

  • Barbecued Fatback Farms Heritage Whole Hog & Pork Cracklins

    "The Fatback Collective": Donald Link, Link Restaurant Group, Ryan Prewitt, Herbsaint; Stephen Stryjewski, Cochon (New Orleans, LA); Sam Jones, Skyline Inn (Ayden, NC); Rodney Scott, Scott's BBQ (Hemingway, SC), Sean Brock, McCradys (Charleston, SC) Nick Pihakis, Jim 'N Nicks BBQ (Birmingham, AL)

  • Prime Rib Cooked Like A Steak

    <a href="http://www.adamperrylang.com/" target="_hplink">Adam Perry Lang</a>, Barbacoa (London, England)

  • Skin-On Barbecued Jamaican Jerk Pork Belly

    Scotty Smith, <a href="http://www.rubbbq.net/" target="_hplink">RUB</a> (New York)

  • East-West" BBQ Spare Ribs

    Scotty Smith, <a href="http://www.rubbbq.net/" target="_hplink">RUB</a> (New York)

  • St. Louis Spare Ribs and Barbecued Jumbo Chicken Wings

    John Stage, <a href="http://www.dinosaurbarbque.com/" target="_hplink">Dinosaur BBQ</a> (New York)

  • Boneless Butterflied Leg Of Lamb

    Siggi Hall, SKVR (Hvammstangi, Iceland)

  • Smoked Duck Neck Gumbo With Wild Rice

    Shane McBride, <a href="http://balthazarny.com/" target="_hplink">Balthazar</a> (New York)

  • Grilled Pork Cheeks with Summer Panzanella

    Michael White, <a href="http://www.altamareagroup.com/" target="_hplink">Marea</a> (New York)

  • Yes, This Really Is The World's Largest Sausage Toppings Bar

    Thanks to Whole Foods, you have your choice of more than 200 toppings (including ... lemon curd).

  • Grilled Sausages, Awaiting Their Toppings

  • Sausage Toppings, Part I

  • Sausage Toppings, Part II

  • Our Sausage Creation

    Yes, there are fries on that.

  • A Message From The Fatback Collective

  • Bones, Everywhere


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