A Time To Grill


The weekend of August 15-17th saw the debut of Ireland’s first-ever BBQ festival and competition, The Big Grill. The event took place in Herbert Park and was sponsored by Neon and Bodytonic.

NewsFour were present at the Grill to report on this carnival of the carnivores that enveloped Dublin 4 in a pleasant whirlwind of wood-fried smoke.

The festival offered the denizens of Herbert Park the chance to sample different selections of meats and craft beers, both local and from around the globe. The three days featured the distinctive barbecue styles of many different food emporiums, including the likes of Diep Thai, Kinara Kitchen’s Pakistani Grill, Asador Argentine Grill, Pitt Bros and Toby Shea’s Whole Hog Cook.

Given the almost nuclear nature of much of the grub on offer, refreshment was at hand in the form of several Irish and international craft bars to keep the thirsts of punters quenched. Some of the brewers involved included Tom Crean’s, Rascals, Trouble Brewing and Eight Degrees.

NewsFour spoke to several of the revellers at The Big Grill, including punter Sam Caren, who was enjoying his Saturday and putting his time to good use. “It’s great. I told my girlfriend I was going for a walk in the park. She has no idea. Beer and meat, what’s not to love?” he joked. “Can’t complain about the weather, brings us out of the woodwork.

I can honestly say this is the most fun I’ve had in Herbert Park since I outgrew those horses on the springs!” The Big Grill did not just cater to the barley and hops enthusiast within many of us, however. In the midst of all the revelry were play areas for children, oversized artificial flowers, giant novelty beach chairs and face-painting arenas.

page 37grill1 Parents and children enjoyed the festivities in unison, and the casual atmosphere of the weekend produced something resembling an Electric Picnic vibe near the heart of Dublin City.

Set against a laid-back soundtrack of new wave, trip-hop, soul and bluegrass, the Grill attracted a mix of punters, both local and international, reflecting Dublin’s more modern, cosmopolitan and multicultural side.

In light of this being The Big Grill’s birth onto the Dublin scene, the turnout was impressive with tickets for the entire weekend completely sold out. Given the overall costs of running the festival, a token system was deployed to make things viable.

The Big Grill Crew issued a statement on their website expressing their gratitude to all who attended and their hopes for next year’s event.

“A huge thanks to everyone for coming to the first-ever Big Grill Festival last weekend,” The Big Grill Crew said. “We hope you had a great time. We have been trying to make the event a reality for quite some time and naturally, being our first year, we expected to trip up in some areas, and now have lots of improvements to be made.”

Top picture: A great turnout for the launch night of The Big Grill.
Middle left: David Thompson with his son Colman Lydon Thompson and their caricature.
Bottom picture: Chefs John Relihan, Mark O’Brien and Nicky Walsh put on a barbecue demonstration.

By Craig Kinsella