Meat, Music, Mayhem & Rum! | Grillstock London 2015, Walthamstow
We love a festival and we most certainly love a BBQ, so when the Grillstock team roll into town you just know you’ll be in for some awesome low and slow cooking.
Lucky old Chestnuts Field in Walthamstow played host as Grillstock came to London for the very first time. Previously a massive success in Bristol and Manchester this annual festival with heaps of pit-smoked meat had an impressive line up of live music too. Razorlight, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Grandmaster Flash and DJ Yoda (who recently opened Austen’s Smokehouse in Kensal Green) were just a few of the 23 acts who performed.
But it’s the BBQ food and in particular The King of the Grill competition that took centre stage. Dozens of BBQ teams from across the globe competed for the title by impressing chief judge Dr. BBQ (aka Ray Lampe). The winning team, Bunch of Swines, now get to compete in the American Royal in Kansas City and the World Food Championships in Las Vegas – how we’d love to be going to those.
And talking of competitions, the festival’s eating trials were brilliant to watch. Especially the French’s mustard sponsored hot dog scoffing race, won by Ben who chucked six whopping wieners down his neck the fastest!
But the real reason we all came to Grillstock (we dragged the kids along too) was for ‘low and slow’ food stalls. First stop was the shiny Sailor Jerry airstream bar and BBQ. Sailor Jerry, if you didn’t already know, is a spiced Caribbean rum blended with natural spices and it’s this rum that Danny Cheetham (of London’s Psychic Burger and Dalston’s White Rabbit fame) has used in his BBQ sauce.
Between the four of us we managed to get through all of his buns, the winner? Well that had to be the ‘special off menu’ Spam fritter burger – my son, Oliver, said it was the best burger he’d ever had… And at almost 14, he’s had quite a few! The Pork burnt ends bap was pretty special too. As you would imagine Sailor Jerry mix up a mean cocktail, the Backyard Lemonade and Jerry’s Hellfire really stood out (see the end of the post for the recipes.)
Other highlights included an aptly named Wonder Burger from Northern outfit Almost Famous, Hotbox’s brisket and ribs, just about anything from Smokestak and the merchandising machine that is DJ BBQ (whom we’re hoping to catch at this year’s On Blackheath festival).
For those with a sweet tooth there was an exclusive salted caramel cheesecake donut from Krispy Kreme (I wonder if our selfies made it on to their website?) Cinnamon sugar dusted Churros from Los Churros Amigos and rumour had it a pork rib flavoured ice cream by Ivor’s.
Add to all this a couple of beer tents, (including Brooklyn Brewery’s ‘New York dive bar’ that was celebrating the UK launch of their American Ale) and a well styled Jack Daniel’s area (complete with hay bale seating).
Grillstock is all about teaming great barbecue food with southern-style hospitality and they got it spot on – like the motto says, ‘think locally, act Hillbilly’. Now where’s my jug and banjo? I’m hitting the main stage!
Chestnut Field, Town Hall Forest Road,
Walthamstow, London E17 4JF
We visited as guests of Sailor Jerry, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.
Sailor Jerry Backyard Lemonade:
• 2 parts Sailor Jerry Spiced
• 4 parts fresh (still) lemonade
Build in a rocks-filled highball glass.
Garnish with a lemon wedge.
Add 1 part iced tea to make a “Backyard Tea.”
Sailor Jerry Hellfire
• 1 part Sailor Jerry Spiced
• 2 dashes hot sauce
• ¼ of a fresh lime
• Pilsner beer or favorite lager beer
Shake Sailor Jerry with lime and hot sauce and strain into a beer glass full of ice. Top with beer and squeeze ‘n drop a lime wedge garnish
Top with ½ desired beer and ½ ginger beer (if available) for an extra kick.