What it takes to be an Egghead Cook

Cooking in an Eggfest is a BLAST!!!  Our guests are friendly and crave your advice on recipes, cooking techniques, etc.  While being an event cook is most certainly gratifying, it’s a major commitment.

Upon your arrival at TFFC (either Friday or Saturday) you should sign in at the Registration Desk. At that time you will receive your name badge and door prize tickets.  If you have not pre-registered we will have to prepare a name badge for you. Be sure to get a name badge as you will need it to get the door prize ticket. You may end up winning a fabulous prize donated by some of our fine Sponsors and supporters.

As a cook, here’s your chance to show your stuff. You should plan on cooking at least once during the day, providing minimum of 25 to 50 tastings/samples to other guests (more is fine of course). Samples could be wings, meatballs, slices of cake, or many other bite size pieces. For example, a boneless skinless chicken thigh could be cut into 4 to 8 pieces, and served perhaps on a toothpick or in a small cup. Remember, cooks are providing tastings, not a meal.

If you are cooking on one of the “demo Big Green Eggs” you will need to select one to cook on. Remember, new Eggs should not be cooked above 450° so keep a very close eye on your Egg.

Big Green Egg lump charcoal will be provided but you will need to provide any other tools and accessories you might need to do the cook. If you forgot something you can probably borrow it from another Egghead. We do that all the time.

Long cooks such as brisket, pork butts and ribs are discouraged unless you are cooking on your own Egg. Instead, try to plan a couple of quick cooks. A few simple suggestions will be outlined below. It is important to remember that an Eggfest is about sharing ideas, recipes and introducing others to Egged food, so keeping food samples available is important.

During the day, keep in mind that many of the attendees are either new Egg owners or perhaps considering buying an Egg. Expect them to ask you questions about your recipe, technique, setup, temperature, accessories, experiences, etc. We hope to have the cooking area set up in such a way that your work table/serving table should provide a natural barrier to keep guests out of your cooking space and away from the hot Eggs. Please keep guest safety and an isolated work space in mind when setting up for the actual cook.

What to cook

As previously mentioned, long cooks such as butt, brisket and ribs are discouraged. However, beyond that, the options are limited only by your imagination. Consider quick cooks like steaks (flank, skirt, London broil, etc), chicken pieces, pork loins, tenderloins, chops or country style ribs, shrimp or meat on skewers, Soups or Stews in Dutch ovens, etc. You can put your own “style” in your cook by using unique rubs, sauces, techniques, ingredients, etc.

Also, there is no reason for you to limit your thinking to a particular meal. You can do appetizer finger type foods, desserts, or perhaps a few will even decide to do a breakfast cook. Breakfast meals are always welcome to Early Birds.

Also remember, you want to keep serving easy, and eliminate people from reaching into your food tray. Consider using toothpicks, small soufflé cups, French fry boats, cocktail napkins, small paper plates, etc, that can be handed to guests on a sample by sample basis. In other words, make it easy for yourself and for those visiting your table.

This is a celebration of the Big Green Egg. If you are looking for a good recipe, the cookbook on the Big Green Egg Forum is a helpful resource. An internet search should provide links to past Eggfest cookbooks. Some Eggheads bring extra handout copies of the recipes they plan to cook.

If this is your first cook at an Eggfest, we recommend you try to pair up with an experienced egghead. Eggheads are always willing to assist, especially to those just learning. Remember, think samples, not meals, and prepare ahead for how you will serve your items to the other guests.

What cooks should bring

Brookshire’s Grocery is providing terrific support to our event again this year!  Not only do they encourage our cooks to phone in special food orders prior to Thursday morning for pickup at the store on Friday, they also will be on hand at the event with staff to make quick trips to the store for you in case you forget that “special” ingredient!

Thanks to the generosity of Brookshire’s Grocery, each of our registered cooks will receive Brookshire’s gift cards to help with their food purchases!  Please consider buying all of your ingredients at their local Athens location to show your appreciation of this support!

Don’t forget your salt & pepper, rubs, spices, sauces, etc. The same goes for your cooking tools and accessories.

Miscellaneous for Cooks

Think comfort for you (and your feet). Wear clothing and shoes appropriate for the weather, and activities of the day. You will be on your feet more than most of us are used to, so comfortable shoes are a must.

Each cooking station will be in either a 10′ x 10′, or 10′ x 20′ covered area and will come equipped with an 6′ table and two chairs. Decorations are optional and up to you.

Electricity is available but may be limited to one area. If your setup requires electricity be sure to bring a long extension cord. You may want to consider changing to a recipe that requires no electricity.

Bring your own Big Green Eggsessories including plate setters, pizza stones, raised grids, high temp gloves, foil, etc. that you may need for your cook(s).

We will try to have a cart available to help you move your ice chests and other supplies.

We will have Big Green Egg lump charcoal but if you prefer to use a favorite brand, by all means bring it. We will also have fire starter cubes if you need them.

Don’t forget the necessary grill utensils you may need, such as tongs, spatulas, spoons, drip pans, foil, or Cast Iron items you may plan on using.

Also, don’t forget to bring preparation and serving items, such as rubber gloves, toothpicks, small paper plates, etc as mentioned above. It might be a good idea to bring a trash bag or two for your cook site. They come in handy and help keep your area clean. Large trash cans will be spaced throughout the area.

You should also bring whatever knives, cutting boards and any other utensils you may need. (Note: Disposable cutting boards are always helpful. They are available in nearly every major supermarket.)

There are restrooms in the Conservation Center, and don’t forget that catering kitchen!  All are available to our cooks!!

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