Salado Egghead Gathering
First of all, we want to thank the Mayor and Council of Salado for once again granting us use of Pace Park for our Salado Eggfest on March 16th, the day before St Patricks Day. We promised to abide by the rules regarding safety and personal responsibility as good citizens, as well as keeping the area clean and undamaged.
No Glass Allowed
The Council did insist, for very good reason, that we not bring glass bottles or other personal use glass containers to the park. Instead, use paper or plastic cups or aluminum cans. And yes, you may use glass products that are necessary to your cook. That would include mixing bowls, dishes, containers of spices or sauce, serving platters, etc, all of which should be kept in a safe area.
While we're on the subject of safety, be sure to keep any food or beverage items stored at proper temperatures until ready for use. This is especially true for cooks. We don't want anyone getting sick.
The Council generously agreed to waive the prohibition of alcohol on the park grounds on condition that we not abuse the privilege. Please keep your wine, beer or spirits discretely tucked away and try to use cups or cozies whenever possible. They obviously want us to enjoy our visit to Salado, so let’s not ruin a good thing.
Also, we are grateful to our Supporters and Sponsors for their behind-the-scene contributions to help make our Gathering a success. Whether it is discounts at hotels, campgrounds and B&B’s, cash donations, objects for the drawing, or just individual effort, it heightens the experience and insures a fun-filled day for everyone.
Now to the part about what you should know
As most of you know, what began as an idea to invite a few Mini Egg owners to a small ‘Gathering’ in Salado on March 26th of 2011 to just have some fun cooking and enjoying each other’s company, but it turned into a much larger event with over two hundred attendees.
By the time we actually held the Gathering, our web site had generated over 9,500 views from 26 countries. It has continued to draw interest and has grown to almost 40 countries and well over 17,000 views. Egghead Gatherings and Eggfests apparently stir up a lot of interest both near and far.
A number of those attending the Salado event are new to Egg’n and are visiting an ‘Eggfest’ for the first time. Others have been Egg’n for a long time and perhaps have been to multiple Eggfests. But just like “Newbie’s” they still want to have a good time and learn more about this wonderful cooking device, the Big Green Egg.
If you bring children, be sure they are monitored closely at all times. The playground is a perfect place to keep them occupied.
Every Egghead Eggfest is different. So what can you expect at the Salado Eggfest? Perhaps the information below will be helpful.
The agenda is pretty simple: Arrive, Have Fun and Return Home happy that you came. It’s what you do during that time that makes an Eggfest a wonderful way to spend the day. Here’s an approximate schedule.
Salado Eggfest 2013 Agenda
6:00 PM - Meet & Greet at Inn on the Creek's grounds
Informal bring-your-own snacks and beverages and share
7:30 AM - Check-in for early arrival registered cooks
helpers and staff
9:00 AM - Fest begins
12:00 PM - First Mini Drawing (for cooks only)
1:00 PM - Second Mini Drawing (for all attendees)
2:00 PM - Third Mini Drawing (for cooks only)
3:00 PM - Fourth Mini Grand Prize Drawing (for all attendees)
3:30 PM - All Demo Eggs shut down to cool for new owners
4:00 PM - Fest is over
6:00 PM - After Party at Inn on the Creek's grounds
Informal bring-your own snacks and beverages and share
What to expect at the Salado Egghead Eggfest on Saturday
Check-in (This is where Pre-registering pays off)
When you first arrive on Saturday you should proceed directly to the registration table and sign in. 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, including a Mini Big Green Egg, a favorite among Eggheads.
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. Most likely, you will have to share the Demo Egg with another cook. So plan your cook well to make sure there is enough time available for you and the other cooks using the same Egg. It is usually a good idea to find someone with the same setup (direct or indirect, raised grid or whatever) as you need for your cook. Remember, new Eggs should not be cooked above 450° so keep a very close eye on your Egg.
Traditionally, there are always more cooks than demo Eggs available. That’s why we asked you to bring your own Egg if at all possible.
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
It is very important to bring all ingredients required for your cook(s). Anything needing refrigeration should be properly packed and/or iced in your cooler. It’s a good idea to purchase your ice while doing your shopping and keep it refreshed until time to cook. The park does not have ice and your hotel may not have enough ice to accommodate a lot of coolers, so you may want to bring an additional ice chest full of ice to last the day and to chill your beverages.
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.
There will be some folding chairs there but you may want to bring a folding chair if you have room in your car.
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 Egg if possible, 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 Eggs and chests.
If you prefer to cook under an EZ-Up, feel free to bring your own. The park has a nice pavilion but if it rains a Pop-Up tent may be welcome protection.
We will have Big Green Egg or other brands of 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.)
Tables will be provided, but you may want to consider a disposable table cloth to “dress up your area.” If you wish to bring your own table, feel free to do so.
There are restrooms in the Pavilion and a nice playground for your children immediately behind the Pavilion. And there’s always the creek a few yards away to soak your tired feet.
There is quality shopping nearby at Brookshire Brothers Market for any or all of your grocery needs. Any unusual or exotic foods should be brought from home.
If you did not register to cook you will be in for a different kind of treat. You will be expected to eat the many sample food items cooked on the Egg. We’re there for YOU. At least it seems that way when 40 or 50 people are cooking all kinds of food ‘Just For you.’ You can walk around and watch how the cooks prep and cook their meals. Then you can stand there tasting samples which are freely distributed to everyone. How great is that???
If you taste something you would like to know more about, by all means ask the cook. All Eggheads love to share information. Nothing is off limits. No secrets either. We gladly share what we know and hope you will do the same.
We ask that you please do not go behind the tables into the cooking areas without an invitation. Not only are the Eggs and accessories hot, but quite often the cook’s area is crowded with ice chests, cooking tools and chairs, leaving little room for visitors.
We just want you to have a good time and learn as much as you can about the wonderful Big Green Egg.
Demo Eggs and Sponsors
If you are interested in purchasing one of the Large Demo Big Green Eggs at a discount, contact Russ Allen, Store Manager, Keith Ace Hardware, Salado, TX. Phone: 254-947-4008
Bear in mind that the Demo Eggs will be used throughout the day to cook food. They will be shut down at approximately 3:30 PM and allowed to cool. Be prepared to accept and transport your Egg at the end of the day.
Show your appreciation for our Sponsors and Supporters by trying and using their products. Their donations are a very strong signal that they openly support us Eggheads.
Let your hotel, bed & breakfast and Village of Salado know how much you enjoyed your stay. They appreciate your input.
Door Prize Drawing
A door prize drawing will be held at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 PM. This year there will be four Mini Big Green Eggs to be given away. Two of the Mini Eggs are reserved for a Cooks Only drawing.
Everyone should have received a door prize ticket when they checked in and received their badge. Your ticket is eligible for all regular door prize items.
If you pre-registered as a cook, you will be given a second ticket. The second ticket is for the Mini Egg drawing. The second ticket is our way of saying thanks to the cooks for buying the food, spending hours cooking and serving it, then cleaning up afterward. You must be registered as a Cook and actually cook food for the eggfest.
One additional ticket will be given to the Cook's Assistant.
If you wish to donate a door prize, by all means bring it along.
Thanks to all of you who registered early. It makes our job easier and your day more enjoyable.
If you have any questions you can call Mickey at 254-289-1877.
Thank you for coming. We hope you have a wonderful day.
See you in Salado.
aka Spring “Fest Scribe” Chicken
Spring Texas USA