What's an Eggfest? It is a regional get together of Big Green Egg aficionados. There are demo cooks who cook on dealer supplied Big Green Eggs to provide food samples to the crowd. These aren't (necessarily) professional cooks - most of these cooks are just people who love their Egg and the Egg community. They create some amazing bites. The "tasters" are the general public that buy a low cost ticket that gives them access to all of the entertainment and food that the festival offers.
In addition to the food, there are often instructional cooking demonstrations, entertainment, vendors selling kamado related gear, and pre- and post-parties. Best of all is that all of the Big Green Eggs that are used in the event are available for sale at cut rate prices after only being used that once. It's a great place to get your first Egg or to pick up another one.
These fests can ranged from small local Eggfests with a handful of folks to the huge official Eggtoberfest thrown each year by the Mothership (Egger's term for "corporate"), so I didn't know what to expect for the Cincinnati Eggfest. When I arrived at Germania Park, I was immediately impressed by the large amount of people.
In addition to the main gazebo, they had apparently stolen some circus' big top tent to accommodate the crowds. Organizer, Eddie Meiners, told me that they had 86 demo cook teams and expected 600-700 paid admissions! That is the biggest Eggfest I have been to besides the Eggtoberfest which draws thousands.
Chef JJ brought his team and bad ass cooking trailer to do in depth cooking demos. It's the first time I have gotten to see him work - he knows his stuff.
My friend, BBQ brethren, and fellow Char-Broil All Star - Curt McAdams was on hand to do demos for a browned butter fingerling potatoes, grilled peach bourbon iced tea, and a blackberry thyme crisp dessert. You can find the recipes he used at his blog - Live Fire. Next year, he and I are going to do a demonstration together, that will be fun!
There were lots of well equipped vendors present. This is often my favorite part because I get to check out new products hands on.
|Super nice stainless steel grate with hinged access to the fire box. [VENDOR LINK?]|
My favorite vendor was Innovations by Chance. I had communicated online with Mike Chance but it was good to meet him in person. He has some exciting ideas for pimping out your kamado grill.
|I think this is called the Fishbone, it is a stainless charcoal grate designed to prevent clogged air holes that happen with the stock cast iron coal grates for many kamado grills.|
|Mike showing his cast iron plate setter for the Large Big Green Egg.|
|The Raiser serves as a grid raiser, a double pizza cooker, and a spider rig. Talk about multi-functional!|
The live entertainment was very cool. How many Eggfest have YOU seen that have alphorn players?
But unquestionably, the absolute best part of any Eggfest is the great food and wonderful people. Yeah, I know that is two things but they are both the best so cut me some slack.
|There were a lot of family teams, great to see the kids involved.|
|Eggs. Eggs for sale EVERYWHERE!|
|Tasters go from booth to booth sampling the foods as they are ready. It's a lot of work just to keep up!|
|Even the cooks are having fun.|
|The Cluck and Squeal guys were there. I've heard great things about their rubs.|
|It was great getting to meet some long term Egg forum members, like Egret...|
|...and Kim Youngblood...|
|... and Rick is one of the primary inspirations for me trying to learn to be a better photographer. His stuff set the bar for me.|
|Sorry kid, I don't care if "you left your ID at home", I'm not serving you beer!|
|Eeenie Meenie and Florida Grillin Girl serving up spaghetti squash.|
|A very busy, Eddie Meiners, the event organizer.|
|You can see, it's not just ribs and BBQ type food.|
|Ahhhh! An alligator is biting my head!|
|Tons of people everywhere.|
|Pizzas were a common theme but they were all unique.|