So Fargo EggFest 2012 has now come and gone and it was a blast. This was our second EggFest and our first time going as cooks. Will we be back to cook? Most definitely! But will we do things different… absolutely!!!
I posted on Facebook a couple times that this whole weekend felt like we were on an episode of Top Chef, which by the way I have been a huge fan of since season 1. We had our day of shopping and prep and then we had our day of cooking and a final challenge in the end that felt like an Elimination Challenge. And when it was all said and done and we were back at the hotel exhausted… all we could talk about was what we were going to do next year as we sat back and had some bevvies.
So what would we do different next year? Well, for starters I think I would get to Fargo on Thursday much earlier so that we have time to shop on Thursday instead of Friday. We found we got going too late on Friday, which put us in the weeds so to speak, and we were prepping almost till midnight. It was just so much to do in one day, so to save some stress, splitting shopping and prepping into 2 days is a must!
The day of the cook, we just loaded everything into all the coolers we brought down with us and took off to the fest. What we should have done was planned what was going in each cooler and made a list of what was in each cooler for when we were there. I felt like we wasted a lot of time not knowing what was where and searching for ingredients. And having all the ingredients for a recipe grouped together in 1 cooler would have been MUCH better!
And speaking of ingredients, I think we should have printed all our recipes for at least our own sake… I ended up making the soup, but it was Jackie’s recipe and I forgot a couple ingredients. I’m glad it still went over like gangbusters though! But it could have been better!!! (I won’t tell you what I forgot 😉 )
One thing we did, which I thought was great, was we planned out ahead of time what we would cook on each of the 3 Eggs and how long each dish should take, so we wouldn’t be scrambling later. However, no one brought a watch! We had timers for cooking things, but we got in the weeds on cook day before we even lit the Eggs because no one knew what time it was. Note to self, wear a watch next time!!!
However, what I really think put is in the weeds on cook day was that we waited for the ceremonial lighting of the Eggs before we lit our fire, which was an hour after we had arrived and set up. Not only that, but we used those Big Green Egg charcoal starter cubes for the first time EVER!!! I have never used those before and they took a long time to light my Egg. I am used to using my Looftlighter, which takes about 2 minutes. This really put us behind, because our first 2 dishes were baked breads and muffins, which if you don’t wait until the smoke is clear, can get a bad, acrid smoke taste. Next year I will light my Eggs when we get there and stabilize them, even if we aren’t ready to cook, at least they will be when we are!
Finally the last thing was my fault and that was adding 2 more dishes at the last minute. We already had narrowed our menu down to 15 things, and then I just made the decision to go ahead and do 2 more dishes. Well 17 was a biting off maybe a little more than we could chew. In the end we did manage to get them all done, but it meant for a very BUSY day!
My big regret about this EggFest is that even as much fun as I had cooking, I didn’t have the time to wander around and visit with the other cooks like I did last year. So I think next year we have to cut the menu down even further… maybe 12 dishes and we need to build in some time to stop and smell the bacon.