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Big Green Egg cooking school [is it all it’s cooked up to be?]

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Have you heard of the Big Green Egg Academy? It is the cooking school arm of the Big Green Egg empire. The Big Green Egg Company was launched in 1974. Now offered in over 20 countries, with 5 different egg sizes and over 100 accessories, the company states that the owners’ enthusiasm for their product is the greatest marketing tool.

I had the good fortune of getting a chance to speak with Bobby Cresap, Executive Chef for Big Green Egg, and who heads up the Big Green Egg cooking demos. He was exhibiting at the Taste of Atlanta a couple of months ago. He was kind enough to have me in to attend one of his cooking demos at the Big Green Egg store in Tucker last month.

I’ve always been intrigued by the Big Green Egg. Everyone who owns one oohs and ahhs over it. I’ve heard some say once you have a steak cooked on a Big Green Egg you’ll never eat it at a restaurant again. The pizzas are supposed to be phenomenal too.

I chose to attend one the Holiday classes where Bobby cooked a Turducken. When we arrived, the class was just getting underway. We were given a packet that listed everything we’d be feasting on that evening along with the recipes for each. Class size is approximately 30 people. Looking around, you can easily tell that this is quite a devoted group of people, dare I say cult like? But I mean that in a good way. Many know each other, sharing tips about their cooking experiences with one another, and I get the feeling that these customers attend multiple classes per year.

While I was eager to taste the Ham, Corn Souffle, and Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes and Apples, it was the Turducken that had piqued my interest the most. The items are being cooked on the Big Green Eggs outside while Bobby takes you through a demo of making all the items. When he is finished with the demo, the food is ready. As you might expect, the Turducken took most of the time to prepare during the cooking class. Bobby deboned it, sliced it open and filled it with chicken and duck breasts, layering each with a different type of dressing (Oyster Sage, Dirty Rice and Classic Southern Cornbread).

I was glad I got to taste a Turducken and see the process. While it seemed time consuming, it is good to know that there are other recipes, such as the dressing, corn casserole or glazed ham that are much easier and require much less preparation. So, how was the food? Absolutely delicious. I attended the week after Thanksgiving and it was like having all the Thanksgiving favorites I didn’t have the previous week. Everything was juicy and full of flavor.

The Big Green Egg Academy puts on 2 -3 classes per month. The nice thing is that the variety of classes ensures that no one will get bored. My class included a Turducken, and holiday sides, but other classes include making pizza, and other interesting meals on the Big Green Egg. Most classes begin weekdays at 5:45 and go until 8 pm. I may just become an Egghead yet!


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