Big Green Egg


Bart Zino, Senior Vice President

We do this for fun! We start with menu ideas a couple of months out. Then we fret over the menu items. Will they all appeal to a wide group with varied preferences? Are we safe but not boring? Maybe we try a couple of practice rounds. Will the meals be scalable? How much of the meal are we cooking on the Big Green Egg? We try to touch everything at least once on the Egg. Next, we make a list of the endless ingredients for all the dishes. Ok, got that. Now, how much? Have you ever cooked 500 samples of three different dishes? Do we have extras? Do we have enough? All that math of an ounce of this and 3 ounces of that can make you nuts. The biggest question is how can we stage our ingredients, our people, and our assembly line so that we can go like crazy and keep up with demand while making great food consistently. We have a strange idea of fun! 

Finally, it is the night before the big Egg Day. We gather up, we prep, we chop, and we portion, and despite our planning, we figure out what we forgot and send someone back to the store to buy another 10 pounds of black beans! Time to bundle everything up into containers, pack the coolers and refrigerators, and finally collapse into a heap to get a few hours of sleep before getting up at 6:30 to load the cars, get some donuts and coffee and get to the site. 

Getting to the site at first light is always a little intimidating. Second thoughts prevail. Did we make enough, are we prepared, were we creative enough? And look at those other teams with their fancy trailers, cool setups, and all the gear we didn’t think to bring. We are little fish swimming in a big pond!

And now the real fun begins… it’s SHOWTIME! 

This was our third year at Big Green Egg Fest, which means there is no turning back on another great PBS tradition! In our first year, John Buehler led the team into the great unknown. Grilling and serving to a good-sized crowd. It was Egg Fest’s first year too. From there, the event grew to become quite a substantial day. This last time there were over 25 food tents and hundreds of visitors. This year, we served nearly 2,400 servings in just a couple of hours, dished out by just the four of us. Meeting people, making them happy with food by showing them new things to eat, joking, shaking hands when we could, and feeling happily overwhelmed all at the same time made this wonderful tradition a terrific team-building event for all of us.

Working in the heat of the “kitchen,” elbow to elbow while hollering for orders and supplies at the same time, has forged us into a very tight group of friends. This event has taught us how to work together on individual responsibilities within the context of a group effort. Sounds a lot like a sports team, doesn’t it? And that is why we enjoy this event so much!  

Sunshine Ace Hardware started this event to support some great community cases. Farm City teamed up with Sunshine Ace to take the event to another level, using their collective experience to run large-scale food events. Today’s beneficiaries include organizations like; 

  • Collier County 4-H 
  • Leadership Collier Foundation, Youth Leadership Collier 
  • Key Club International 
  • Rotary Club of Naples 
  • The Immokalee Foundation 

 We at PBS are very proud to support, participate and have fun on a spring day in Bonita Springs!