On Camp(ing): Figuring Out My Festival Food Sitch



Hey Bitesters! How you doin'? It's been a while — like 11 months or so — but I have escaped from the cage under Scene music editor Patrick Rodgers' desk and I'm ready to unleash my peculiar brand of strange on the unsuspecting foodies of our fair city. For those who don't know me, I'm mostly a music critic, but like just about anyone who's served time in the music industry I've logged plenty of man-hours cooking for cash. I'm also of Irish/French-Canadian descent so I like to boil spare animal parts for extraneously long periods of time. Actually, I'm not so into cooking if it doesn't involve extraneously long periods of time. I love to cook with fire. I'm also freakishly paranoid about fire safety. I once auditioned for Next Food Network Star and made it surprisingly far considering the fact that my "specialty dish" was basically a glass of whiskey. So ya, I'm your new Bites guy.

My first order of business as your new Bites-bro is getting you to help me figure the menu for Fort Scene at Bonnaroo. I'm stumped. Last year I brought 30-odd pounds of pork products, the year before we did beef heart, the year before that was The Great Duck Disaster. This year? I got nothin' and the clock is tickin'. I'm thinking maybe Cuban food in honor of the rather rad selection of Cuban and Cuban influenced music on the lineup — Pedrito Martinez Group! Afrocubism! — but I'm up for just about anything besides burgers and dogs. Not that I have a problem with burgers and dogs but where's the challenge in that? If you're going to cook in adverse conditions, why wimp out and get all dad-in-the-backyard with the menu, amiright?

So here's the challenge: I need to cook three meals for 10-15 people, I've got a 14-inch Weber, a small table for prep and limited cooler space. I don't mind preparing stuff ahead of time, but I've also got a small book's worth of music writing to turn in between now and when I embark for the magical fantasy-world of Coffee County. Also, cleaning up is sort of a pain in the ass, thanks to the whole no-running-water thing. Oh, and whether or not we have refrigeration is still up in the air. (I think.) Basically, it's a logistical nightmare and that's why it's so much fun! No seriously, it's fun. I swear to god. Stop looking at me like that. Now you understand why I need your help, right? So leave your suggestions, tips and mocking jibes in the comments. And if you don't help out Team Scene might just get all Miami Zombie down in Manchester and you wouldn't want that would you?

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