Big Cookout

The Big Cookout 2017

BBQ, BEER, BOURBON & BLUES

These were just a handful of things that were going on at the BIG COOK OUT on Saturday 5th August at The Four Winds in Newton Park.

What a day!!

On site from 7am that morning, the Bit of a Do & Four Winds teams were hard at work erecting marquees, setting up bars, blowing up bouncy castles, building stages – and pushing in-the-way cars out of the way!

#dontask #thelifeofaneventmanager

Finally at 1pm we were good to go, and after a week of terrifying storms, the sun came out especially for us YAY (with just one cheeky shower at 5pm!)

Free Entry

With free entry for all, the day had a jam-packed schedule of live entertainment and great BBQ food.

With chargrilled burgers, chicken wings, steaks, ribs, hotdogs & sausages with all the delicious rubs and spices thrown in you were totally spoilt for choice.

I could have eaten 100 of those little flavoured sausages (there’s a possibility I did!) Chef Paul told me they would be good…

But they were unreal!!

Eating Challenges

Those with big appetites and a competitive streak took part in our Big Cookout Eating Challenges – an amazing spectacle of stuffed faces, belly rubbing, fiery tongues, wing sauce covered cheeks and spicy tears!

They were HILARIOUS!

Our brave eaters were pitted against each other in tests of speed, volume and spiciness.

All in the name of greatness – well that and the chance to win some fab prizes.

The challenges were sponsored by Belfast’s own ‘Rock a Doodle Do Hot Sauce’, and featured a mountain of hot dogs, a heap of hot hot HOT chicken wings (like, couldn’t feel my lips for a good 30 mins after one tiny taste-hot!!) and the spiciest chillies in the world, including the World #1 hottest – The Carolina Reaper.

Although to be fair, with a name like that, what else was it ever gonna be?

The Prizes

Our Winners, who each got a £50 voucher for Four Winds and a crate of Foxes Rock Beer were;

Eoin Milligan – who ate his mountain of 6 hot dogs in 5 minutes 35 seconds beating 6 other challengers!

This was a lot to do with peer pressure however as Head Chef Uncle Paul screamed in his face the entire time.

Fear it seems is a great motivator.

Side note: I wonder if this tactic would work on 16-month-old stubborn little boys while trying to get them to eat anything that isn’t a chicken nugget, cocktail sausage or milky bar button?

Asking for a friend.

Next up was Paul Griffiths – who annihilated a mound of hot spicy chicken wings in just 2 minutes 22 seconds, beating the 7 other challengers.

This one did go to the wire however and we nearly ended up having to use our all-singing, all-dancing, state of the art Video referee technology (Marnie from Marketing on her iPhone) to call it.

In the end, the offending tiny sliver of chicken left on one bone (yep, we were that strict) was gobbled up in a flash.

But major props to the runner up Conor, who was so blinded by tears after the event we persuaded Kenny from Foxes Rock to throw him a crate of Beer too.

I should probably add that the tears were caused by the spice of the wings and not the despair of losing (or so Conor said anyway…..)

Lastly, but by no means leastly, the triumphant Paul O’Hare bested the 6 other challengers by eating 6 of the hottest chillies in the world, staying strong and lasting the distance whilst everyone dropped out one by one.

My money was on Ceara however – who majorly represented for the girls – she toughed it out to the bitter end and just stumbled at the last hurdle.

Def one to watch for next year!

We didn’t just stuff our faces all day either, well not the entire time anyway.

The line-up of local Blues artists was amazing – such talent!

It ran all through the day including one of my favourites – the Rab McCullough band – and provided the perfect backdrop to the outdoor bar tent which served up craft beer, gin serves, bourbon and wine.

Then in our Courtyard we hosted fantastic talks and demonstrations throughout the day from popular local gin Jawbox, Hillmount BBQ academy and the Foxes Rock Brewer.

The free tasting samples went down a treat ?

Kids Entertainment

The kids were well entertained too of course in the inflatables zone!

Bouncy castle, bouncy slide and the duel (think 90’s tv show Gladiators but for kids) as well as mascot friends, face painting, slushies, candy floss and popcorn.

My little one Will had a blast running around after Woody and bouncing around with the other kids.

He was so exhausted he was in his bed for 7pm – Winner winner chicken dinner!!!

Or rather, winner winner, Pinot Grigio – although that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it…..

This is what the day looked like:

  • 1pm – Gates Open
  • 1.30pm – Live Blues from Davy Watson on Main Stage
  • 2.30pm – Hot Dog Mountain Eating Challenge on Main Stage
  • 3pm – Foxes Rock Brewery Showcase & Talk in The Courtyard
  • 3.15pm – Joel Harris Blues Singer on Main Stage
  • 4pm – Hillmount BBQ Academy demonstration – in The Courtyard
  • 4.15pm – Speedy Chicken Wing Challenge on Main Stage
  • 5pm – Blue Soul Band on Main Stage
  • 5.15pm – Jawbox Gin Showcase & Talk with Gerry White – in The Courtyard
  • 6pm – Hot HOT Chilli Peppers Challenge on Main Stage
  • 6.45pm – Rob McCullough Band on Main Stage
  • 8pm – Mark Braidner Blue Singer in The Courtyard

So, all in all our first Big Cookout was a tremendous success – one we plan on repeating next year!

Keep your eyes peeled and ears to the ground for our upcoming public events.

We have some reeeeeallly exciting things in the pipeline!

Or if you think the Cookout sounds like the perfect event for your company family day next summer, or even just elements of it – (you could go even bigger!) – talk to us about your requirements.

The possibilities are endless at Bit of a Do – it’s what we do!

Chat soon!
Sinead