"Eat and Greet": The New Way to Party with the Band

By: Melaina Gasbarrino

If you are a fan of The Zac Brown Band you already know they are taking the "meet and greet" concept to a new level, according to the New York Times. Since 2009, The Zac Brown Band has developed an 'eat and greet' for fans to take in some good old Southern comfort foods all the while rubbing elbows with the band. All in all, a night any country-loving groupie will forever remember.

With over 120 gatherings thus far, Executive Chef of the band, Rusty Hamlin, is no rookie when it comes to cooking for large crowds. When the tour bus drives into a new town, Chef Hamlin jumps off, runs through the town and shouts out to as many local farmers he can find to figure out his menu for the 'eat and meet' in town. He looks to local farmers, as he wants the meal to be something that will 'wow' the attendees, all the while keeping it local. He is ever-so-creative in his dishes, though he must be since he conjures up new dishes on a daily basis. Chef Hamlin's food steps it up a notch by playing on the ideas of getting fresh produce with a twist.

The Eat and Greet night unfolds by spending an hour with the band before the concert and partaking in a delicious, locally grown meal. Guests then dive into the hordes of country-loving groupies to listen to the sweet country sounds of the talented Zac Brown Band.

It may be out of the ordinary, but you not only eat with the band, but are able to see first-hand how Zac Brown and Chef Hamlin spruce up their dishes with Zac's renowned Spice Rub, Brown Sauce, and a whole slew of other recipes. Some unique dishes Chef Hamlin and Zac have already created are certainly tasty, to say the least. How does creamy polenta injected with smoked gouda, wild mushrooms, and snap peas or a pork tenderloin dish with Zac's famous sauce, Atlanta-baked bread rolls with agave-fig butter and an authentic mound of the infamous coleslaw, sound? If it sounds good to you, then you are in for a truly unique and delicious dinner, a perfect match to the concert itself.

The concept has truly been 'wow-ing' fans of The Zac Brown Band for years and now all are quick to purchase their "Eat and Greet" passes in seconds when they know a concert is coming to their town.

Photo: tempusfugate

Which band would you love to attend an "Eat and Greet" with?