Talking beef with Durì Campell, Big Green Egg professional and Natura-Beef connoisseur

«If you want to eat meat, it should be animal-friendly and ecological.»

Durì Campell, Big Green Egg HEAD has been a partner of beef.ch for several years now. How did this come about?

Felix Hauri, one of your colleagues, is a Big Green Egg fan. When he realised that we share the same goals, he enlisted us as a partner. Since then, we have carried out a number of projects together.

So what are these goals that you share with beef.ch?

We originally came out of the SlowFood movement. Sustainablility and environmental awareness are important to us, as well as enjoyment. If you want to eat meat, which I like to do, it should be animal-friendly and ecological. Swiss Natura-Beef from suckler cow husbandry meets this requirement, as the animals come from here and get their feed on the pasture or are fed with hay from their own farm. That I sboth sustainable and species-appropriate.

With the Big Green Egg Durì Campell prepares delicious specialities for tasting. Here at the beef.ch in Wülflingen, Winterthur. (Photo: Suckler Cow Switzerland)

So you only grill Natura-Beef on the Big Green Egg?

No, of course not. After all, there are other things than beef. And the Big Green Egg is very versatile - you can grill, smoke or simmer all kinds of meat, as well as prepare tasty vegetables and potatoes, cook a paella or even a pizza. It’s actually a complete outdoor kitchen.

What do you look for when buying meat for your courses and events?

The meat for our courses has to come from Switzerland and as far as possible from sustainable production. For beef that means Natura-Beef, for chicken poulards fed on Rheintal Ribel maize, and for fish we take salmon from Lostallo. But it’s not only the origin that’s important, we also want to show that one can use the whole animal. That makes grilling a varied experience and besides you have a clear conscience, as it doesn’t have to be always fillet or steak. 

So what do you grill, for example?

There are many meat cuts with which we are hardly familiar nowadays or are withheld by the butcher as so-called butcher cuts because of their tastiness and never find their way to the shop counter. Even today, you generally have to order these so-called special cuts in advance, as they aren’t available everywhere.

Do yo have a favourite cut?

I really like the Picanha. This is the favourite cut of the Brazilians, here it’s known as ‘Tafelhuftspitz’ and therefore primarily used for boiled meat. But when the Picanha is cut and prepared correctly, it‘s surprisingly tasty. The flank steak is also very good. Until recently, this meat was processed primarily as dog food. But if you prepare it properly, it’s as tasty as a prime cut. 

Do you need a Big Green Egg to prepare these meat cuts, or does it also work with a conventional grill?

You can prepare special cuts on a conventional grill. But the Big Green Egg offers a great variety of preparation options, as among other things you can regulate the temperature precisely down to the degree or even grill indirectly or prepare stews. 

The Big Green Egg not only serves as a grill for special cuts but also for baking bread, for example. (Photo: Big Green Egg Head)

What is so special about the Big Green Egg?

What’s special about Big Green Eggs is that they are made of particularly high-tech porcelain, that has a very high insulation value. This porcelain was formerly used as heat protection in space shuttles. Together with the special double-walled structure it creates an optimised combustion process. These characteristics are the basis of the various advantages of the Big Green Egg. For example it can reach 200°C in only 10 minutes and needs very little charcoal, which is quite ecological and energy-efficient. As the porcelain is not coated inside, the humidity is stored and the barbecue doesn’t become dry but stays crispy.  There‘s hardly any smoke, so the Big Green Egg is used in the kitchens of many top chefs. I could mention a lot more examples, but it’s best to convince yourself directly. And what’s more, as the Big Green Egg is extremely durable, you get a lifelong warranty – so don’t wait too long before buying to benefit from the longest possible warranty. 

Can one witness the Big Green Egg’s qualities at FOOD ZURICH?

Yes, certainly! We will display together with beef.ch and be present ourselves on the spot for several days. There will be a ‘slowcooking‘ session by chef Mirjam Eberle as well as an opportunity to grill oneself on a Big Green Egg at the Slow Food Market on 10 September. Natura-Beef, of course! 

(Photo: Big Green Egg HEAD)
(Photo: Big Green Egg HEAD)

After his studies in economics, Durì Campell worked as a business consultant. An enthusiastic hobby cook, he focused in his spare time on Slow Food and conscious enjoyment, discovered the Big Green Egg many years ago and soon developed into a recognised Egg specialist. A few years later he decided to further professionalise this hobby, founded the company Big Green Egg HEAD and began to sell Big Green Eggs. Today, he is Switzerland’s largest platinum retailer, with a product range including not only Big Green Eggs but also OFYR fire bowls and numerous accessories. Together with his team, he gives lessons on grilling using Big Green Eggs and OFYR fire bowls. In addition to a large web shop, he has sales outlets in Zurich, Winterthur, Bern and Locarno, and can be found at many food events.