The 5’x11′ pan will feed a couple thousand folks, but be quick because it disappears fast!
FORT VALLEY, Ga. — The Peach Festival begins Saturday and runs all weekend in Fort Valley before they move the festivities to Byron the following weekend.
Every June, we give you the basic recipe for what they call the ‘world’s largest peach cobbler.’ It’s about 75 gallons of peaches, 150 pounds of flour and sugar, and they also throw in 32 gallons of milk.
13WMAZ anchor Suzanne Lawler spoke with head chef Rich Bennett to drill down on how he makes the traditional dessert that’s served up every year.
You’d think with the head chef title the guy would have cooking credentials.
“Nope, I’m a computer guy,” he admitted.
Fifteen years ago, he got picked to take it over and then he had to do an apprenticeship, which really means they taught him the recipe and then had some fun with him.
“When we got down in the barrel, he told me to do my hands like this as a mixer and we got the flour going. I was completely covered in flour,” said with a chuckle.
By ‘the barrel,’ he really means trash can they use to mix it all up. Don’t worry, they’re sanitized before they go into service.
“People are weirded out by the trash cans, but this is their only use. We store them during the year,” said Bennett.
And he did actually change the recipe a little bit!
“I cut about 25 pounds of butter out of the recipe and recently added cinnamon and vanilla to the flavoring of the cobbler… that’s my mark on it,” he said.
He made it even better by tinkering with the hardware, moving the cobbler away from the propane heat source a bit and adding in a little A/C unit.
“The hardest part is the temperature control and air flow. I learned I have to put a fan down here to move the air around and give it a more even cook,” he said.
The early bird gets the sugar, so they will start mixing it all up around 3 am Saturday. It costs about $2,000 to put the event on.
It takes one propane tank to heat the cobbler, and the 5’x11′ pan will feed a couple thousand folks.
It’s a good bit of work for Bennett, but he does get bragging rights when he shows up for parties.
“I’ll cook a cobbler and I’ll present it as the world’s second largest peach cobbler because I’m the head chef of the world’s largest peach cobbler,” he said with pride.
The cobbler is free and they start handing it out at 2 pm It’s usually gone by 3:30 pm
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