Grokfeast in South Dakota

On September 11th I asked Mark’s Daily apple readers to host a Grokfeast (a picnic/party celebrating the Primal lifestyle) and to send me the results. The following is one of 14 amazing submissions, the best of which will win an entire cow courtesy of US Wellness.

Our Grokfeast preparations started early on Saturday with a trip to the Sioux Falls Farmer’s Market to get all of the vegetables fresh from local farmers. The 4 chickens also joined the party early as we began brining them at the Zahasky house on Saturday.

On Sunday we congregated at the Esser’s at 2pm so we could begin preparing and cooking together as a community. Our Grokfeast lasted 7 hours! To kick it off we prepared the food between the indoor kitchen and the outdoor kitchen (a dug-in-the-ground fire pit we created in the back yard of the downtown-dwelling Esser family.) Half of the adults started in the kitchen cutting all the fresh veggies to prepare the sides with and the older kids were outside playing on the rope hanging from the tree while the little ones played in the dirt! As a group we also had a game of freeze tag and backyard Frisbee. Ropes, dirt, tag… what a way to get this Primal Party started!

For one of our activities we all built the fire pit and fire so we could cook the meat over an open flame. The kids and adults hauled bricks and worked as a team to build up the fire pit.

Once we were ready to start the fire, we made the “chicken-stands” out of old tomato wires and as a team we all carried in firewood to assemble the fire.

Another “group activity” we did was to “hunt” the chicken for our meal. The kids all had fun and took part in this activity to hunt and gather our food. While none of our chickens were harmed physically during this “hunt”, I believe one or two may need counseling later. 🙂 The eggs used for the Cupcakes and the Duchess Fauxtatoes did in fact come from this chicken (and a few other of our chickens) and they were gathered as needed throughout the day’s events.

It was absolutely a great success! Every dish was uniquely and amazingly very Primal and the group activities were physically rewarding! The highlights were being able to build a fire pit to cook our food in, and hunting the chicken! We have families and wanted to invite other families, so we had an ageless feast so to speak. The kids ranged in age from 2-11 and the adults ranged from early 20s to late 40s… and everyone participated! (And we all took turns with the camera… pictures to follow.) We all did the cooking, playing and feasting, and we all had a blast with the days series of events. One other highlight of the day was being able to introduce the Primal lifestyle to the Gibson’s and the Sieh’s in such a fun and active way! We all agreed that this felt like Thanksgiving… only better! Thank you for the inspiration… we will be doing this again very soon!

The Feast

  • 2 Apple cider Brined Herb-Roasted Organic Chickens
  • 2 Apple cider Brined Spicy “BBQ” Organic Chickens
  • German [Sweet]potato Salad w/ Apple cider Vinegar and Bacon
  • Roasted Local Tomato and Artichoke Salad
  • Local Kohlrabi/Beet/Carrot Slaw w/ Toasted Walnuts and Lemon Aioli
  • Baked Cauliflower Duchess Fauxtatoes
  • Paleo Cupcakes with Whipped Organic Honey Butter

The German Sweet Potato Salad was by far the group’s favorite dish because it had such bold flavors and represented the Primal-ness of the Feast! (This was the only dish that was hard to split amongst the guests for left-overs!)

German Sweet Potato Salad


  • 3 Large Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 LB Bacon
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 2 Red Onions
  • 1/2 Cup of Apple cider Vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Local Parsley, chopped


Skin sweet potatoes and cut into “wheels” or “coins”; blanch the potatoes in boiling sea-salted water; roast sweet potatoes on pan in 400 degree oven until slightly crispy; dice the onions and set aside; chop bacon while raw and render the fat (cook the bacon-save the fat); dice the bell pepper; cook onions and peppers in saved bacon fat in cast iron skillet; toss sweet potatoes and all goodies from skillet into a serving bowl and cover with parsley; salt and pepper to taste; serve warm. Yum!

The Tribe

Nic Zahasky, Kara Zahasky, Ari Zahasky, Beckett Zahasky, Rocco Zahasky, Ludovikh Zahasky, Kevin Esser, Erin Esser, Ireland Esser, Christian Esser, Phinehas Esser, David Sieh, Hunter Sieh, Mike Gibson, Lisa Gibson, Tyler Gibson

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending more than three decades educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates flavorful and delicious kitchen staples crafted with premium ingredients like avocado oil. With over 70 condiments, sauces, oils, and dressings in their lineup, Primal Kitchen makes it easy to prep mouthwatering meals that fit into your lifestyle.

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!