Fun & Food at the Eggs on the Bay Eggfest
It’s that time of year again when the BBQ festivals and Big Green Egg EGGfests start happening. If you have never been to an Eggfest, or don’t even know what one is, let me explain. EGGfests are gatherings of Big Green Eggheads where they all come together in one place to show off their skills on the famous ceramic cookers. They are usually sponsored by a BGE dealer and are open to the public so that they can taste some of the goodness that is possible on the Egg.
Dealers offer brand new Eggs, generally at a substantial discount, that will be used to cook on once at the Eggfest and then brought home by their new owner. The Eggfest enlists teams to come, use the Egg to cook on and serve up some of their best creations to the general public. The dealers sell Eggs, the teams don’t have to transport one to the site and some lucky new owner just joined the BGE addiction. It’s a win -win-win situation! The luckiest though is the general public. For a nominal fee, they get to attend and enjoy as much of the delicious food as they want. They do have one job though, to vote for their favorite dish that was served throughout the day. At the end of the day, the votes are counted, and someone is crowned Egghead of the Bay! There were actually 2 winners crowned this day, the Backyard division winner, and the Vendor division winner. More on that later….
It was a beautiful day at Marine Max Marina in Sarasota, Florida. All of the cook team tents were set up and surrounded by boats and the Gulf of Mexico. Not a bad setting for the day. The event was sponsored and put on by FOGO Dealer and friend, Pinecraft BBQ in Sarasota, Fl. Owner Benson Stoltzfus and manager Dave Frosch put hours and hours of planning and prep work into preparing for the big day and it sure showed. There were roughly 20 teams competing and the crowds assembled in force. The taster lines did not stop from 11 AM- 2:30 PM and there were plenty of smiling faces and full bellies. Most importantly, it was a glorious day. 70° and the sun shining brightly. They could not have ordered better weather and #BGETeamGreen member Chris Sussman aka The BBQ Buddha gave a fantastic demonstration for the crowd on how to caveman sear giant tomahawk steaks. Let’s just say that he had jaws dropping!
FOGO was very proud to participate in the vendor division. Our team was headed up by our very own Captain Ron and he was assisted by his better half, Lynn Fernandez, and fellow Eggheads and FOGO Family, Bob and Dawn Snow. We started by coating an incredible NY Strip Loin from Demkota Ranch Beef Co. in our FOGO The Rub, smoked it over FOGO Charcoal, then sliced it into steaks and caveman seared them. If you don’t know, that is where the steak is seared and finished directly on the ripping hot FOGO coals. If you are ever near an Eggfest where we are cooking, you must make sure to stop by and taste it... If we heard WOW once, we must have heard it 200 times.
I had the opportunity to walk around and sample many of the food creations being offered and I don’t know how anybody could pick a favorite. I could have happily eaten a full meal of anything and everything that I tasted. Although they all deserved credit, only 1 team could come out victorious in each division. Although we had votes flowing into our voting box as steady as a river, we got eked out for 1st place by our friends and extremely talented cooks, Team Trompo King. Head Chef Noam Weiss and team have been competing in these festivals for years and placed 2nd and 3rd many times and this was their first time taking the top spot. We could not be happier for them. Their team of Noam, his wife Dawn, sons Pitboss Gabe and Seth “Roo on the Que” always pour their hearts into everything that they do, and it finally paid off. Congrats Team Trompo!
In the “backyard division, it was quite a different story. The team that won, has won so many Eggfests that they must need an Egg carton to keep all of their grand prize Mini Max Eggs in! Chefs (and all-around great people) Matt and Anna Seguin, with their friend Aaron Barleycorn served up 4 different dishes that day but my favorite is always their “Fat Elvis”. It is a Nutter Butter cookie, topped with a slice of banana, wrapped in bacon, and cooked on the Egg until the bacon has rendered and reached its maximum deliciousness potential. If you eat one, you just want to keep going back for more. Congrats to The BBQ Nerds!!!
All in all it was a great day. Team FOGO was only 8 votes away from the #1 spot but when you serve over 500 samples, that is a very slim margin. Plus, we were happy for our friends that won. In the end, it is a fun contest, but the day is really all about the incredible BGE community, delicious food and the EGGcellent time that was had by all. If you get an opportunity to attend an Eggfest, we highly recommend it. Until the next time, remember to get out and grill and we will see you the next time on The FOGO Life. Captain Ron out……
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