We are delighted to announce the sixth Annual Eggs On the Beach cooking competition raised $40,000 for local non-profit organizations, including its two non-profit partners—Fisher House of the Emerald Coast and Food for Thought. Held at Seascape Resort on Sept. 28, the family-friendly event welcomed more than 750 tasters and volunteers who sampled an array of delicacies cooked on Big Green Eggs by 25 cook teams.
FUNDS RAISED FOR CHARITY
Both Food for Thought and the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast received a $16,250 donation as the result of the 2019 EggFest. Located on Eglin Air Force Base, the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast provides a “home away from home” for military families so they can be together during medical treatment. Food For Thought, which manages food pantries in Santa Rosa Beach and Destin, helps fight food insecurity by providing backpacks filled with healthy, easy to prepare foods for more than 3,000 students each week who are dependent on free or reduced school meals.
Special thanks to our amazing cook teams, volunteers and sponsors. We are proud to host one of the best food festivals in the area and it is our cook teams that continue to raise the bar and “wow” tasters with bites, ranging from fresh snapper and venison to duck, wild salmon and prime rib. The best part is that with every bite, tasters are supporting two important local causes.
In the non-profit category, South Walton Academy earned first place and a $3,500 donation for their venison wrapped in bacon bite prepared by Chef Giovanni (Gio) Filippone of Vue of 30A. In second place, Sinfonia Gulf Coast earned a $2,500 donation toward their Youth Orchestra with their winning bite, prime rib with horseradish dollop created by Chef Pam Wellborn of 30A Destin Ice House. A returning competitor, the Rotary Club of Destin earned third place and a $1,500 donation for their bite, grilled chicken rolled in a ricotta spinach artichoke filing topped with Conecuh sausage topped with a raspberry hob knob sauce infused with Knob Creek bourbon.
More than 750 tasters attended the event and voted for their favorites. Tasters voted Saltwater Restaurant Group first place taster’s choice award. Their bite—fresh caught red snapper smoked on Big Green Egg with pecan wood and served over Cajun-inspired smoked corn and Andouille sausage maque choux. Their bite was paired with a Knob Creek Smoked Orange Smash. In second place Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty earned the Taster’s Choice award serving blackened king salmon tacos, and 3rd Place Taster’s Choice was awarded to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center “Five Wild Blazing Medical Cooks” for their cornbread topped with pulled pork and Knob Creek bourbon peach barbecue sauce.
In addition, four honorary judges awarded trophies based on flavor, presentation and creativity. Judge’s Choice winners for 2019, include first place Saltwater Restaurants, Inc., second place Setco Services in partnership with Jackacudas Seafood & Sushi, serving Red Neck Nigiri with Smoked Pork Belly, Sambal Spiked Alabama White BBQ Sauce along with Crispy Sweet Potatoes. The Judge’s Award for third place went to Westonwood Ranch’s Bacon Nation who served a honey siracha candied bacon with ginger, pineapple, chive relish paired with a watermelon and feta salad made with Westonwood Ranch aquaponic-grown sweet basil. The bite was paired with Sea Level Vodka lemonade using Westwood Ranch’s aquaponics-grown lemon basil. Honorary judges included Chef Phil McDonald and Debbie Swenerton of Black Bear Bread Co., Chef Nikhil Abuvala owner Roux 30a, and Chef Jack McGuckin executive chef Bijoux Destin.
For the best bite using Knob Creek bourbon, the first place ribbon was presented to Saltwater Restaurants, Inc. In second place, Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty blackened king salmon tacos stole the show. The third-place award went to Chan’s Wine World-Destin. Two honorable mentions were also awarded for use of Knob Creek Bourbon, including Setco Services and The Henderson Beach Resort – Primrose at The Henderson.
Last but certainly not least, the best booth display was presented to Saltwater Restaurants, Inc. The creative booth design and delicious bite was a big hit among tasters and judges.
SAVE THE DATE FOR 2020
Eggs on the Beach event has been steadily growing over the last six years and has increased its donation to local non-profit organizations each year. Eggs on the Beach has donated more than $166,000 to local non-profits since its inception in 2013. Save the date, the seventh annual Eggs on the Beach Cooking Competition will be held Sept. 26, 2020. Visit EggsontheBeach.com to learn more.