Honorary Judges Announced for 9th Annual Eggs on the Beach, Oct. 14

Returning to Seascape Towne Center on Oct. 14, Eggs on the Beach will unite grilling enthusiasts in healthy competition. Each year, cook teams vie for the Taster’s Choice Awards and a chance to win a Big Green Egg. But serious bragging rights are achieved with the coveted Judge’s Awards, in which cook teams compete for recognition by a distinguished panel of honorary judges.

The 2023 panel of culinary experts ranges from Tony Chachere’s Corporate Chef to a Michelin restaurant-trained chef to a local restauranteur and a contributing food writer. With their diverse backgrounds and expertise, each judge will evaluate bites based on taste, creativity and presentation.

This year’s honorary judges include: Chef Jude Tauzin, corporate chef for Tony Chachere’s from Lafayette, LA; Chef Dan Tederous, corporate chef for Hilton Sandestin; Nikki Nickerson, founder of Cowgirl Hospitality Group; Carrie Honaker, Florida Food & Travel Writer for Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Wine Enthusiast, among others; and Michelin restaurant-trained Chef Chad Donelson, executive chef of Bitterroot. Here’s a glance at their diverse backgrounds…


Jude Tauzin, Corporate Chef for Tony Chachere’s Creole Foods

Chef Jude Tauzin attended Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, S.C., graduating in Culinary Arts. He returned to his hometown (Opelousas, La.) and went to work for Tony Chachere’s Creole Foods, testing recipes for the Second Helping cookbook. Tauzin later accepted the Sous Chef position at Charley G’s in Lafayette, before moving to Atlanta to help open Comeaux’s Louisiana Bar & Grill as Executive Chef. Over the years, he’s worked at acclaimed restaurants throughout Louisiana, Georgia, and Texas. In 2012, Chef Tauzin returned to Tony Chachere’s Creole Foods as Corporate Chef. Tauzin is active in the Acadiana Chapter of the American Culinary Federation and supports numerous charitable events throughout the year.


Chef Dan Tederous, Executive Chef Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa

Named executive chef at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in 2021, Dan Tederous oversees the property’s culinary outlets and event dining programs. Tederous leads efforts in creating and implementing standard, seasonal, and special holiday menus consisting of quality ingredients and coastal resort favorites. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in Business Communications, Tederous discovered his passion for cooking while working at a fine-dining restaurant outside of Atlanta. Recognizing his talent, the executive chef of the restaurant offered Tederous his first job as sous chef. Over the last 20 years, Tederous has enhanced his culinary experience by serving as chef de cuisine at Delmonico Steakhouse in Las Vegas, Nevada; executive sous chef at Mauna Kea Resort in Waimea, Hawaii; and banquet chef at Four Seasons Hualalai in Kona, Hawaii.


Nikki Nickerson, Founder of the Cowgirl Hospitality Group

Nikki Nickerson is a serial entrepreneur that loves farm-to-table cuisine, an amazing glass of wine, and bringing people together. She is the founder of the Cowgirl Hospitality Group, which includes Cowgirl Kitchen in Rosemary Beach, Cowgirl Kitchen West in Blue Mountain Beach, CK’s Feed & Supply in Rosemary Beach, Blue Mabel Restaurant and Bar in Blue Mountain Beach, and Southern Belle Catering – all known for comforting, delicious food and an experience that will keep you coming back. Nikki goes against the grain in a male-driven industry. She made “kick back cuisine” a thing. She’s a fearless leader. She’s strong, she’s driven, and she embraces her grit that made the Cowgirl dream a reality. In 2019, Nikki was selected as a James Beard Fellow. She believes in gathering, breaking bread, sharing wine, and spending time with people.


Carrie Honaker, Food & Travel Writer

Carrie Honaker is a Florida-based food and travel writer who is not sure where she will land next, but it will involve messy eating, a spicy Tempranillo, and finding the local farmers market. She has hauled oyster cages off the Forgotten Coast of Florida, harvested indigenous crops with the Abenaki Tribe in Vermont, learned to make beef patties from a Jamaican auntie, made Guavaberry Liqueur with a 7th generation distiller on St. Maarten, and stomped cacao pods in Grenada. She writes about food, drink, travel, and culture for Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler, Wine Enthusiast, Southern Living, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, and many more. 


Chef Chadwick Donelson, Executive Chef of Bitterroot
An exceptional meal is a combination of a thousand different decisions. Much in the same way a great chef is a blend of all the experiences he’s had along on the way. Chef Chadwick puts the very essence of every award-winning restaurant he’s been a part of into everything he creates. Bitterroot’s menu is a direct reflection of his story. His humble beginnings helping out around his local bingo parlor led to him serving on the opening team for Jim Shirley’s The Bay restaurant. From there he relocated to the DC area to work at a collection of 1-Star Michelin Restaurants that grew to achieve 2-, 3- and 4-star Michelin ratings. Today Chef Chadwick enjoys creative liberties at Bitterroot serving up the freshest foods in new and unexpected ways.

These culinary experts will mix and mingle with the crowd tasting each team’s creative bite and judging it based on taste, creativity and presentation to award this year’s Judge’s Trophy winners.

Make plans to attend the 9th Annual Eggs on the Beach Cooking Competition, Oct. 14 at Seascape Resort. Learn more, register a cook team or purchase taster tickets at EggsontheBeach.com. (TIP: Save on service fees by purchasing your taster ticket with cash or check at Bay Breeze Patio, 32  Forest Shore Drive, Miramar Beach (across from Seascape Resort).