Competition sees 23 teams vying for grilling glory
By Michelle Farnham
Oct. 15, 2023
SEASCAPE – “Oh no, I’m so full I couldn’t possibly eat another bite.”
“No really, I … Oh, OK.”
This scene played out over and over again Oct. 14, as ticket-holders indulged in all that the Big Green Egg could produce during the 9th annual Eggs on the Beach. Hosted by Bay Breeze Patio at Seascape Towne Centre, you could try everything from pulled pork with mac and cheese (Team Grease Police), smoked shrimp and pineapple (Saltwater Restaurants), to “pastalaya” with smoked chicken, pork and andouille (Team Uncle Theo & the Fixin’s).
Bay Breeze Patio co-owner Susan Kiley was thrilled with the 23 teams that turned out for the wonderfully sunny event.
“They’re just knocking it out of the park, they’re cooking their hearts out, they’re all just egg-cellent,” Kiley said with a laugh. “We are excited to have welcomed some new teams, including a few non-profits like the Distinguished Young Gentlemen, a juvenile justice program; and the Gulf Coast Autism Center.”
“We’ve got a lot of exotic foods here this year,” added event co-organizer Tracy Louthain. “We’ve got alligator from Sea Market, lamb from the upcoming Bosforo for Food For Thought, venison from South Walton Academy, so that’s a fun new twist. This is more than a barbecue competition, it’s everything!”
Defending champs K’Eggs Over Easy, a group of grilling enthusiasts from the Cypress Breeze neighborhood, were back with their Texas Twinkies.
Mark Zang, the team’s self-proclaimed “PR guy” was handing out their jalapeño orange bourbon iced tea while also hyping up their food offering.
“We’ve taken a jalapeño and dug out all the seeds, so it’s not too hot, then we’ve put in a seasoned cream cheese, smoked sausages and wrapped it in bacon, topped with a raspberry-chipotle bourbon sauce,” Zang explained. As it turned out, the combo was worth a repeat win with the crowd.
New to the party, Angel’s Envy was a partner, providing the 23 cook teams with bourbon to incorporate into their dishes and bonus cocktails, if they chose. They hosted interactive games to win prizes and even offered free engraving on purchased bottles of bourbon and rye.
Local liquor rep Brad Daniloff was working the Angel’s Envy tent, which offered two drinks, including their Kentucky Buck cocktail, made with Kentucky straight bourbon, lemon, strawberry and ginger beer.
“This is a great event, a good turnout and everybody’s really into it. We’re getting a lot of love,” Daniloff said.
Bourbon of course makes a great dessert ingredient, and several teams took advantage. Tasters got to enjoy the likes of bourbon caramel bacon ice cream (Pecan Jacks for the Walton Skate Association), caramel apple bread pudding (Team BE-CI), and banana nut bread foster (Team Sea Market), all featuring Angel’s Envy.
Throughout the day you could see a panel of judges – Chef Jude Tauzin (Tony Chachere’s), Chef Dan Tederous (Hilton Sandestin), Nikki Nickerson (Cowgirl Hospitality Group), Carrie Honaker (food and travel writer), and Chef Chad Donelson (Bitterroot) – evaluating bites for the coveted Judges’ Award. Honors are also doled out for best Angel’s Envy bite, the Taster’s Choice Award, and the top three non-profit teams are presented a cash prize for their charity.
1 – K’Eggs Over Easy
2 – Brotherhood of Distinguished Gentlemen: Walton County Juvenile Justice
3 – Nice Racks
Angel’s Envy Best Bite Award
1 – Sea Market
2 – Food For Thought
3 – Florida Q
1 – Healing Paws for Warriors – $3,500
2 – South Walton Academy Eggstras – $2,500
3 – Brotherhood of Distinguished Gentleman: Walton County Juvenile Justice – $1,500
Tasters’ Choice Award
1 – K’Eggs Over Easy
2 – Saltwater Restaurants Inc.
3 – InDyne
Honorable Mention – Captain’s Choice
Eggs on the Beach is an annual fundraiser for its two benefitting charities, Fisher House of the Emerald Coast and Food For Thought Outreach, both of which assist families here in the Florida Panhandle.
Photos by Michelle Farnham