Big Green Egg Festival
Eggs on the Beach
Festivals along the Gulf Coast are numerous, each possessing its own distinct identity. It is common for visitors to plan vacations around their favorite Gulf Coast event. Finding travelers willing to trek across the country to participate in a national grill-off competition using nothing but an all-in-one smoker and grill is something of which Susan and Wayne Kiley are very familiar. Annually, hundreds of locals and out-of-towners flock to Northwest Florida’s official Big Green Egg Festival, Eggs on the Beach.
Since its inception in 2013, Eggs on the Beach has made quite a name for itself. From developing a “cult-like” nationwide following of grill masters to raising over $36,000 in support of local charities in 2018, these Big Green Egg enthusiasts, affectionately referred to as Egg-Heads, know how to host not only a fun, profitable, and successful cook-off but also gather some of the most renowned grill chefs.
In years past, Susan and Wayne often traveled to Georgia to attend Big Green Egg Festivals and knew they wanted to establish their own Big Green Egg Festival on the Gulf Coast. After much contemplation, they decided to design and launch their very own event. In thinking back to the initial planning phase, Susan recalls,
Egg Fests have different personalities. We wanted to create [an Egg Fest] that was truly a foodie event appealing to the whole community. We wanted to create a family-friendly event with much diversity in the presented food. We could not be happier with what has evolved. Eggs on the Beach is a serious food festival that also happens to raise money for great local causes. It is a total win-win.
Teams must register in advance to secure a spot at the grill. Team categories include Corporate, Backyard, and Non-Profit. During the competition, teams work together to create bite-sized portions of their best and tastiest dishes using the Big Green Eggs provided by the festival. Bay Breeze Patio in Destin donates lump charcoal, fire starters, tables, tents, and disposable dinnerware.
Tasters (event ticketholders) as well as a celebrity judge cast votes for their favorites. Winners in each category receive prizes with winners in the non-profit category receiving a monetary donation to a charity of their choice. The grand prize winner takes home a large Big Green Egg. When asked about her favorite competition fare, Susan replied, “Our Cook Teams shock us every year with the creativity of their recipes and offerings. At many of the Egg Fests that Wayne and I have attended, there are always a group of teams cooking the same pulled pork. At the Eggs on the Beach event, we generally do not see any pulled pork, but we see everything else under the sun. This town brings its A-Game to the competition and our Tasters benefit. I have seen everything from Pork Belly and Watermelon with Feta to Smoked Mac & Cheese to Grilled Oysters swimming in wonderfulness to Grilled Street Corn. It is a bonanza of fabulous food.”
Eggs on the Beach is a fun competition to raise help raise funds for nonprofits. Last year, the Rotary Club of Destin won first place for their amazing butterflied pork tenderloin, the Air Commando Association placed second, and Son of a Saint picked up third place. Among the charities receiving donations include Food for Thought and the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast. Susan states,
We have some pretty competitive people here – smack talk is very common. I love the creativity, I love new grillers getting hooked on the Big Green Egg, and I love supporting terrific causes.
Bay Breeze Patio is hosting the 2019 Eggs on the Beach Festival on September 28. Join Susan, Wayne, and Coastal Palate Magazine between 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Seascape Resort in Miramar Beach. Tickets to this year’s event are available online – EggsOnTheBeach.com.
Event sponsorships are welcome as they help the Eggs on the Beach Festival to continue providing a safe, fun, family-oriented beach festival experience, supporting local family-owned merchants, and donating to charitable organizations. Please contact Susan Kiley for sponsorship information.
Susan Kiley | Bay Breeze Patio | 32 Forest Shore Dr. | Destin, FL 32550 | (850) 269-4666
IMAGES COURTESY BAY BREEZE PATIO
Coastal Palate Magazine, all rights reserved.
This is how we eat!