Fans of the popular ceramic grills known as Big Green Eggs will have a chance to see them in action Saturday at a charity cookoff benefiting Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Just Grillin, a kitchen supply store in Tampa, is hosting Eggs by the Bay, an event slated to feature grilling, cooking classes, demonstrations and tastings. It is the first event of its kind for the store, and it follows a trend of similar cooking competitions across Florida, including Eggs on the Beach in Miramar Beach.
The event is essentially a grilloff, with 20 to 30 "cook teams" showcasing a large variety of foods that can be cooked on the Egg, including pork, ribs, tailgate favorites, pizza and desserts. Attendees can then vote for their favorite team, and the winner will receive an award and a new Big Green Egg cooker. (They range from $399 to $3,999 depending on size.)
Heather Driscoll, chief operating officer of Just Grillin, said that the popularity of the grill, and its top-notch cooking performance, are the reasons it was chosen as the focal point of the event.
"It has a huge following," Driscoll said. "You can cook anything on the Egg. We didn't really want it to be like a barbecue competition. The Egg is really good for … foodies, people who like to cook really well."
Ray Lampe, the nationally known chef who lives in St. Petersburg and goes by the name Dr. BBQ, will be there, along with other local culinary well-knowns offering tips and doing live cooking demonstrations. Michele Northrup, owner of Intensity Academy, which specializes in hot sauces, and Erik Youngs, culinary instructor and owner of Voodoo Chef, will also be answering questions.
After the cookoff, the "demo" Eggs used will be sold at a discounted price to encourage people to try them out, Driscoll said.