It was a lot of fun to be once again be invited to the Char-Broil all star event. (Seriously does anyone ever turn down an opportunity to be in the sun for a few days>?) This year’s event was held in Atlantic Beach Florida at the beautiful One Ocean Resort. Glorious beach views and top notch amenities was the theme for the weekend. Really – this was pretty lovely to work and learn in this environment.
My fellow all star Char-Broil Bloggers were once again a blast to be around. You really need to check these folks out:
- David Olson – “A Bachelor And his Grill”
David the the author of A Bachelor & His Grill. His food blog is a mix of crazy delicious grub & original recipes, a travel log for his worldly adventuring, littering of semi-appropriate/sarcastic humor, & connection point with some of the most amazing, inspirational, & engaging people he has ever met….
- Curt McAdams – “Live Fire”
Curt McAdams is an award winning competitor in all categories of several Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) sanctioned competition events and a certified barbeque judge (CBJ) in that respected organization. Curt shares his passion for cooking over an open fire in photographs of his food on his web log Livefire. …
- Julie Reinhardt – “She Smoke”
Julie Reinhardt is the author of She Smoke a Backyard Barbeque Book and hands-on partner of Smokin’ Pete’s BBQ in Seattle, a place she lovingly calls “a joint.” The fragrant aroma of smoke lingers in Julies clothes as she races between her duties as restauranteur, wife and mother….
- Scott Thomas – “Grillin’ Fools”
The Grillin Fools are husbands, fathers, sons and good employees during the work week – but evenings and weekends their nearly-a-century of outdoor cooking experience blossoms and they become grilling super-heroes. OK – that may be stretching it a bit but they are busy grilling year-round grilling. …
- Jane Bonacci – “The Heritage Cook”
Jane Evans is the author of The Heritage Cook, a web log celebrating the traditional ingredients and recipes of American family life. Jane hails from the San Franciso Bay area and her attention to the ingredients is influenced by the farms, orchards, ranches and nearby access to seafood providing an unending source of inspiration. …
- Chef Christo – “Chez What?”
Chef Christo Gonzales or simply “Christo” hails from New York and manages a busy schedule as private chef for individuals as well executive chef for two catering companies. A prolific cook and writer he shares his thoughts on food by contributing to more than a dozen web and social media outlets including photos of his creations….
- Catherine Mayhew – “The South In My Mouth”
Catherine Mayhew is the author of The HandyMom’s Guide to Grilling (Cool Springs Press) and the sassy southern lady behind the web log The South In My Mouth. In her own words: “I think about lunch just after breakfast and dinner right after lunch.”…
The time was packed with information sessions on Char-Broil grills and accessories for the 2013 season and future plans as well. We learned a lot about presentations, TRU Infrared technology and photography. Plus how can you resist marketing materials and information when it is held with the cutest paper clips ever.
Char-Broil is also one of the sponsors of the HGTV SMART Home located a short distance from our hotel in Jacksonville Florida.
We got to tour the house and check out the really interesting Technology they use.
Of course we had to check out the grill station! (I need to get that lamp light over the grill it was gorgeous)
After the house tour we travelled to Mayhew Florida to visit a fish market. We had enjoyed some of the terrific Shrimp thats available locally and it was great to see cases of fresh shrimp and trawlers.
There was a deep sea fishing trip booked as well but unfortunately due to high seas it was cancelled. Darnit. I was really looking forward to that. However we all headed to the SPA instead. I know it was a tough call but I made the sacrifice and got a really cute pedicure instead. The ocean views from the One Ocean SPA were gorgeous.
After the relaxation we had a very serious event. It was the 2013 Char-Broil All Star Throwdown Competition. This is an annual event with no monetary prizes but bragging rights. We randomly pull numbers to find your partner and then you get grilling. My partner this year was the lovely Jane Bonacci “The Heritage Cook” She was an excellent partner and we worked very well together.
The black box competition contained: Calamari, Semi Sweet Dark Chocolate, blood oranges, Prawns, Snapper, sun dried tomatoes & Collard greens. We were required to use every mandatory item.
We had old Bay seasoning, salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, olive oil, lemons and hot sauce as pantry items. Plus wood planks if we wanted.
I think we made something spectacular. We had 22 minutes. Thats all the time we had from start to finish to grill, photograph and present to the judges. Our judges were the VP of Char-Broil Marketing Michelle Zeller, a ONE Ocean team representative, and hosted by Marketing Specialist Mary Eitel from MKE Communications.
This was our entry titled Bounty of the Sea:
Our entry included:
- Smoked Calamari stuffed with grilled shrimp, charred collards, finely minced sun dried tomatoes and seasonings
- Louisiana grilled shrimp
- Shrimp stuffed sea shells
- Blood Orange chocolate reduction
- Thyme grilled snapper
Jane made the absolutely amazing Blood orange,chocolate reduction for the plank that paired beautifully with the snapper. Make sure you check out her Chocolate Monday post next week for the recipe.
The competition was intense and all of the teams put out some incredible food. Very glad to report that Jane and I won the competition and the bragging rights for the next year. Trophy widget will be coming soon from the always helpful Michael Williams Char-Broils Multi Media Content Specialist and Community Manager.
After the contest we celebrated with some refreshing cocktails and a wonderful Grouper dinner oceanside. A great time was had by all. Its really great to hear of all the Char-Broil All Star’s successes. These are some seriously talented people that make amazing food!! Make sure to check out their blog Posts on Char-Broil and their own personal websites.
This event is always jam-packed with information, interesting education sessions and lots of laughter with my fellow Char-Broil All Stars. Looking forward to seeing them all sooner than later.
Just a reminder:
As one of the Char-Broil All star bloggers I get to share a really great deal for my readers & followers. Char-Broil has given me a code to post for the year for 25% off. Thats a big chunk of change to save.
This code will give 25% OFF All Grills and Cookers on charbroil.com. Pls note it is not applicable to parts but to grills & accessories only. This code & link below is valid until December 2013. Just use the code when you are checking out and click the link below: