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Local Ave Maria Teams Again Take Top Steak Cook Off Honors

steak1-400It was finally Alan Beckner's year at the Sunshine State Steak Cook Off in Ave Maria.

The local jeweler has been one of the most enthusiastic supporters and participants of the contest since it debuted in 2011. The store he and his wife, Renee, own in Ave Maria, Beckner Jewelry and Repair, has donated the trophies every year and his team, Hot Pursuit, has won the award for best showmanship several times, but the top prize, for the best steak, has eluded him. Until Saturday night. (Right, Mr. Beckner with team members John Coffey and Greg Barnes, along with cook off co-ordinator Tom Smith.)

Hot Pursuit led a sweep of the top three honors for best steak, the second consecutive year in which the 1st, 2nd and 3rd-place finishers were teams from Ave Maria. The competition attracted 18 teams from Florida that served up a total of 1,800 steaks. Carnis Amatores, a team led by Ave Maria resident Jim Hess that took 1st prize in 2013, placed second and a team from Cheney Landscaping placed third.

Ssteak8-350kinny's Barbecue from Merrit Island, FL, whose distinctive black balloons could be seen throughout the Ave Maria town center, won the award for showmanship.

The proceeds from the steak cook off benefit a fund that provides scholarships to the Rhodora Donahue Academy in Ave Maria to students from Immokalee. (Left, lines for steaks stretched around both sides of the oratory.

Other images from the event: top row, the the gril from the Immokalee Casino team being lit; Carnis Amatores.  

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Below left, Skinny's Barbecue in the opening parade of grills. Below right, two girls trying their hand at one of the games set up in town.


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