Steak Cookoff Draws Record Number of Grill Team Entrants
Published on Wednesday, 18 January 2017 20:07
The Sunshine State Steak Cook-Off is already one of Ave Maria's most popular annual events. This year's, on Saturday, Jan. 28, might be the biggest yet.
A total of 22 grill teams, the most in the event's seven-year history, have signed up to compete for the honor of cooking the best steak in Florida. A core of local Ave Maria grill team entrants will be joined this year by teams from throughout southwest Florida and some from as far away as Arkansas and Texas, including a winner of the world championship steak cook-off in Magnolia, Arkansas. (right, the 2017 trophies that will be awarded)
Steaks will be served beginning at 5 p.m. and this year the cook-off follows a day of fun activities in the Ave Maria town center that are part of a new "Great American Saturday" event sponsored by Ave Maria Development. Those events kick off with a 5K Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. benefiting ExEL Foundation, a group dedicated to early childhood learning. From 10 a.m. til 4 p.m. there will be a variety of free activities including obstacle courses, a fun slide, bounce houses, a muscle car show.
Music starts at 10 a.m. and continues until 6 p.m. Steak Cook-Off winners will be announced at 6:30 p.m.
Cook-Off tickets have sold out in all but one of the previous six years and organizers are suggesting buying tickets as soon as possible. They're $20, which includes a 16-ounce ribeye steak, salad, roll, baked potato and water, and can be purchased at the Ave Maria Quasi Parish office, the Ave Maria development office or online at https://sssscookoff.com. The steak cook-off is sponsored by the parish and proceeds benefit local charities.
Schedule for Sunshine State Steak Cook-Off and Great American Saturday Jan. 28, 2017
8:30 a.m. - 5K Fun Run to benefit ExEL Foundation. To register go to https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/AveMaria/ExELFoundation5KRunWalk
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Activities in town center including obstacle courses, bounce houses, muscle car show. DJ from 10 a.m. to noon; live music from the Ben Allen Band from noon to 4 p.m.
2 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Silent Auction in the town center
3 p.m. - Grill lighting
5 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Serving line open (experienced steak cook-off aficionados begin lining up at 4:30)
6:30 p.m. - Awards ceremony