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Sold Out Steak Cook-Off Caps Day of Fun in Ave Maria

steak-line-375Hungry steak lovers began lining up early, circling the church in the center of Ave Maria. Just an hour after the line started moving at 5 p.m. 1,500 steaks had been served by 22 grill teams at the 7th annual Sunshine State Steak Cook-Off in Ave Maria.

“It was just a fabulous event, a very successful day,” said Fr. Cory Mayer of the Ave Maria Parish, which took over sponsorship of the event this year from the Donahue Academy Catholic school in town. Fr. Mayer said he was delighted with the response from parishioners. More than 60 volunteered to work at the cook-off including the event’s founders, Ave Maria University biology professor Tom Smith and his wife, Gretel.

“Tom and Gretel did an amazing job,” Fr. Mayer said.

steak-1st-200This year’s cook-off winner is no stranger to accolades for cooking a great steak. Bryan Lewis and his team Bry-B-Q from McKinney, Texas, won the World Championship Steak Cook-Off in Magnolia, Arkansas, last year. (Left, Mr. Lewis receiving his trophy from Fr. Mayer.)

The 1st runner up was a local team, Big Carbon Footprint, led by Ave Maria residents Tim Moore and Michael Timmis, which won the Sunshine State Steak Cook-Off in 2015. Second runner up was Primos BBQ led by Victor Adame from Immokalee and the Holy Smokes Award for the most team showmanship went to Big Dawg’s Auto Repair, a perennial competitor from Immokalee.

This year's cook-off followed a new town event, Great American Saturday sponsored by Ave Maria Development, which featured a wide array of family-oriented activities.

(Below, all winners with members of their teams and families. Photos left and below by Tom Smith. Photo above by Ave Maria Development)  




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