Last week, my wife and I went on a bit of a vacation, based on a 2nd annual Char-Broil All Stars meeting. This year, the meeting was in Atlantic Beach, Florida, at Ocean One Resort & Spa, right on the beach. Life is rough, huh? This was from our first morning on the beach…
Last year’s trip to Serenbe, GA, was the first time most of us had gotten together. That means that this year, we mostly already knew each other, so it was less getting to know each other, more having fun spending time together again. And Char-Broil treated us very well yet again!
We did some media training, with Carolyn O’Neil, who has done lots of food related stuff including writing several books, but I was most impressed that she was the Lady of the Refrigerator on Good Eats (and a really pleasant person)!
My cohort All-Stars for the meeting were:
Catherine Mayhew of The South In My Mouth (and the chef to my sous chefness in the “Chopped Grill” competition on Friday night)
David Olson of A Bachelor and His Grill
Danielle Dimovski of DivaQ
Christo Gonzales of Chez What?
Julie Reinhardt of She-Smoke
Scott Thomas of Grillin Fools
Jane Bonacci of The Heritage Cook
Along with all of us “All-Stars”, Mary, Michelle and Michael (3m???) represented Char-Broil. We spent some time in a really cold room talking about new products, where things are heading with Char-Broil (it’s good stuff), and some media/on screen training for us. Mixed throughout was a lot of relaxing, laughing and great food and drink. A big thank you goes out to Char-Broil for letting me bring my wife along… It’s about to be our 10th anniversary, and I wanted to stretch the week into a longer vacation (more to come on that in another post).
The last night together, we were paired up for the “Chopped Grill” competition, where each team had to use all the ingredients given to us. I won’t say who won what (winners were announced in food, photo, team name and dish name categories). Catherine and I named our team Bow Ties & Bacon, but that didn’t win best name.
The ingredients that had to be used were: red snapper, squid, whole shrimp, greens, blood orange and dark chocolate. We added a secret ingredient, which was NOT banned, but seemed to disqualify us… Butter! But it made everything great! I’d talk more about it, but Catherine did such a great job describing it, that I’ll just leave it to her.
I did take shots of each of the entries, though…
The whole time in the Jacksonville area was great. It’s surprising how fast a year passes, but it was great seeing not only my fellow cooks, but the people from Char-Broil, too (and we even talked Jessica into eating crawfish the “right” way!). Michael does an incredible amount of work, and Mary is so good at keeping us going and planning an amazing amount of fun into such a short time. My wife and I spent some time in the car with Michelle, and I have to agree with her that she and I seem to be long lost siblings. I’m already looking forward to next year with Char-Broil!
And not to forget, Char-Broil also makes a great grill or two!
I also highly recomment Ocean One Resort & Spa… Fantastic service, and a great location!