From Pork Eggrolls To Brisket Baos: Chain of Lakes Eggfest
by James Coulter
Martin Sullivan, Mayor of Frostproof, loves to barbecue. He attended The Central Florida Eggfest last Saturday to share his love by preparing apricot-glazed chicken wings. He also used the opportunity to promote his own barbecue event, Fire It Up! Frostproof, scheduled for Mar. 7.
This was the first time that he had participated in Eggfest. He had attended two similar events before. He loves the diversity of food prepared at these Eggfests, especially using the signature Green Egg Grills.
“I love the variety,” he said. As for what he also loves about the event, he explained: “I love the music and the atmosphere and all the food available. [I hope] It is going to be bigger and better than ever.”
His apricot glazed wings were one of several unique food items prepared at the Third Annual Central Florida Eggfest in Winter Haven on Saturday.
Hosted at the Boys & Girls Club of Polk County, the Chain of Lakes Eggfest, hosted by Mannix Pools, has served as a fundraiser for the local organization to help finance its local children’s programs and services, especially its after school programs.
More than 20 teams from across the county, as well as the country, participated at the event, serving unique items from barbecue pizzas to fried pork egg rolls and brisket bao rolls.
All of these items were prepared using the signature Green Egg grills, special ceramic grills whose shape and material help provide optimal cooking temperature for a variety of food items.
For the low price of a $25 entry fee, attendees could sample as many of these food items that they could. Such a low fee for such a diverse selection of gourmet food items has drawn attendees in by the droves over the past three years.
Shannon Duncan, a committee member for the event, has been friends with the organizer, BJ Mannix, since it started three years ago. Mannix had helped him with a previous festival, so Duncan has been helping his Eggfest out in turn.
When the Eggfest kicked off with its VIP event on Friday, the weather was cold, dropping below the 40s, with very high winds of 20 to 25 mph. Fortunately, Saturday brought warmer weather, and with it larger crowds, Duncan said.
“By the look of the crowd, it is by far our most successful Eggfest,” Duncan said. “It keeps on growing, and we plan on continuing to grow as the years go by.”
BJ Mannix, the owner of Mannix Pools and the head of the event, was pleasantly surprised by the turnout. This year’s event more than exceeded expectation with more sponsors, more vendors, and especially more attendees.
“That shows we are doing something right,” Mannix said. “This event has grown, and it is because of the local community….We love the food. We love the people. I am enjoying the people who come out and support us.”