Do you know how to grill a fish?
Here I am in sunny Atlantic Beach, Florida, at the annual Char-Broil All Star Bloggers conclave. It has been a tough couple of days. The All Stars have had to endure multiple hours-long meals with such hard-to-stomach foods as fresh shrimp, oysters on the half shell, mussels, lobster tails and other trash food. You’d think those Char-Broil folks could come up with something tastier. Sheesh. I will not lie. There has been alcohol involved. And 2 a.m. swims in the ocean. And, today, I had to struggle through a massage at the spa. There has been work done, too, but detailing my love of the Char-Broil grills and accessories is not what this post is all about. It’s about the carnage that is about to come. The seafood grilling contest.
Every year, the Char-Broil folks pit the All Stars against each other in a cooking contest. Last year, it was chicken with five mystery ingredients we had to use. This year it is seafood. This afternoon, the All Stars were beyond excitement because we visited a local seafood store right on the ocean with cases and cases of beautiful fish. And then they made us wait outside. It was like being invited to Tiffany’s and then told we could press our noses against the glass but not touch any of the diamonds. The Char-Broil folks remained inside, selecting our mystery ingredients. We considered stopping some random stranger entering the store and slipping him a five spot to spy for us.
So the fish came out in unidentifiable white plastic bags. There will be five additional mystery ingredients. I am almost positive Marshmallow Fluff will be involved. The contest is not until 7 p.m., strategically planned I am sure to take advantage of the fact that many of us will have had a cocktail or two by that time. Last year, Christo Gonzales won. But that was completely unfair as he is a trained chef. My partner, Danielle Dimovski (Diva Q) and I came in second. We were robbed, only by virtue of the fact that we thought we could cook an entire chicken in an hour on a pineapple spear which turned out, sadly, to be untrue.
So, I will let you know. We will be grilling not 30 yard from the Atlantic Ocean. I do not know if it is considered cheating to leap into the waves and forage some fresh shrimp. But I can tell you I am not above doing that. Not at all.