The fourth annual Sunshine Ace Hardware Big Green EGGfest raised $25,000 to support charitable organizations in Southwest Florida.

Held April 1 at Riverside Park in Bonita Springs, EGGfest attracted more than 700 barbecue lovers, who enjoyed all-you-can-eat food samplings, grilling demonstrations, live music and craft beer from Riptide Brewing Company. Proceeds from the event support Farm City BBQ and four charity partners: Northside Naples Kiwanis Foundation, United Way of Collier and the Keys, Rotary Club of Bonita Beach: Sunset and Leadership Collier Foundation.

“Barbecue is the main attraction at EGGfest, of course, but our primary goal in hosting the event is to raise money and shine a spotlight on nonprofit organizations doing fabulous work in the community,” said Michael Wynn, president of Sunshine Ace Hardware. “EGGfest has grown into one of Southwest Florida’s top family-friendly events, but it’s also become a battleground for professional and amateur chefs who put their grilling skills to the test.”

Early in the morning on the day of competition, all chefs fired up their Big Green Eggs, a multi-functional, ceramic charcoal barbecue cooker that can be used as a grill, oven or smoker. EGGfest attendees then voted for their favorite items, from meats and vegetables to side dishes and other culinary creations.

In the Pro Division, which included trained chefs, local caterers and restaurateurs, Chef Asif Syed of 21 Spices in Naples earned the title of EGGhead Grill Master Pro; it was his third consecutive win.

In the Amateur Division, PJ Bimonte, representing Leadership Collier, was named EGGhead Grill Master Amateur.

First-place People’s Choice Awards went to Bart Zino of PBS Contractors in the Pro Division and Daniel Byanski in the Amateur Division. Sebastian Price was honored as the EGGhead Youngest Grill Master.

Sunshine Ace Hardware was the Presenting Sponsor for EGGfest. Head Chef Sponsors included NCH Healthcare System, PBS Contractors, Lee Health and BKS Partners. Sous Chef Sponsors were Florida Gulf Coast University and Lantz Financial Team.

Next year, Big Green EGGfest will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2024. Event details, as well as taster tickets and chef registration forms, will be available online at SunshineAceEGGfest.com as the date approaches.