The Big Jim’s Restaurant family, Reed Steve, Aaron and Elyse Rognstadt, represented all of us very well last weekend at Jekyll Island’s 2019 Shrimp and Grits Festival’s cook off. Competing against teams from the coastal region of Georgia and all over they state they may not have won the Shrimp and Grits Festival’s cook off, but from the reaction of the crowd’s comments and taste buds, they were definitely one of the people’s choice.
Reed commented, “We thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity we had to showcase our area and our Shrimp and Grits. We met a lot of great people; excellent chefs and assistants, friendly and helpful volunteers and fun, encouraging guests, including several from our local area. As newcomers to the competition and the festival, we didn’t know what to expect, but we feel like we did represent our community and our restaurant well. In fact, both our dish and our display seemed to be the ‘crowd favorite.’ We hope to be invited to return in 2020 and step it up a little for the win. We want to thank Ryan at Spring Creek Meat and Sausage Company for donating the taxidermy for our display as well as providing the excellent, ‘Georgia Grown’ sausage for our dish”.
This one-of-a-kind event has twice been honored as “Best Festival” by the Southeast Festival and Events Association, and it’s no wonder. Each year, more than 45,000 visitors flock to this popular barrier island to take in all the festival food, entertainment, arts and experiences, which together fill more than 30 acres in the Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark District. With plenty of appetizing fare – in the form of both shrimp and grits and other eats – and a wide array of activities, there’s something for everyone in the family.
This year’s cook off winners were: first place, Honey Cafe; second place West Egg Café; and third place, The Lodge, at The Cloister on Sea Island.