If you think Green Eggs are a Dr. Seuss fantasy, then take a look at back yards all over town. At the epicenter of Sarasota’s Big Green Egg barbecuing revolution is Andrew Gwilliam, sales manager and outdoor kitchen designer at American Grill & Hearth. The two-store family business, owned by Mel and Brian O’Donnell, is Sarasota’s go-to haven for grills, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, and a growing cult of Big Green Egg fans.
“They’re modeled after the 3,000-year-old Japanese kamado-style domed cooker,” says Gwilliam, explaining that Green Eggs’ adjustable air flow system allows total control over grilling, smoking and baking temperatures up to 750 degrees. “The Big Green Egg has its own charcoal that’s cleaner, purer, and less expensive to use than gas. But in the end it’s all about flavor. Have your first taste, and you’ll see the light.”
American Grill & Hearth
2881 Clark Road, Sarasota
Hatch a Plan AG&H has everything you need from advice to live demos (call for times) to cookbooks, videos, charcoal, wood chips and cooking tools. Big Green Eggs come in five sizes. Large, the best seller, runs about $1,000 for the Egg and wooden stand.
Can’t live without “Apart from the wife and children, I can’t live without my outdoor kitchen,” says Gwilliam. “If I had my way I’d have one 30-foot prep counter and an oven in my indoor kitchen. Everything else would be done outside.”
What this town needs “We need to support our local stores and American-made products like the Big Green Egg. Too many people only visit stores to check out something they intend to buy online. Those stores won’t be around very long.”