My Alma Mater, the University of Houston, hosted one of the most extravagant parties during the Houston Super Bowl. The Taste of the NFL (TNFL) is a 501c3 organization that works with the countries top chefs and NFL greats to Kick Hunger by raising funds in support of food banks located across the U.S. One of the three avenues used to raise money is the Taste of the NFL -Party with a Purpose. This past weekend I was blessed to attend the livest event in the city, and rub elbows with some of my favorite celebrities.
After receiving an email that my media credentials for the Taste of the NFL had been approved, I was ecstatic. It was literally the best news I’d heard all year (yea, I know it’s just February)! Having the opportunity to personally meet my food idols, and NFL stars from my favorite teams was almost too much.
The “fan girl” moments began as soon as I entered the massive event tent, housed on the University’s intramural fields. While working the red carpet I met and took a photo with Food Network’s “Bizarre Foods” star, Andrew Zimmern! Andrew, Chopped Judge Alex Guarnaschelli and Top Chef winner Richard Blais, were the TNFL hosts for the evening. After meeting these three, I could have easily turned around and went home. But the fun had just begun.
Thirty-two of the nation’s top chefs from each NFL city paired up with current and former players from each team to support hunger relief.
For research purposes I reviewed the full Taste of the NFL list of what each team was serving. I planned which tables I would stop at and created a map. All that shit when out the window as soon as I stepped foot in the tent. A few favorites from the night were the House-made Churros with Foie Gras Ice Cream from Chef Jonathan Hale of The Prado at Balboa Park (San Diego Chargers), the Black Bean- Plantain Empanada with Chimichurri and Queso from Chef Michael Smith, of Michael Smith Restaurant in Kansas City, MO. My number one draft pick dish was from Executive Chef/Director at the National Football League headquarters in NYC, Chef Marc Payero. Chef Payero’s Five Spice Duck Confit Empanada, Plum Gochujang Sauce, Daikon, Cucumber Slaw with Cilantro Yuzu Dressing was flavorful, hot and served with a smile.
Click here to learn more about the Taste of the NFL.