Super Bowl Indy
Super Bowl Indy
This time, last year, I was gearing up for the biggest of all sports orgies – the Super Bowl. About 8 years ago, I began to understand why this is such a big deal to people. It’s not just for the pure fans, but also for companies looking for ways to relate to the fans, all through THE American game. It’s the awesome commercials at halftime, the sponsored parties thrown throughout the week, the sports gear and sneakers that will adorn current and past athletes. It’s also a time when ex-players (also thought of as gods, revered by many) come and hang out.
I also belong to a group of specially trained athletes, but our field is the kitchen. Last year, I was asked to be in Indianapolis for Super Bowl week on behalf of two awesome partners of mine, the NFL and, of course, America’s brewski, Bud Light. I did demonstrations, cooked food and sometimes just attended sponsored parties (I know, tough gig, huh?) For the NFL I cooked at a special VIP lounge called the NFL House – it was a place to retreat, a haven filled with tons of libations and foods of all kind. My best friend and one of the best chefs in the universe, Captain America himself, John Besh, also did demonstrations and cooked at the NFL House. It was a great time and an awesome place where I got to meet some of the football greats. I also interviewed players during Media Day, on behalf of the NFL. I took it upon myself to talk to Latino players like Victor Cruz (the Marc Anthony of football players) and Aaron Hernandez (who was trying to be just like me with all the ink, but I’ve got him by yards of skin.)
Bud Light was no joke, they think big time. Imagine you check into the Westin Hotel in downtown Indy and you wake up the next day and it’s been completely redone. From the huge signage to all the little details like towels, soap, shampoo, blankets, everything had been rebranded as Bud Light. It was a true marvel, the company’s commitment on making a statement with their product. I did a demo and served Bud Light friendly morsels and was treated like a beer king. The week culminated with great tickets to the game, with my trusted manager, Andrew Chason, and my bad ass chef, Brad Rishmany, from my restaurant Mestizo in Kansas City. We had an epic time and I think we all remember how great of a game it was.
It’s been 20 years of cooking and working my way up, but it was an amazing week with tons of perks and kick ass experiences. I relished every moment and am excited to be back for Super Bowl week in my second home, New Orleans – home of my beloved Saints. Who dat baby!