Super Party for the Super Bowl
The 2011 Taste of the NFL “Party with a Purpose®” strolling wine and food event at Super Bowl XLV was one of the hottest tickets in the pre Super Bowl party circuit on Saturday night. Over 3500 guests paid upwards of 500$ per ticket to taste the culinary delights of over 50 chefs from every NFL city across the country … from taste to sample. It was a foodies dream Americana buffet paired with wines provided by the Gallo Family Wines of E&J Gallo Winery.
Recently crowned Miss America Teresa Scanlan, actor Adam Sandler , Hall of Famer Floyd Little among many others were on hand to sample dishes like tuna fish taco from San Diego, blackened scallops from Atlanta, cranberry turnovers from Green Bay and a lamb slider, with Sriracha goat cheese aiol, carmelized onions and Orange Crush shake from Denver.
The doors opened at 6pm to the sold out event at the Fort Worth Convention Center and incredibly by 930pm when guests were sauntering over to the stage to hear country music recording star Martina McBride, almost every one of the 50+ food stations were picked clean. When they say “Everything is bigger in Texas” that doesn’t only include appetites, the real purpose of the party is to raise funds and awareness for food banks and hunger issues. This year organizers expect to raise a record 1 million dollars from the “Taste” that will be distributed to food banks across the country.
Winemaker Gina Gallo has been on the board of directors of the Taste of the NFL for the past 15 years and wasn’t able to make it to Dallas for this years event. I managed to find her for a few minutes on Friday afternoon by phone from one of the Gallo Family vineyards in Sonoma Valley where after a recent warm spell she was busy checking and pruning vines.
“This is an event that’s close to my heart” she told me. “I learnt from my Grandfather that wine is food” and that with reportedly “1 in 6 families in America needing the service of a food bank last year, now was more than ever a time to dig deep and contribute” in fact the “Taste” and Gallo provided 1.2 million meals to regional and national hunger relief organizations in 2010.
The Gallo Family wines enjoyed at the “Taste” included Two Rock Chardonnay, William Hill and a Whitehaven from New Zealand among others. On Sunday Gina will be watching Super Bowl XLV with friends and family in Sonoma and likes the chances of Green Bay to take the Lombardi Trophy.
Founded in 1992 by Wayne Kostroski (2010 James Beard Humanitarian of the Year), the Minneapolis-based Taste of the NFL has distributed more than $10 million over the past twenty years to local and national food banks across the country.
You can to donate to the Taste of the NFL here: http://www.tasteofthenfl.com/
* Photo courtesy of Photographer Bruce Vartan Boyajian,
The Miss America Organization