So imagine everyone on the crew running around doing their "Da Bears" "Dit-ka" schtick. Funny enough, I had a close enough encounter with Mike Ditka at a bar in NY about eight years ago. It's a story for the ages but to save a friend's dignity, let's just say he's a very nice man. We got to Soldier Field while it was still dark out. Weber had brought sample grills, one gas and one charcoal, for our chefs to look at once we revealed the challenge and stopped down for rules. They are ginormous in size. Like the Humvee of grills. The charcoal one was the size of a flying saucer like the Jetsons, and I wanted to sit in it. We actually set up a decoy table with all the eliminated contestants who served straight burgers and hot dogs we provided for them. It was a very popular table, believe it or not. The refrigeration space problem is one of those logistical things we take into account. It's hard to accommodate the food of 16 chefs versus two or four teams.
I love tailgating. I love the Giants, always have. Though I did get to mug with Gale Sayers, Richard Dent, and William "The Fridge" Perry, I look forward to tailgating at Giants Stadium with my chef friends (and good God do we throw down.). Paul Kahan is Chef/Owner of both Avec and Blackbird. His Chef de Cuisine at Blackbird is the very talented Mike Sheerin, who used to be the sous at wd~50. I remember when we finally had placed all of the grills, and the tents were pitched, and the band marched through, and I stopped and looked around and I was like, "WOW. Top Chef and the NFL. We've come a long way." Nominated for two James Beard Awards this year, by the way. Anyways, the food.