How To

No Stadium Required: Chef’s Guide to Tailgating from your Couch

No Stadium Required: Chef’s Guide to Tailgating from your Couch

Jan 21, 2017

chicken being made on a sheet pan

Don’t worry if you don’t have tickets to the big game, we’ve got you covered with game day recipes, grilling tips and of course, beer. Here’s our chefs and experts’ guide to throwing an epic tailgate party right from the comforts of your couch.

Set the Scene
“Get out those team colors! Find creative ways to incorporate your home team’s colors into the décor be it with disposable plates and silverware, centerpieces, flowers or even the food itself,” says Amanda Geary, Parties and Special Events Manager at Wildfire.

“Keep in mind the golden rule: One TV please! Allow for open floor space for guests to move around and cheer. Dedicate another space for the non-watchers and make sure there’s some food and drink easily accessible for both.”

Grill, Baby, Grill
No parking lot? No problem. You can still grill at home and recreate that tailgate experience. Just remember: A certain amount of prep work is needed because not even the best recipe in the world will work if your grill isn’t clean. For a refresher, here’s a step-by-step guide from Community Canteen’s Executive Sous Chef Phil Frederick:

1.  Brush your grill grates thoroughly with a hard-bristle grill brush.

2.  Clear the interior of any ash. If you have a gas grill, make sure the burners are clean and the holes are unobstructed to allow for proper gas flow.

3.  Next, heat up your grill prior to use and brush again with a clean towel or grill brush dipped in oil.  Allow it to dry and repeat three times to ensure the grates are clean and “seasoned.”

4.  Make sure to keep your grill clean during use. Brush and re-oil as often as needed.

5.  Once you get down to grilling, brush a little oil on meats, veggies and fish before putting them on the grill to avoid sticking.

6.  Always let your grill heat up properly before placing on the food. Hot and clean grill grates will prevent sticking.

Recipes They’ll Cheer For
We asked our chefs for their favorite game day eats, from dips to wings. Here are some recipes to try at your next home game.

Calabrian Chili and Roast Garlic Chicken Wings from stella barra

Here is the recipe for Calabrian Chili and Roast Garlic Chicken Wings with Chive Garnish from Stella Barra Pizzeria Chef Darren Underway.

Carolina-Style Pulled Pork with Mustard Mop  from Community Canteen

Here is the recipe for Carolina-Style Pulled Pork with Mustard Mop from Community Canteen’s Executive Sous Chef Phil Frederick.

Spinach and Artichoke Fondue from Wildfire

Here is the recipe for Spinach and Artichoke Fondue from Wildfire, Divisional Executive Chef Moreno Espinoza.

Let’s Talk Beer

pint glasses of beer
You don’t want your beer selection to be a gametime decision so we asked our beer experts: What do you drink during the big game?

Stella Barra Pizzeria’s Bartender, Jeff Clark’s pick: Stiegl Radler – “This fruit forward beer is brewed in Austria and has a low 2.5% abv, a grapefruit-forward taste, and drinks more like a grapefruit soda than a beer.”

Stella Barra Pizzeria’s Bar Manager, Jeff Chang’s pick: Lagunitas Maximus – “Lagunitas Maximus is from my home state of California and really is an IPA on steroids. Packing an ABV of 8.2% it’s sure to satisfy your needs for hops.”

Wildfire Wine and Spirits Director, Brad Wermager’s picks: Samuel Adams Boston Lager – “Pair this with burgers and brats since the caramel/malty flavors in the beer will marry well with the juicy and savory flavors of these tailgate favorites. For the Wildfire Spinach and Artichoke fondue, I would definitely pair the Blue Moon Belgian White Ale since the coriander and orange elements in the Blue Moon works well with the cream and artichokes.”

Big Bowl Alcohol Manager, JD Russell’s picks: Evolution Lot #6 Double IPA – “We’ve featured this beer from Maryland that’s bursting with hop flavor aroma. We recently collaborated with Evolution for a beer dinner and we had Lot #6 paired with local peach and blueberry cobbler for dessert … an absolute match made in heaven.”

We hope this helps you have the best football bash ever. Happy tailgating!


You May Also Like...

In The Restaurants
Memorial Day 2018
May 25, 2018

An extra long weekend calls for an extra day of relaxing and brunching. Find out where to enjoy…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Celebrate National Wine Day Today
May 24, 2018

National Wine Day (May 25) is today, and while we love a great Napa Cab or Sauvignon Blanc from…

read more >
How To
Here’s How to Make Pesto
May 21, 2018

Summer is upon us and one of our favorite seasonal condiments is pesto! You can make pesto with…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Farm(ers Market) Right to Your Table: Brunch at Stella Barra
May 17, 2018

Chef / Partner Jeff Mahin (Summer House Santa Monica, Stella Barra Pizzeria, M Street Kitchen and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Brunching in the Chicago Burbs?
May 16, 2018

When planning your weekend, brunch should always be a priority and trust us, there’s lox to love…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Rise & Shine: The Best Way to Breakfast During the Week
May 13, 2018

Early risers rejoice! We've rounded up all of our weekday breakfast specialties that will keep you…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Celebrate Mother’s Day 2018
May 11, 2018

That special woman who would do absolutely anything for you deserves a day to be celebrated. Join us…

read more >
How To
How To: Make a Restaurant-Quality Dinner at Home
May 11, 2018

Our friends at Peapod are making it easier for you to enjoy your favorite dishes from Wildfire and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gift Guide
May 10, 2018

Whether it's a birthday, the holiday season or any of the countless holidays throughout the year,…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Guide to the 26 Best Burgers to Try During National Burger Month
Apr 30, 2018

Burgers deserve a full month of celebrations which is why May has been declared National Burger…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour
Apr 21, 2018

It's 5 o'clock somewhere! Here are all the happy hour deals at select Lettuce Entertain You…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Best Time of the Year: Patio Season
Apr 20, 2018

Warm weather is here, which means al fresco dining is too! We've rounded up the best patios at…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat Lunch
Apr 11, 2018

For that one hour escape from your office, you want to make sure to make most of your lunch hour.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants
Apr 8, 2018

Finding gluten-free friendly restaurants has gotten a lot easier than it used to be. At Lettuce…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Make Way for the New Fleet Of Thin Sin Pizzas at Stella Barra
Mar 30, 2018

Stella Barra Pizzeria  just introduced a new fleet of thin sin pizzas at all locations and trust us…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Dishes and Drinks with the Color of the Year: Ultra Violet
Mar 30, 2018

Every year, Pantone, the creator of colors, announces their choice in what the Color of the Year is…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Easter 2018
Mar 28, 2018

Celebrate the end of Lent and bring the whole family in for Easter. Whether you're looking for…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Kid-Friendly Dining Options and Activities
Mar 15, 2018

You've been to the zoo, the beach, the pool... the kids are starting to get stir crazy. We've got…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Get a Slice for Pi Day
Mar 13, 2018

We all love a good pun, especially when it has to do with food! Mathematicians and foodies rejoice…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Meet the Women Behind Some of Your Favorite Desserts
Mar 7, 2018

In honor of International Women's Day on March 8 (and every day) we want to give a shout out and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
St Paddy’s Day 2018
Mar 1, 2018

St. Patrick's Day calls for corned beef, cabbage and all of the beer! Lucky for you, our restaurants…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Stella Barra’s Newest Happy Hour with Pizza by the Slice
Feb 28, 2018

How do you Happy Hour? Stella Barra Pizzeria has all the answers, with a new menu that just debuted…

read more >
In The Restaurants
This One’s For Our Indecisive Diners
Feb 26, 2018

For all of you indecisive order-ers out there - the "I want to order one of everything on the menu"…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce in Love: Weddings with Lettuce Parties
Feb 13, 2018

It's almost Valentine's Day and love is in the air. Believe it or not it's a tale as old as time (or…

read more >
In The Restaurants
A Few of Our Favorite Pizzas for National Pizza Day
Feb 9, 2018

There's a food holiday out there for everything but today (February 9) is National Pizza Day and we…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Presidents Day 2018
Feb 8, 2018

Enjoy your long weekend on Presidents Day (Monday, February 19) by staying up late, sleeping in and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to go on Valentine’s Day 2018
Feb 4, 2018

Have you made your Valentine's Day plans yet? It's right around the corner and there's lots of…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Big Game 2018: Where to Watch and What to Carry-out
Jan 25, 2018

Need a place to watch the big game on Sunday, February 4, 2018? The below restaurants are a great…

read more >
How To
How To Make the Perfect Game Day Dip
Jan 22, 2018

A staple for your Big Game Sunday spread is a delicious dip! In case you need some inspiration, we…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat: Martin Luther King Day 2018
Jan 6, 2018

A long weekend calls for long brunches filled with sweet and savory treats. And don't forget about…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Our Chef’s Predictions and Resolutions for 2018
Jan 2, 2018

Our chefs aren't psychic but they do have a finger on the pulse of what's on the horizon for the New…

read more >
How To
You’ve Made Your Healthy Eating Resolution: Here’s How to Stay on the Wagon
Jan 2, 2018

When the new year strikes we all inevitably vow to eat healthy, exercise more, drink less; just be…

read more >
How To
Perfect Pair: Champagne & Fried Chicken
Dec 31, 2017

After the New Year's Eve festivities are over, what will you do with all that leftover Champagne?…

read more >
How To
The Perfect Party Appetizers
Dec 12, 2017

A well-crafted appetizer is the perfect way to make sure your guests won't go hungry so you can…

read more >
How To
8 Wines For Your Next Holiday Party
Dec 9, 2017

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and with it are parties with family and friends. Instead…

read more >
How To
12 Days of Holiday Cookies
Dec 4, 2017

‘Twas the first day of the holiday season, one of cheer and treats The best month to warm up by…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Best Spots for Group Dining
Nov 25, 2017

You finally got the whole crew to agree on the same day and time, now you just have to find the…

read more >
How To
Thanksgiving Leftovers Can Transform Your Brunch
Nov 22, 2017

Everyone knows the real reason you look forward to Thanksgiving is for the leftovers. So don’t…

read more >
How To
How To: Make Thanksgiving Dinner Like a Chef
Nov 15, 2017

In charge of preparing Thanksgiving dinner this year or simply looking for recipe inspiration? Our…

read more >
How To
A Guide to Selecting the Perfect Thanksgiving Wines
Nov 7, 2017

Fact: wine stores are intimidating. More truth: we're here to help! We've tapped the minds of our…

read more >

Recent Posts

In The Restaurants
Memorial Day 2018
May 25, 2018

An extra long weekend calls for an extra day of relaxing and brunching. Find out where to enjoy…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your New Go-To Lunch Spot is Sushi-san
May 25, 2018

If you work in River North, your lunch break just got a major upgrade with Sushi-san’s new lunch!…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Celebrate National Wine Day Today
May 24, 2018

National Wine Day (May 25) is today, and while we love a great Napa Cab or Sauvignon Blanc from…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Only on Thursdays: Alaskan King Crab & Burgers at Oyster Bah
May 23, 2018

Why wait for the weekend to have all the fun because every Thursday night at Oyster Bah, in the Low…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Let’s Do Lunch! Meet You at Booth One
May 22, 2018

It seems that no one ever has time for lunch, which is often replaced by a quick snack between…

read more >
How To
Here’s How to Make Pesto
May 21, 2018

Summer is upon us and one of our favorite seasonal condiments is pesto! You can make pesto with…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Farm(ers Market) Right to Your Table: Brunch at Stella Barra
May 17, 2018

Chef / Partner Jeff Mahin (Summer House Santa Monica, Stella Barra Pizzeria, M Street Kitchen and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Now Serving: Happy Hour at Antico Posto
May 17, 2018

Here’s something to get “happy” about. You can now enjoy Antico Posto for lunch, dinner and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Brunching in the Chicago Burbs?
May 16, 2018

When planning your weekend, brunch should always be a priority and trust us, there’s lox to love…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Windy City Smokeout Presents the Country Music Stars of Tomorrow
May 13, 2018

Windy City Smokeout is returning to Chicago on July 13-15! Known for showcasing country music's…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Rise & Shine: The Best Way to Breakfast During the Week
May 13, 2018

Early risers rejoice! We've rounded up all of our weekday breakfast specialties that will keep you…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Celebrate Mother’s Day 2018
May 11, 2018

That special woman who would do absolutely anything for you deserves a day to be celebrated. Join us…

read more >
Lettuce Consulting Group

Grow Your Business

Learn More
Career Opportunities

Join Our Team

Search Jobs
Latest Articles

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign Up Now

Lettuce on Instagram

Checkout our feed @lettuceentertainyou!