Former Viking Randall McDaniel (holding chicken) with Revival’s Nick Rancone and Thomas Boemer
ourtesy taste of the nfl
Taste of the NFL 2/3
For more than 25 years, celebrity chefs have played the Odd Couple with NFL players at the Super Bowl’s biggest charity party: a stroll-while-stuffing-yourself feast across more than 35 food stations, where one restaurateur per NFL-team city buddies up with a home-team player to entertain grazers’ star-struck mingling and autograph-pushing and high-end sampling. Florida paired its Miami Dolphin with clam chowder last year, for example, and the Vikings most recently highlighted Minneapolis’ fried chicken from Revival and pork jowl from Corner Table. This year, inside a security-gridlocked St. Paul Rivercentre, the event goes back to where it all began—because Taste of the NFL actually debuted in Minneapolis, when the city first hosted in 1992. The president of the Minnesota Restaurant Association didn’t have to push the idea too hard; noshing indoors just made sense as one of the few activities out-of-staters would want to do mid-winter. The event, called “Party with a Purpose,” reminds $700-ticket holders that hobnobbing is just half of it. Proceeds go to food banks in the NFL’s 32 participating cities.