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
Thanksgiving 2018
Nov 16, 2018

Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family and everyone in-between. To celebrate this special…

read more >
How To
The Perfect Party Appetizers
Nov 15, 2018

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

read more >
How To
A Guide to Selecting the Perfect Thanksgiving Wines
Nov 15, 2018

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

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Thanksgiving Recipe Guide
Nov 15, 2018

Thanksgiving is the time to gather 'round the table and gobble up some scrumptious food. If you love…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Cornbread Stuffing
Nov 14, 2018

This Thanksgiving, give your stuffing some southern influence with Wildfire's Cornbread Stuffing. To…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Thanksgiving Eve and Black Friday Specials 2018
Nov 13, 2018

Do you have friends and family in town for the Thanksgiving weekend? Beyond Turkey Day, our…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts
Nov 12, 2018

Wildfire's classic roasted Brussels sprouts is the perfect dish for any dinner table this fall.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce Life: How Phil Stubstad Paved a Career Path Out of His Passion to Brew
Nov 11, 2018

Lettuce Entertain You's founder Rich Melman built Lettuce to be a school for entrepreneurs.  It’s…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat Lunch
Nov 10, 2018

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

read more >
How To
A Few Of Our Favorite Game Day Recipes
Nov 5, 2018

When you are in the mood to get your hands dirty in the kitchen for hosting your crew or solo…

read more >
How To
Wildfire’s Gluten-free Kale & Apple Stuffing
Nov 4, 2018

Gluten-free stuffing is here! Wildfire's Kale & Apple version highlights fall ingredients and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour
Nov 1, 2018

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

read more >
How To
Thanksgiving Leftovers Can Transform Your Brunch
Nov 1, 2018

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

read more >
How To
Recipe: Classic Turkey Stuffing from Wildfire
Oct 19, 2018

Stuffing, the most ideal starch for Thanksgiving dinner, is always a high point of the meal. Great…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Sweet Potato Casserole
Oct 19, 2018

Embrace all of the fall flavors in Wildfire's Sweet Potato Casserole. Ginger and cinnamon warm up…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Brunch this Weekend
Oct 19, 2018

If you're anything like us, you plan your weekend around brunch. Here is your guide to all of our…

read more >
In The Restaurants
It’s Apple Season: Where To Eat ‘Em
Oct 16, 2018

Yeah, yeah, pumpkin this and pumpkin that, but let us not forget about our other favorite fall…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Pancakes with Cranberry Relish and Orange Zest
Oct 11, 2018

The morning after Thanksgiving leaves a lot of leftovers to be transformed. Jeff Mahin, Chef/…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Griddled Turkey Breakfast Sandwich
Oct 11, 2018

The day after Thanksgiving it’s inevitable there will be leftover turkey. According to our Chef…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Culinary Care Delivers Comfort to Cancer Patients, One Meal at a Time
Oct 11, 2018

Introducing our friends at Culinary Care, a Chicago non-profit organization that helps cancer…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Rise & Shine: The Best Way to Breakfast During the Week
Sep 29, 2018

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

read more >
In The Restaurants
New Detroit-Style Pan Pizza Rises at Stella Barra Hollywood
Sep 20, 2018

The Detroit-style pan pizza craze has swept the Midwest for years, and now, it has reached the West…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Best Spots for Group Dining
Sep 18, 2018

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

read more >
In The Restaurants
Kid-Friendly Dining Options and Activities
Sep 12, 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
Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants
Sep 12, 2018

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

read more >
In The Restaurants
Food For Thought: What Our Chefs Cook Their Kids
Sep 12, 2018

School is back in session and our chefs are cookin' up a storm...but this time for the kiddos. We…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Fall Foliage on the Horizon: Five Ways to Enjoy the Season
Aug 28, 2018

As summer dwindles down, our days are getting chillier and the leaves are starting to turn. Fall is…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Best Time of the Year: Patio Season
Aug 10, 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
One of Our Favorite Things About Summer: Heirloom Tomatoes
Aug 1, 2018

As we savor the last months of the summer season, our chefs are just getting ready to add heirloom…

read more >
How To
This Summer, Grill Like A Chef. Here’s How
Jul 19, 2018

Executive Chef Justin Diglia of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab in Chicago and his…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Summer Ice Cream Checklist
Jul 19, 2018

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM...we all know the drill so let's get to the good stuff. July is National Ice…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Jeff Mahin’s Grilled Peaches & Burrata
Jul 19, 2018

Nothing screams summer more than ripe, sweet peaches! Chef / Partner Jeff Mahin of Stella…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Classic Blueberry Pie Recipe
Jul 19, 2018

Wildfire is known for their seasonal pies so of course, we want to learn from the best. The perfect…

read more >
In The Restaurants
All The Reasons Why We Love Fried Chicken
Jul 4, 2018

Fact: there's never a bad time for fried chicken. Grab it on your way to the beach, order it up for…

read more >
How To
Perfect Pair: Champagne & Fried Chicken
Jul 3, 2018

Fried chicken and Champagne? Really? Yep, you read that right. Kevin Bratt, Wine Director of Joe's…

read more >
In The Restaurants
4th of July 2018
Jul 3, 2018

It's that time of year to don your red, white and blue, fire up the grill and, of course, celebrate…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Be Your Summer Cookout’s Hero
Jul 2, 2018

It's 4th of July weekend and we know you don't want to show up empty-handed to your BBQ. We're here…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Somm Picks: Top Bottles Under $50
Jun 26, 2018

Searching through wine lists can be a daunting task. Thumbing through dozens of pages filled with…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Rich Says You’ve Gotta Try: Stella Barra Pizzeria
Jun 13, 2018

Summer time is typically synonymous with (trying to) eat lighter but what if we told you that what…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Unconventional Wine Regions of the World
May 24, 2018

Everyone loves a great Napa Cab or Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, but lately, our LEYE Wine…

read more >

Recent Posts

In The Restaurants
A Gift Guide for the Food Lover in Your Life
Nov 18, 2018

Whether a birthday, graduation or any other of the countless holidays, we're here to make selecting…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Thanksgiving 2018
Nov 16, 2018

Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family and everyone in-between. To celebrate this special…

read more >
How To
The Perfect Party Appetizers
Nov 15, 2018

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

read more >
How To
A Guide to Selecting the Perfect Thanksgiving Wines
Nov 15, 2018

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

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Thanksgiving Recipe Guide
Nov 15, 2018

Thanksgiving is the time to gather 'round the table and gobble up some scrumptious food. If you love…

read more >
In The Restaurants
$12 Burgers and Brews Wednesdays at Tokio Pub
Nov 14, 2018

Wednesdays just got a whole lot tastier with Tokio Pub's new Burgers & Brews! For just $12,…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Cornbread Stuffing
Nov 14, 2018

This Thanksgiving, give your stuffing some southern influence with Wildfire's Cornbread Stuffing. To…

read more >
Openings
The Newest Wow Bao Location at 46 E. Chicago
Nov 14, 2018

Getting tired of your same old carry-out order? You're in luck! Wow Bao's newest, fully-automated…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Thanksgiving Eve and Black Friday Specials 2018
Nov 13, 2018

Do you have friends and family in town for the Thanksgiving weekend? Beyond Turkey Day, our…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Ema’s Pumpkin Hummus
Nov 12, 2018

Enjoy your favorite fall ingredient the Mediterranean way and make Ema's Pumpkin Hummus by Chef CJ…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts
Nov 12, 2018

Wildfire's classic roasted Brussels sprouts is the perfect dish for any dinner table this fall.…

read more >
How To
8 Ways to Use Your Lettuce Gift Card This Holiday Season
Nov 11, 2018

Racking your brain for the perfect holiday gift? Here's an idea, how about a Lettuce Entertain You…

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!