Taste of the NFL: Food, Fundraising, Fun and Football

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Taste of the NFL DallasFoodies and gridiron fans will huddle-up for a night of food, football-themed-fun and fundraising to help tackle childhood hunger at this year’s Taste of the NFL: The Ultimate Cowboys Tailgate Party – touching down Sunday, April 21, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.  Event Hosts DeMarcus Ware #94 and Jason Hatcher #97 welcome former Dallas Cowboys Preston Pearson, Chad Hennings and Daryl Johnston, and Abacus Executive Chef/Proprietor Kent Rathbun as co-hosts of this spirited evening, transforming the classic tailgate into a “party with a purpose” benefiting the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB).  The ninth annual event, held in conjunction with Abacus and presented by Lockheed Martin, returns this year to the Glass Cactus Nightclub in Grapevine.

 This year there will be 15 gourmet food stations featuring chefs representing some of DFW’s hottest restaurants. As always, there will be current and former Dallas Cowboys hosting the event and gorgeous Cowboys Cheerleaders showing their spirit. Jam the night away with the oh-so-popular Emerald City Band.  Don’t forget about the silent and live auction that features items such as designer handbags, a trip to “the Ellen Show”, a Texas Motor Speedway Package and more!

These amazing chefs are taking time out of their crazy schedule to cook at this event.

  • Kent Rathbun – Kent Rathbun Concepts: Abacus, Jasper’s & Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen
  • Graham Dodds – Central 214, Hotel Palomar
  • David Holben – Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House
  • Bronwen Holben – Frosted Art Bakery and Studio
  • Orazio LaManna – Legends Hospitality (Dallas Cowboys)
  • Taylor Kearney – Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse
  • Beverly Eskridge – North Texas Food Bank
  • Vincent Ginatta – Paciugo
  • Scott Gottlich – Second Floor Bistro
  • James Johnson – Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
  • TJ Lengnick – Shinsei
  • Ernie Mendoza – Suze Restaurant
  • Patrick Smith – Tejano Brothers
  • Sascia Marchesi – Zeppole

All event proceeds will go towards supporting NTFB’s children’s programs including: the Food 4 Kids backpack, Kids Cafe and School Pantry programs, which aim to tackle childhood hunger here in North Texas.  The NTFB’s Food 4 Kids program provides backpacks full of nutritious food to chronically hungry children identified by local schools each semester, and for the fifth straight year the organization will continue that outreach during summer school.  The Food Bank will also operate a select number of Kids Cafes through programs in at-risk areas during the months of June, July and August.  But work remains to be done.  According to recent USDA data, Texas continues to have one of the highest rates of food insecure children in the country; currently 1 in 4 live in a household without consistent access to nutrition.

Last year, Taste of the NFL: The Ultimate Cowboys Tailgate Party successfully reached the $1 million dollar fundraising milestone for funds generated since this local effort initiated back in 2004. Organizers hope to add at least $200,000 to that total in 2013.  Taste of the NFL is a group of events held nationally that rallies the country’s top chefs and the NFL’s greatest to raise money in support of area food banks.  Thus far, DFW’s annual spin-off has helped provide more than 2.5 million meals to hungry North Texas children.

Advance tickets for Taste of the NFL are available only until April 18th for $150 per person or $250 per couple. If you miss out on the advance ticket sales, there will be a limited number of tickets for sale at the door for $175 per person. All guests must be 21 or over to enter the venue. Guests may also opt to make a night of it and book a special $129 room rate at the Gaylord Texan Resort, valid through April 5.


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