Chefs’ Picks: Favorite Big-Game Snacks

Five chefs from across the country share their must-have Super Bowl snacks.
harissa wings

There’s no bigger American sporting event — or advertising bonanza — than that big, star-studded extravaganza at the end of football season. Watching so much on-the-field action, viewers need proper sustenance. So we turned to five top chefs to dish on their personal Super Bowl food favorites.

International Hot Wings

Redskins lover Dimitri Moshovitis of D.C.-based Cava Grill roasts his wings and drumettes in a mix of harissa, butter and lemon, then serves them with cooling tzatziki for dipping. It’s a novel alternative to Buffalo flavoring, without sacrificing any spice.


hot bowl of cheese dip with tortilla chips

hot bowl of cheese dip with tortilla chips

Cheffed-Up Queso

A Broncos fanatic, Paul Reilly, chef and owner of Beast + Bottle and forthcoming Coperta in Denver, goes for homemade queso. He starts with onions and chiles, sauteed into almost a roux, then adds pepper Jack and cheddar cheeses as well as blanched and diced tomatoes. He serves the dip with Tostitos (his chip of choice) or Chef Rick Bayless’ chips. He chases it down with a brew, specifically a Coors Banquet Beer, “the ‘OG’ Coors,” Reilly says.


Photo by: Todd Patterson

Todd Patterson

Chili with a Twist

James Beard Award-winning chef and avid outdoorsman Chris Hastings, owner of Hot and Hot Fish Club and newly opened Ovenbird, both in Birmingham, Ala., makes numerous dishes for his football spread. But his favorite might be wild venison chili with cilantro creme fraiche, a hearty mix of different chiles, dark beer, chocolate, rich broth and fresh ingredients that he says “make for the best chili I have ever had.”

Team-Themed Fare

Dustin Ward, chef de cuisine of Miami’s BLT Prime, likes to rep the teams by serving food from their respective regions. Last year that included a clambake for the New England Patriots and pork belly with apple gastric for the Seattle Seahawks. “It makes the party more interesting when you have food that represents the state to see what people come up with to eat,” he says.

Cheese dogs
Brats and Beer

Though Tory McPhail masters Cajun cuisine as chef of NOLA’s legendary Commander’s Palace, his game-day preferences have a bit of Middle American flair. His go-to is cheese-filled smoked hot dogs — the packaged kind with coarse-ground beef and chunks of melted cheese in the middle. “Of course an ice-cold beer (condiment for the soul) makes the sausage go down even better,” McPhail adds.

For more big-game ideas, check out chefs' best restaurant dishes and where to eat fan-favorite football foods

Wings image courtesy of Cava Grill

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