Tailgate Tips From a BBQ Guru

By Jen Murphy Posted September 24, 2008

BBQ guru Ray Lampe partnered with the NFL to author the just-released The NFL Gameday Cookbook. In addition to delicious recipes (many would pair well with the 32 pork dishes in F&W’s ultimate NFL package, Lampe recommends a great steak house, barbecue joint and local brew for each of the NFL team cities. Though he’s based in Florida, Lampe is a devoted Chicago Bears fan and a tailgating fanatic. Here, snippets from our recent conversation on his new book, tailgating etiquette and why he doesn't believe in using recipes from players.

On the concept of his book: “I tried to write Joy of Cooking for tailgaters. When you take on the job to be tailgate cook, you’ve obligated yourself to feed people for the day. It’s an important job.”

On Pre-Game Etiquette: “Put the food out right away. Folks are hungry, and if you don’t put food out, they’ll bug you while you’re cooking. I find people usually like a little something sweet to start. If it’s an early game, something like my sticky fingers cinnamon bread would be nice.”

On Post-Game Cooking: “You’ve been in the stadium for three hours, so you’re going to be hungry. I like to wind down afterward with something like my tropical pork chop sandwiches, which can marinate during the game. And if you stick around to eat, you don’t have to fight the traffic.”

On why he didn’t solicit recipes from players for the book: “If it’s a Green Bay Packer soup, I’m never going to make it. This book is for the fans, and they don’t want to eat a recipe from a player or team they don’t like.”
On exciting tailgating equipment:
Eastman Outdoors’s 22-inch carbon steel work kit with Eastman's Big Kahuna burner is bad-ass cool. It’s like a turkey fryer with huge BTUs, and the thing gets really hot. I’d use it to make my parking-lot pork fried rice recipe.

Coleman’s insta-start grill/stove is like a mini toaster oven and can fit a 9x13-inch pan. It runs on a one-pound propane cylinder and is freestanding, so you can actually bake in the parking lot.”

The NFL Gameday Cookbook

© Chronicle Books
The NFL Gameday Cookbook

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