Super Bowl

Kelly Clarkson & NFL Hall-of-Famers Will Have Some Bizarre Foods at Their Super Bowl Tailgate Party

Kelly Clarkson
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

 Kelly Clarkson attends the 2018 NBCUniversal Winter Press Tour at The Langham Huntington on Jan. 9, 2018 in Pasadena, Calif.  

Thanks to the Super Bowl, some of the most-anticipated performances of 2018 are only a few weeks away. While Justin Timberlake is set to take the stage at this year’s halftime show in Minneapolis, On Location Experiences (OLE) -- the NFL’s official hospitality partner -- has a series of pre-game events that sports and music fans alike won't want to miss.

Starting Feb. 1, OLE will pump everyone up with live musical acts leading up to the big game. From Kelly Clarkson and more, many of your favorite stars are scheduled to make it out to the Twin Cities. Ultimate fan packages are currently on sale, which include verified tickets to the game (with exact seats) and everything from pre-game event entrance to premium hotel accommodations.

To give the experience even more VIP treatment, OLE recruited celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern to take charge of the official pre-Super Bowl tailgate party menu that will feed headliner Kelly Clarkson along with NFL Hall-of-Famers and die-hard fans attending. For a detailed look at what he plans to cook and serve, Billboard got the inside scoop from Zimmern himself.

Steve Henke
Andrew Zimmern

What is the inspiration behind your upcoming Super Bowl menu? How are you going to elevate standard game day foods to cater to an esteemed audience?

I’ve lived in Minnesota for 26 years, so the inspiration is having this amazing opportunity to bring the world to a place I call home. We have a proud food legacy here beginning with our first peoples’ love of wild rice, local game and berries. I’m going to highlight everything that makes our food world tick -- from hearty stews like Booyah to whole-roasted Minnesota goat, hog and lamb, to chef-driven dishes featuring local items such as our superb smoked fish. At the end of the day, it’s a super-sized tailgate party, so everyone’s go-to game day foods will be featured, but Paul Bunyan style.

Wow! It’s definitely well-beyond your average wings platter, but we’d expect nothing less from the host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods. What would you say is the weirdest thing you’ve eaten recently?

I just got back from Mexico City, where I got to visit the sacred Aztec town of Tepoztlán. The whole town had incredible energy. The wild honey, jumiles (stink bugs) and chapulines -- which are dried crickets seasoned with lime and chiles -- are a must. There’s also a chile salsa made with toasted ants and crickets on a wild boar roasted in local fruits that may have been the game changer for me on the trip.

You are fearless. That being said, do you ever get nervous cooking for crowds or around A-listers like Kelly Clarkson?

Nope, never. Cooking is what I love to do and I just look forward to get the chance to do it every day.

Do you happen to have any pre-cooking rituals with your team in the kitchen?

When I was cooking daily in restaurants, I always ate with people I worked with. I used the opportunity to spend quality time with them to share or eat something new and interesting. I needed people in the building to know what’s going on for every service and be on the same page about it before serving our guests. A meal once or twice a day helps build bridges.

For those who have never been to Minneapolis and are hoping to do some sightseeing, can you recommend some hot spots in the area?

Some of the best restaurants in town are Spoon & Stable, Bellecour, Grand Café, Heyday, Octo Fishbar, Young Joni, and Hai Hai.

Super Bowl 52