Food and Sports: The Art of Tailgating with Chef Rashad Frazier
A good game deserves a good plate of food, and pairing the two together is an artform very few have mastered. It’s a time to show up and show out — amusing your friends and foes, and perhaps impressing a few ladies along the way with your culinary skills.
Enter Chef Rashad Frazier. The genius behind the celebrated lifestyle brand Pulled Together, a destination for educating men about cooking, how to embrace style and enjoy every aspect of their lives. We sat down with Chef to find out more about the do’s and don'ts of tailgating, why he used to be a member of the A.D.I.D.A.F (all day I dream about food) club and why “Hate It or Plate It” is like visual food for the soul.
Why do you feel food and sports mesh together so well?
I'm sure there’s some deep scientific reason why but I think sport is a celebration of the best of us. And there’s no celebration without food and drink. For me it’s tradition. It’s personal. It’s culture. I am born and raised in The Carolinas and sometimes I believe the art of tailgating was actually born and raised there. It’s an experience I’ve rarely ever seen matched. I could be just a bit bias. lol
Your brand, Pulled Together, is more than just catering...it's a full on 360 culinary experience. What was the inspiration behind the concept?
PT is a reflection of my many interests and passions. In the beginning it was about giving men the confidence to cook well and prepare a meal for loved ones. Five years later I never imagined it would evolve into several shows on Food Network, hosting camping adventures to remote places with our @atribecalledcamp or our latest endeavor, @yoshijenkins which explores the Afro Asian Diaspora via pop ups and food experiences. I’m beyond appreciative. I think we all want to see our passions grow, mature and monetize. I’ve been very lucky.
Let's discuss tailgating. What makes a successful tailgating experience?
A successful requires 3 things. Tailgating always begins and ends with people. Have good folks in your company whether your team is The Knicks (sorry y'all) or the Carolina Panthers (What up, Cam) you’re headed in the right direction. Next is food. Down in the Carolinas we’re always looking for any excuse to barbecue or fry some fish so this tends to be the holy grail and key driver for a kick ass tailgate. Lastly, are libations. You gotta have good drink. Whatever you prefer to drink is your call. Just as long as you have it.
What is your idea of a great tailgating menu?
My ideal menu is MGD aka the Champagne of beers paired with some hot cornmeal crusted fried perch and Texas Pete hot sauce right before a kickoff is HEAVEN.
Written by Tyrus Townsend
Any food trends we should look out for this Fall?
Um, let's hope and pray trends never become a thing. Keep it old school and keep it safe.
You went from Corporate America to the culinary world. Could you explain that transition?
Let’s just say it dawned on me pretty quickly I was never cut out to be someone’s employee. And when it came to discovering food as my passion, I began to realize at my last job five years ago, I was looking at recipes more than spreadsheets and work emails. This is one of the reasons why I fell in love with my wife. From day one, she was in my ear pushing me to pursue my dream. Here’s some wisdom for y’all: find a partner who will be your lifelong hype man!
What do you say to those that to attend a tailgate party empty handed?
There's an unwritten rule in life and it goes you never go to a gathering empty handed. Always give more than you take. Showing up empty handed is kind of energy which can lead to an unsuccessful tailgate. Don't be that guy or gal.
If you could have any professional sporting client to throw a tailgate party, who would it be and why?
Great question! I think it would have to be Deion Sanders. He’s my favorite athlete ever. I think it would be hilarious to feed his entourage while he rattles off timeless one-liners.
You have a new show on Food Network Digital titled "Hate It Or Plate It." What is the premise and what foods would you plate or hate if you were attending a tailgating event?
Some of us have serious phobias when it comes to food, causing us to miss out on some amazing ingredients. On the show, I create simple dishes using the ingredient the guest fears to try to change their mind. For a tailgate, there’s not much I’d hate. I literally eat everything. However, I would probably give a side-eye if deviled eggs or potato salad appeared.
Follow Chef Rashad Frazier on social at @pulledtogether and tune into weekly to watch ‘Hate It or Plate It” on FoodNetwork.com.