We spoke with Nick Lachey, TV personality and former 98 Degrees front-man, who was recently working with Pepsi in conjunction with its Game Day Grub Match contest that challenges culinary student teams to create the ultimate Super Bowl snack made with Pepsi products. We got Lachey to talk to us about his favorite Game Day snack, his own challenges in the kitchen, and thoughts on owning a bar with his brother.
The Daily Meal: Why did you decide to get involved with the Game Day Grub Match?
Nick Lachey: I’ve been involved with Feeding America for years now. This whole Grub Match thing culminates at the Super Bowl; the proceeds from that event go to food banks across the country. It’s a great way to celebrate the biggest sports weekend of the year.
What is your favorite Super Bowl food?
I’m definitely a pretzel guy. I got a chance today to try the winning dim sum platter and it was awesome. It was a chicken wing egg roll potsticker made with Cheetos, Sierra Mist, and pretzels.
What makes a great chicken wing?
I go for the bigger drumstick. It’s a little more meaty; you do all that work and you want to get good meat off of it. I like old faithful Buffalo sauce… you know, I think some people get a little too cute with wing sauces. In my younger days, I’d go to a place with my buddies and get the hottest thing on the menu and it was literally painful to eat. I can’t do that anymore!
Have you ever cooked with soda before like the Game Day Grub Match?
I have not, but I’m the first to admit that I’m not a professional cook… I’m a professional eater. The stuff I create in the kitchen is not the stuff of legends. It’s up on the website.
What are the challenges of operating a bar [Lachey’s in Cincinnati] with your brother?
I think you can plan for how it’s going to go, but until it’s open and you see what people’s likes and dislikes are, you literally have to open and be willing to adjust and change as you go through the first year; we just celebrated one year actually.
Have the other members of 98 Degrees been to the bar?
Justin’s office is 50 feet from the bar and he’s always there. (Laughs.) He may be here a little too much. Jeff has not, but he’s forgiven because he doesn’t live in Cincinnati.
When you were in 98 Degrees, did you and the guys have any weird pre- or post-show eating rituals?
It’s usually we’d eat post show… you don’t want to burp through your hour and a half set! When you’re on the road, you make do. A lot of times it was Chili’s or Applebee’s or one of those middle-of-nowhere chicken sandwich type places. I loved sourdough pretzels though. Those were probably the closest thing I had to a ritual.