NYCWFF: Joe Namath and Mario Batali Talk Game Day Strategy

Mario Batali and Joe Namath were the hosts of the Jets + Chefs: The Ultimate Tailgate on Saturday, October 18.

On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in New York City, die-hard Jets fans joined Mario Batali and the legendary Joe Namath on the Esurance Rooftop at Pier 92 for Jets + Chefs: The Ultimate Tailgate, part of the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival.

More than 25 chefs, including Jean-Paul Bourgeois from Blue Smoke, Mark Rosati of Shake Shack and Michael Lomonaco of Porter House New York, participated in Saturday’s event and prepared a variety of dishes for the perfect tailgate.

However, it isn’t every day that tailgaters have access to some world-class chefs to make for the ultimate tailgating party. The key for enjoying the tailgate while also having a delicious feed is to keep it simple, Batali says.

“If you’re going to the field, then prepare as much as you can so that all you’re doing then is just reheating it,” Batali says. “The idea of being out there and cooking is fun, but you don’t want to spend three or four hours struggling and not enjoying the talks about football and the cornhole and being with your friends. If you’re doing wings, for example, I’d roast them a little bit in the oven before getting there then I’d put on some sauce and put them on the grill.”

Namath, on the other hand, talked a different kind of game-day strategy by revealing his meal of choice when he was quarterback for the Jets and leading the team to some Superbowl wins.


“Come game day, I had a piece of toast and a couple of cups of coffee,” Namath says. “I often wonder how I was working in the third and fourth quarter on a few cups of coffee and a piece of toast. I couldn’t have been as well of as I would have been had I had a Mario meal!”