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Taste of the NFL's Annual Kick Hunger Challenge Feature's Top Chefs Fighting Hunger

Irina Talty | December 13, 2018 | Food & Drink

Taste of the NFL’s annual Party with a Purpose benefiting the Kick Hunger Challenge features top chefs representing their home teams to help fight hunger in the U.S. Here’s what to expect this year. Feb. 2, 7pm, tickets from $700, Cobb Galleria Centre


Steve DiFillippo
Steve DiFillippo, the CEO of Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, will be representing the New England Patriots this year with handmade basil cavatelli, Davio’s sausage, butternut squash and lemon butter. He’s ready to cook for the Patriots, saying, “It’s one of my favorite events because it combines football, food and fundraising all for a great cause—raising money for food banks across the country.”

Kevin Rathbun
Atlanta’s very own Kevin Rathbun has partnered with the Atlanta Falcons for Taste of the NFL since ’96 (but has been a partner chef since the event’s inception 27 years ago). He plans to serve chargrilled New York strip at this year’s event. “Having the Super Bowl in Atlanta this year excites me to no end,” says Rathbun. “Kicking hunger is near and dear to me.”

Blake Hartwick
Bonterra Dining & Wine Room in Charlotte is where executive chef Blake Hartwick whips up Southern cuisine with a fresh take on its local flavors. Says the chef representing his Carolina Panthers, “I love putting different foods together… and seeing how flavors explode.” Look out for his certified Angus beef smoked brisket with Jimmy red cornbread, salsa verde and chipotle crema.

Deb Paquette
Deb Paquette is quite the trailblazer (she was the first woman in Tennessee to qualify as a certified executive chef). As chef-owner of ETCH and others in Nashville, she sees her participation in Taste of the NFL on behalf of the Tennessee Titans as a long-term commitment to help fight hunger. She says, “Taste of the NFL makes this possible by connecting our efforts with the needs of our local community.”

Beau MacMillan
Beau MacMillan is the executive chef of Elements at Sanctuary Resort in Scottsdale. You may also recognize him from television: He’s appeared on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and co-hosted Worst Cooks of America. He’ll be repping the Arizona Cardinals and preparing “something delicious, seasonal and appropriate for the event,” likely incorporating his usage of local ingredients.


Photography by: ClarkandCompany/