By Tyler Sullivan
Centerplate, the company responsible for feeding the 70,000-plus fans at Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, released this year's official menu. Upward of 100 chefs and 1,000-plus in serving staff will be working around the clock to prepare this Super Bowl-sized feast.
Luckily for fans, the menu isn't exclusive to only box and premium seating. "Our philosophy on the Super Bowl menu is that the 'special' menu items shouldn’t be limited to just one group of fans, so we’ve made sure that our Cajun classics are available to everyone," said John Hickman, communications director for Centerplate.
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The culinary talent behind the cuisine is James Beard Award-winning chef and NOLA legend Donald Link. The Louisiana native chef began cooking at the age of 15, and has since opened five restaurants in New Orleans' Warehouse District, including Herbsaint, Cochon, Cochon Butcher, Calcasieu, and Cochon Lafayette.
"No one throws a party quite like New Orleans," Link explains, "and I think we perfectly captured the city's flavor and flair in our menu."
Menu items include alligator chili, with alligator sausage from Crescent City Meats, a local NOLA purveyor; a Roast Beef Debris Po'Boy, with rolls from 100-plus-year-old Leidenheimer bakery in New Orleans; BBQ shrimp and grits, with fresh Louisiana Gulf Coast-caught white shrimp; chicken and sausage gumbo, with dark roux, chicken, and sausage in a flavorful broth served with white rice; Natchitoches crawfish pies, Louisiana fried pies with zesty dressing crawfish stuffing; chef Donald Links' chicken sauce piquant (Links' take on the traditional Cajun recipe); and Bayou Bootleg, a drink with the taste of the South and a splash of raspberry, the special "Craft Cocktail" for this year’s Super Bowl.
The Gulf Shrimp Cocktail will ring in as most expensive item for the day, set at a whopping $30 an order. On the other end of the spectrum, a small order of nachos will ring up as the least expensive, at just $8.
Some local food partners for the day's offerings include Leidenheimer Bakery, a New Orleans staple since 1896, famous in the area for their French bread and time-honored process; Haydel's Bakery, a three-generation New Orleans, family-owned and run bakery that prides themselves on their cookies, cakes, and pastries; Crescent City Meats, another three-generation NOLA presence, with all products naturally slow smoked with hickory; and The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, the number one provider of shrimp, oyster, crab, crawfish, and alligator in the country.
Coaches and chefs alike take weeks to prepare for this big night. The culinary game plan includes churning out 10,000 pounds of Gulf shrimp, 700 gallons of traditional Cajun gumbo, 3,000 pounds of alligator sausage, 450 gallons of New Orleans red beans (to be served with 6,000 pounds of rice), 150 gallons of spinach and artichoke dip, 18,000 pounds of pork (smoked on-site, mind you), and 1,200 gallons of Link's signature chicken piquant.
"From chef-inspired cuisine to creative cocktails, our goal is to make every sporting event an incredible experience for fans, but for the Super Bowl, we know how to take football food to the next level," says Centerplate CEO Des Hague.
Whether your team wins or loses, we bet that everybody will walk away satisfied with Centerplate's culinary experience on Feb. 3.
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