Want the recipe for the perfect college football Saturday?

You'll need 750 pounds of shrimp, 450 pounds of catfish and 200 pounds of alligator. Having the top two teams in the country doesn’t hurt either.

This weekend Tuscaloosa will be rocking as top-ranked LSU takes on No. 2 Alabama, but there will be plenty of action outside Bryant-Denny Stadium as well. The Guinness World Record for largest seafood gumbo will be set with the proceeds from the event going to victims of the devastating tornadoes that ripped through the area back in April.

Famed New Orleans chef John Folse spearheaded the idea and has labeled it the "Gumbo Bowl."

"We wanted to do something, but the worst time to try is right afterwards during the chaos," Folse says. "We looked ahead and thought it might work out while this great rivalry is meeting on the football field."

Folse enlisted the help of former Crimson Tide defensive lineman Bob Baumhower, a long-time friend through the restaurant business that the chef says, "has the key to the door marked 'Alabama.'" Baumhower's restaurants were spared, but some members of his staff weren't as lucky, so he jumped at the chance to help out.

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"It's one of those things that unless you see it, it's hard to relate to," Baumhower says. "The damage was intense and complete. It's going to be something that those folks are going to have to deal with emotionally for a long time."

The healing will continue on Saturday, where Folse and Baumhower hope to raise $50,000 for Nick's Kids Fund and Caring Days Adult Day Care. But to do that, they're going to have to cook up a lot of gumbo. About two tons.

On top of the massive amounts of shrimp, catfish and alligator, they'll use 150 pounds of crab and 25 pounds of crawfish. The gumbo will also require nearly 600 pounds of onions, celery, green bell peppers, okra, garlic and butter. It's a Folse family recipe.

To help cook the massive stew, Baumhower has enlisted the help of the executive chef of his restaurant group, Steve Zucker. Folse has tapped his partner in a new Big Easy property Restaurant R'evolution, Rick Tramonto.

"Rick's a New York boy coming to the swamps of Louisiana," Folse says.
"It'll be great that he's starting off his first gumbo with two tons."

The 10,000 portions will be cooked in a 300 year-old cast iron kettle that Folse has used to set Guinness World Records for Swiss fondue and macaroni and cheese. The vessel is eight feet wide and four feet deep. And Folse isn't even planning on filling it up all the way.

"My kettle can hold another six or seven hundred pounds," he says. "We're going to leave a little room so we can keep breaking the record every year."

Folse would like to see this event go back and forth between the two schools and benefit some New Orleans causes next year.

The game on Saturday is sold out, with tickets going for five or six times their face value, and although you might not be able to get into the game, you can get in on the gumbo. Tickets are still available online. Donations will also be accepted there for those who can't make it.

Both Folse and Baumhower are predicting a huge success on Saturday. Their opinions on the outcome of the game are not so in line though.

"It won't be a high scoring affair with both defenses playing the way they are," Baumhower says. "24-17 Alabama."

Chef Folse doesn't have a particular number in mind, but he's picking his Tigers.

"We're certainly hoping that at the end of the day we have at least one more point on the board than they do," Folse says.

The only guaranteed winners will be holding a plastic spoon and empty bowl.

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By Molly Aronica
TheDailyMeal.com

Athletes are known for spending their money in outrageously lavish ways, especially when it comes time to let loose and enjoy an evening out on the town. However, some athletes, or entire teams, for that matter, have taken the tradition to new heights.

Click here for more celebrations
Slideshow: Eight outrageous athlete celebration receipts

You can be sure that each of these truly outrageous moments will stick with these athletes for years to come. Check out the list and let us know if we missed one of your favorite stories.

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Boston Bruins

Reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Boston Bruins, celebrated their victory by racking up a $156,679.74 at Shrine nightclub at Foxwoods Casino. The team reportedly started the evening's festivities with food and bowling and then moved to the bar, where the receipt's highlights included 136 Bud Lights and nine bottles of Grey Goose vodka (costing $600 a bottle).

Raheem Brock

The outrageous nature of the scandal surrounding the Seahawks defensive end is less about the tab itself, and more about the situation. The first reports claimed that Brock was arrested on June 17 for refusing to pay a $27 bill at Copacabana restaurant in Philadelphia. However, Brock explained the story to TMZ in more detail the following week, claiming that he and a friend placed their order at the restaurant, but then they went across the street to order a cheesesteak, which sounded more appealing to Brock's friend. The two allegedly returned to Copacabana, where they cancelled their order before heading out. When the cops arrived moments later, Brock reportedly offered to pay $40 for the $27 tab, but was subsequently arrested.

Dez Bryant

The Dallas Cowboys receiver reportedly paid a heavy price during a training camp hazing ritual for rookies. Bryant's teammates supposedly relied on him to foot the $54,894 dinner bill after a luxurious meal at Pappa Bros. Steakhouse in Dallas.

Lamar Odom

The story goes that happily married couple, Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian, met while attending a party hosted by Khloe for Ron Artest, who had recently been traded to the Lakers. Sparks reportedly flew between the lovebirds that evening, and Lamar picked up the $3,000 tab. Clearly Khloe was impressed.

Click here for TheDailyMeal.com's complete slideshow of outrageous athlete celebration receipts.

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Twenty pounds in eight weeks! Now that’s a weight loss journey that anyone would be proud of.

Wait. What's that? Brandon Graham gained twenty pounds over two months? And not in the weight room?

Apparently the Eagles defensive end has been on the offensive end of some of Philly's finest food. The 2010 first-round draft pick tore his ACL last December and spent two months on crutches. His weight jumped from 270 to 290 during his recovery. He has a culprit, though.

"You know what got me real big? The Philly cheesesteaks," Graham told the appropriately named Philly.com. "Jim's. That's all I eat."

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Uh, you have to crush a lot of cheesesteaks to gain 2.5 pounds a week. Graham said he would eat a whole one every time he shuffled down the street to Jim's, the famed sandwich spot, which is mere blocks from where he lives. With no cardio and 1,000 to 1,200 calories a pop, it's easy to see how Graham packed on the pounds. That and admittedly eating two or three plates of food when he wasn't dining on the Philly classic.

Graham is back down to around his fighting weight now. He changed his eating habits when he got off the crutches and has been more focused on his diet and exercise this year. He's still on the Eagles' Physically Unable to Perform list and will be until the team is sure he's all the way back, but he went through his first practice earlier this week.

It's a big step toward getting back on the field -- just as big as backing away from the cheesesteaks. Graham has been eating out less and cooking for himself more.

Now if he could just get a handle on portion control.

"That's my big thing: I can't save anything," he says. "When I cook something, I want to eat it all right there."

Sounds like Graham could use an endorsement from Ziploc or Tupperware.

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No MSG.

Every neighborhood Chinese takeout spot has a glowing neon sign declaring as much in the front window. But those three letters and food are synonymous once again as Madison Square Garden unveiled its new Signature Collection recently. Rangers and Knicks fans will now be able to sample offerings from some of New York's most brilliant culinary minds when they attend the famed venue.

Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten will offer three items through Simply Chicken including a chicken hot dog, chicken sandwich and chicken salad.

Chef Jeremy Marshall of Aquagrill will serve his famed Lobster Shrimp Roll.

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Restaurateur Drew Nieporent's contribution will be called Daily Burger. His creations, served on English muffins, will be topped with either cheese and bacon-and-onion jam or green tomato relish.

Chef Andrew Carmellini will offer two items at his Sausage Boss stands, an Italian link pizzaiola with sweet peppers, and a beer-braised cheese brat served with sauerkraut and hot mustard.

"Along with significantly enhanced menu options and upgrades for all of our food offerings, we're proud that

some of the best chefs and restaurateurs in the world will offer exclusive items as part of our Signature Collection, which will only be available to fans attending our events," said Hank Ratner, president and chief executive officer of The Madison Square Garden Company.

The food was given rave reviews at a recent launch event that also included items from NYC landmarks the Carnegie Deli and Hill Country Barbecue.

The new Signature Collection will be available beginning with the Rangers home opener on Thursday night against the Maple Leafs.

Now if the NBA lockout would just end. The food is getting better at MSG, so why not the Knicks?

The launch event attracted an all-star lineup of guests:
[SLIDESHOW]

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By Maryse Chevriere
TheDailyMeal.com

There are people who go to football games to watch the game, and then there are people who go to pig out on some good grub, drink beer, and get caught up in the excitement of being among the fans.

Click here for more beers
Slideshow: Eight Great NFL Stadiums For Beer Fanatics

Of course, these days, there are those that straddle both categories — who devote their attention to the plays and what's going down on the field, but who also want a truly great beer to whet their whistle (lest they need to yell indignantly at the ref for a bad call). Outside of the stadium, the attention to good food and drink has always been quite clear, what with tailgating fare achieving legendary status in many places. But inside a great deal of stadiums now too the game has really been stepped up — especially when it comes to the beer selection.

Forget the big-name macrobrews -- at places like the San Francisco 49ers' Candlestick Park and the Washington Redskins' FedEx Field, the focus is on microbrews and providing a sizable selection of bottle and draft beers.

Inspired by Esquire's 2010 "NFL Stadium Food Power Rankings," we decided to take a look at the football teams whose stadiums have beer programs that are truly worth rooting for. You have to figure at least that with a good beer in hand, both victory and defeat are easy to swallow (well, kind of).

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Heinz Field

Steelers: Cheering Steelers fans can keep their throats from going hoarse by guzzling locally brewed Penn Pilsner and Iron City.

MetLife Stadium

Giants, Jets: Taps at this young stadium feature Stella Artois, Sam Adams, Hoegaarden, Guinness and hometown favorite Brooklyn Brewery's Brooklyn Lager.

Bank of America Stadium

Panthers: Given that nearby Asheville, N.C., has been called an American craft beer hot spot by experts like Joshua M. Bernstein, it's not too surprising that Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium plays host to a number of top-notch local brews. Panther fans can sample craft beers from Olde Mecklenburg Brewery (the flagship Copper is particularly popular), Skull Coast (the hopped-up Maelstrom IPA is a great option for bitter brew fans), Foothills Brewing, LoneRider Brewery and SweetWater Brewery.

Lambeau Field

Packers: It should come as little surprise that Wisconsin-brewed Leinenkugel ("Leinies" for those that know it well) fills the taps here, helping keep Cheeseheads in high spirits. But beyond that, fans can also enjoy beers like Johnny "Blood" Red and Railyard Ale from Green Bay-based Titletown Brewing Company.

Click here for TheDailyMeal.com's complete slideshow of great NFL stadiums for beer fanatics.

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Jó étvágy!

That's what a person from Hungary would say to someone who is hungry. Enjoy your meal! Bon appétit, if you will. It's a phrase Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Soni grew up with. The Team USA swimmer is of Hungarian descent, and her family's strongest links to their heritage is in its food traditions.

"My mom is a great, great cook," the 24-year-old Soni says. "She has a lot of typical Hungarian recipes. We always cooked. We never went out to dinner. It was a big part of me when I was growing up."

The biggest culinary memories of her childhood are the traditional stuffed cabbage at Christmas, and stuffed peppers. (She swears not every recipe is stuffed something, though.)

"I'm butchering the translation," says Soni, now a part of Team Kellogg's. "They sound a lot better in Hungarian."

When she moved from New Jersey to attend college at the University of Southern California, Soni found herself without her mom's cooking for the first time. Her options were the dining hall or exploring her new-found home. She frequently chose the latter, discovering sushi and real Mexican for the first time.

"And avocados," she says. "I'd never had an avocado before."

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After college, Soni stayed in SoCal to remain with her coach and keep working toward the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She began cooking for herself and practiced the family recipes. Part of the advantage about swimming so much is she can use all that Hungarian food as fuel. One of her frequent meals is Chicken Paprikash -- a national stew made with onions, garlic, sour cream and famed Hungarian paprika. It's served over homemade egg noodles or nokedli. As with many traditional dishes, they vary from cook to cook, so much so that Soni hesitates when talking about her versions.

"I don't even call them the same thing because my mom makes them so much better than me," Soni confesses.

But she knows there's a world of food outside of Eastern Europe. Soni subscribes to several cooking magazines and is always trying new recipes. Through swimming, she has gotten to travel the world. Three years ago in Beijing, where she captured a gold medal and two silvers in the pool, she got to taste authentic Chinese. More recently she fell in love with Neapolitan pizza during a competition in Italy.

Last month, Soni visited London and the surrounding countryside, making sure to sample the English fare along her tour.

"I thought the food was great," she says. "I had a meat pie, but I didn’t get around to fish and chips."

Luckily, she'll have another chance at the pub favorite next summer when she hits the pool at the 2012 Olympics.

But she always comes back to her native cuisine. And so does anyone who's tried it.

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C.J. Wilson could've called up a culinary school. Or asked around at one of his favorite restaurants. Nope. The Rangers starting pitcher found his private chef in a much more unorthodox manner.

"He was actually in a band with my brother," Wilson says. "He plays drums."

That would be Aaron Elliott, affectionately known as Hoss. (Find him on Twitter: @xhossx). He's the man entrusted with the sophisticated palate and strict diet of the man who'll take the mound in Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday night.

"In the position that I'm in, I have to feel like I can trust people that are around me," Wilson says. "So it's nice to have someone you have years and years with."

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Wilson used to cook for himself, but hired Hoss so that he could focus on other things and be more efficient. That doesn't mean he's without say when it comes to the menu. In fact, Wilson is incredibly specific on what he will and won't eat.

"Ever since I had Tommy John surgery (in 2003), I figured my health and my strength was gonna run 100 percent through my diet," he says.

At home, everything Wilson puts into his body is organic. He won't touch processed foods, especially fast food, and doesn't eat dairy either. His true particularities, though, don't start to come out until he talks about protein. He avoids chicken, but turkey is okay. And in what's either a hat tip to Texas cattle ranchers or a shot at cardiologists, Wilson says he tries to eat as much red meat as possible.

However, it's when he's away from home and his chef that his diet presents the biggest challenge.

"When I'm on the road, I have to be very careful because I can't trust any of the restaurants," Wilson says.

He cites the logistical issues and expense of finding a new kitchen in every city as the reasons he leaves Hoss behind. So he survives by seeking out markets that offer what he needs when the team is traveling, and he supplements that by taking plenty of rations with him. One of his road staples is a version of trail mix made with macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, almonds, goji berries, and coconut flakes. He calls it "Hoss mix," one of many things named after his chef.

"It's like the Hoss sauce or Hoss of Pancakes," he says with a laugh.

Elliott might not have graduated from Johnson and Wales, but he can definitely cook. His parents used to own an Italian restaurant when he was a kid, and that’s where he was introduced to food. And Wilson says those vegan pancakes are "probably one of the most delicious things ever."

The Rangers pitcher will be without his chef in St. Louis to start the Fall Classic, but this could be his last series without him. Wilson will be a free agent after this season and in line for a big payday. Whether it's enough to bring Elliott on the road remains to be seen.

"Maybe after this next contract I can afford to do that," Wilson says.

For now, the Rangers ace will have to rely on his filthy stuff and a handful of Hoss mix.

-- Jason Sickles contributed to this report.

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NASCAR fans, your culinary world is about to take a left turn.

Race day has long been known for epic tailgates of flaming grills filled with burgers, dogs and sausages, not to mention coolers of frosty beer. But Danica Patrick is about to throw a veggie burger on that fire.

This weekend, at the Bank of America 500, Patrick's Fit Fuel Menu will debut at a stand at Charlotte Motor Speedway. A variety of healthy options will be offered, including turkey burgers, veggie burgers, a chicken sandwich, chopped salad, fresh fruit and hummus with veggies.

Proper nutrition is important for Patrick and she says she wanted to give people the healthier option "so fans can make smart choices about what they eat when they're enjoying the races."

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But is this something race fans have been asking for?

Chef Phil Bucco, who oversees the culinary team for Levy Restaurants at Charlotte Motor Speedway and partnered with Patrick and her team to develop the menu, says yes.

"There are a lot of fans in Charlotte looking for more fit items," Bucco says, "and we always want to bring a great variety of options to our guests. We think the stand will be a big hit."

It certainly will be unique, especially among racing venues. Where else can fans get a salad that includes a mix of Romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli florets, red onion, cucumber, asparagus, Kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, garbanzo beans and julienne carrots, served with a house-made
red wine vinaigrette?

And if your idea of a fruit cup is that plastic-covered, syrupy mess from the high school cafeteria, think again. The Fit Fuel Menu version will contain season fruit such as watermelon, mango, strawberries, honeydew, cantaloupe and pineapple, served Mexican-style with a lime wedge and chili lime salt.

Danica Patrick won't be on hand for the healthy food roll out this weekend in Charlotte. She's finishing up her race schedule on the IndyCar Series in Las Vegas this Sunday. But there will be plenty of time for her to sample the new menu, because the Fit Fuel stand is not going to be just a stand-in.

"These new options are here to stay at Charlotte Motor Speedway and fans will have the opportunity to enjoy them throughout the racing season," Bucco says. "Stay tuned, as this may grow into other racing venues."

You hear that, Talladega? There's a veggie burger with your name on it.

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We know Wheaties is the breakfast of champions. But is matzo ball soup the lunch of Pro Bowlers?

Maybe so.

The beloved Jewish dish is just one small part of a transformation that has vaulted Jags tight end Marcedes Lewis to the top of his game.

After Week 3 last season, the former UCLA star realized he wasn't getting any younger. So he decided it was time to take better care of his body by changing his diet.

"For the first five years, I just ate what I wanted to eat," he says. "I started to notice that it wasn't really healthy and I didn't have any energy."

Lewis, 27, reassessed what he had to do to stay one step ahead of his opponents, and he noticed tremendous gains with the new diet. The result was a career high in receptions, yards and touchdowns -- not to mention a trip to his first Pro Bowl. He went a step further this season by hiring his own private chef.

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"I can cook," Lewis says, "but it's not always going to be healthy."

Lewis started cooking when he was seven or eight years old. His mother, who had him when she was 15, trained him to be the man of the house, and that started in the kitchen. He made eggs, and owing to his southern California roots, graduated to tacos and enchiladas.

But now Lewis doesn't have the time to cook proper, nutritious meals.

"On weekends when we have home games, I might dabble a little," he says. "But having the chef is really paying dividends."

That would be Chef Iain Broadbent. He's been working with Lewis for about a month now and comes every Tuesday. Broadbent prepares two meals a day for the entire week, leaving heating instructions for the days he's not around. Besides being able to provide healthful meals, the chef is also opening his client up to new foods, like matzo ball soup.

"I'd never had it before and I loved it," Lewis says. "It was a big ol' bowl of it and by the end of four days it was gone."

Lewis says the food at the Jaguars facility is only "decent" and that was another reason he hired Broadbent.

"It's not great," Lewis says. "This is one of the biggest reasons I got a chef too. I'm sure it could be worse. I'm not complaining. But this way I can control what goes into my body."

Lewis still eats with his teammates on practice days, though, and can't stress enough the importance of those meals.

"I think breaking bread together is one of the best ways to bring people closer as a family, not just a team," he says.

And one of the best ways to stay on the field is to take care of your body, something Lewis is finally doing. He may not get the enchiladas or chicken and dumplings of his childhood very often anymore, but don't call the new regiment a diet.

"It's a lifestyle," he says. "This is going to put years on my career and I can appreciate that."

So can Jaguars fans.

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Joe Bastianich is just hours away from competing in his first Ironman. The 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and marathon are a grueling set of tasks for anyone -- not to mention the strict diet that comes with it.

But there's an added wrinkle for Bastianich. He's the owner of more than a dozen renowned restaurants from New York to Los Angeles. You may recognize the name of his partner, Mario Batali, the larger-than-life celebrity chef with a bright red pony tail and Crocs to match. Together they've created Babbo, Del Posto, Esca, Osteria Mozza and many other restaurants serving some of the best Italian food in the U.S., which makes the idea of competing in the Ford Ironman World Championship on Saturday seem that much stranger.

For Bastianich, though, the change from eater to athlete was a mental one.

"The real a-ha moment is when you begin to look at food as fuel for your athletic ambitions rather than a hedonistic reward or pleasurable experience," he says.

It started with a desire to slim down some years ago. Bastianich began running and has completed several marathons since. He continued to push himself, competing in half-Ironmans, but the ultimate test will come this weekend in Hawaii. He credits his strict training schedule as the stabilizer when it comes to eating.

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"For me, the great moderating factor is what's the next race or the next workout," he says. "If I have to go ride 50 miles on the bike the next morning I can't have a bottle of red wine and a ribeye steak at eleven o’clock at night."

Not that he doesn't want to. He concedes to the occasional hot dog or plate of French fries. He's unabashedly unapologetic when it comes to wine though. He has his own eponymous label and would just as soon throw in the towel as his Tocai.

"I'd rather just put a bullet in my head," he says. "Wine is going to be a part of it for me."

That doesn't mean he's getting drunk, but a glass every now and then is not to be eschewed. As an Italian, Bastianich believes wine on the table is food. He may eat more moderately these days, but hasn't given up on taste either, focusing on protein-rich meals, lots of vegetables, bread and even pizza.

Bastianich hopes all his hard work will turn in a time of under 13 hours in the Ironman, but regardless of where he finishes, he plans on celebrating the accomplishment with a large bowl of pasta and a couple beers.

The real party begins on Sunday, though, as he hosts a lunch and dinner at the Four Seasons Kona, complete with a tasting of his latest vintages.

"That night I'll have more than a couple glasses of wine," he says, "to sort of make up for the last six months."

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