Interview + GIVEAWAY! Tailgate Tips & Recipes with Chef Jody Denton

Are you ready for some football? A Monday night party, perhaps? I know I am, especially with Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys taking on Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears tonight for Monday Night Football. With week 4 of America’s game upon us, grill master and chef Jody Denton joined me to chat about everything you need to throw a fun, festive tailgate party- from the recipes to grilling tips for beginners, to what you can’t leave without and much more. Might I add, we’ve also thrown in a GIVEAWAY? Yes, it’s true! One lucky reader of Candace Rose will win everything he or she needs to throw a delicious tailgate party. Are you ready? Here’s what the lucky tailgater will get: 5 bags of Frito-Lay Chips, 5 Coupons for any Frito Lay products, 1 Football, 1 Set – 15 piece BBQ tools, 1 BBQ Grill Lighter and 1 Bottle Opener! Be sure to check out Chef Jody’s delicious recipes and great tips via the video below, and don’t forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway!!!




Chef Jody Denton with his must have recipes for game day! Courtesy of Frito-Lay.

Candace Rose: So what’s the secret to cooking or grilling up a great tailgate meal?

Chef Jody Denton: “The first thing to remember is that this is supposed to be fun. This is a party, you are celebrating your team. I like to say that teams stands for- (when it comes to tailgating) t is for travel ready. Make sure that everything is ready for travel. You’ve got big coolers, I like to stuff frozen water bottles and use that as ice. They’ll melt during the day, you’ll have nice cold water and you won’t have to transport so much ice. Use disposable containers for all the food, recyclable plastic bags, deli containers, aluminum pans – something that you’re not going to have to clean up when you get back.

E is for easy eating. Make sure that you get everything done ahead of time. Keep it simple, don’t get it too complicated. But get it all done ahead of time so on game day you’ve got nothing left to do but throw it on the grill and finish it off. That way you’re going to enjoy the party a whole lot more.

A is for all weather. You’ve got to be ready for all weather. You’ve got to watch the forecast. So many people have been surprised by rain. Look at the forecast. And if you did look at the forecast and it says it might rain, you need to be prepared with some popup canopies, umbrellas, rain shields- something that’s going to keep your grill dry and maybe a few of your people dry.

And then m- make a checklist. You are going to be so much less stressed out on game day if you’re organized ahead of time. And we’re providing you with a checklist along with the recipes – it’s got everything on there that you can possibly think of and then some. So be organized and remember to have fun!”



Don’t leave home without this trusty game day checklist! You’ll be a lost tailgater without it. Courtesy of Frito-Lay

Candace Rose: And I hear you have some delicious recipes to share with us today!

Chef Jody Denton: “One of the things I like to do is I always maintain party readiness myself. And for me, that means in my cabinet at home I’ve always got some Tostitos tortilla chips and my favorite salsa. When it starts coming up to game day, I like to take that salsa and customize it a little bit. Start with something that’s really great like Tostitos Restaurant Style salsa and then add some fresh ingredients like tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, cilantro, lime juice; or you might want to grill some pineapple or you might want to add some mango or avocado. But the point is it takes an already great product and turns it into something that’s customized for your event, and it’s really tasty in the end, and it didn’t cost you a lot of work.”




Chef Jody likes to add tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapenos and lime juice to his Tostitos Restaurant Style salsa. Image courtesy of Frito-Lay.



Tostitos Tailgating Football Salsa Recipe! Image courtesy of Frito-Lay

Candace Rose: You mentioned grilling- do you have tips for those of us who are beginners?

Chef Jody Denton: “When it comes to choosing the right grill- a lot of people have charcoal grills at home, and a lot of people have gas grills at home. If you’re tailgating you’re probably going to bring what you have. But if you’re trying to decide on which grill, if you don’t have a lot of experience I’m going to steer you towards gas because it’s easier to regulate, you don’t end up with hot spots that can cause some problems when you’re grilling and you might not know how to deal with those hot spots. If you’re less experienced go with gas; if you’re more experienced, it’s your choice. Gas is easier to clean, easier to start up. Some people really like the flavor that comes with charcoal and wood, but you can also have charcoal with wood chips that you’ve soaked in water to get a little extra smoky wood flavor into it. It really depends on your preference at that point. I really like the flavor of wood, but I also like the convenience of gas, so I go back and forth.”



Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?

Chef Jody Denton: “One of the things that I like to do is- you’ve got a grill, you’re at a tailgating party; you don’t have a whole kitchen of around, you’ve got a grill, that’s what you’re grilling on. But people feel limited by that. They think they can only grill burgers and steaks and sausages and whatnot, but you can grill quesadillas too.”


Grilled Quesadillas with Ruffles Smokehouse BBQ Chips! Image courtesy of Frito-Lay

Be sure to visit Frito-Lay for some great tailgating recipes!




It’s not a tailgate without brats and chips! Image courtesy of Frito-Lay


Who’s ready for a great game day tailgate giveaway????

One lucky football fan/tailgater will win:

  • 5 bags of Frito-Lay Chips
  • 5 Coupons for any Frito Lay products,
  • 1 Football,
  • 1 Set – 15 piece BBQ tools,
  • 1 BBQ Grill Lighter
  • and 1 Bottle Opener

Mandatory entry: Who do you predict will be playing in the Super Bowl come February? Please leave a comment below with your email address!


For extra entries:

  • Subscribe to Candace Rose (separate comment)
  • Follow Candace Rose on Facebook (post a separate comment)
  • Become a follower of Candace Rose on Twitter (post a separate comment)
  • Subscribe to Candace Rose on Youtube (post a separate comment)
  • Follow Candace Rose on Pinterest (post a separate comment)

Please leave a separate comment for each entry! It’s that simple =)

The contest is only open to US residents (my apologies to my international readers). Contest ends on Monday, October 15th at 9pm PT. The winner will be notified via email. Best of luck!




1 Comment

  1. October 1, 2012 / 11:32 am

    Arizona Cardinals vs. Houston Texans. I’d love to say Green Bay Packers, but they are already having a rough season. 🙂

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