Metro State Chef and Students head to Super Bowl to volunteer at ‘Taste of the NFL’ benefit
Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705
Posted: January 31, 2011
(Denver, Colo.) — While many people dream of making it to National Football League Super Bowl, not many can claim an 11-year winning streak like Jackson Lamb, Metropolitan State College of Denver professor and chef.
On Feb. 5, Lamb and 14 of his students from Metro State’s Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events (HTE) will return to the Super Bowl to coordinate the 20th annual Taste of the NFL charity event benefiting Feeding America food bank system.
In his 11th year as volunteer coordinator, Lamb and his students will oversee more than 300 people running an event that services more than 3,500 guests. With 32 NFL team cities represented, plus eight other Texas restaurants presenting “The Flavors of North Texas,” 48,000 portions of food will be produced.
“We teach our students about hospitality and events management, but without opportunities like this you can’t truly gain experience on this type of scale,” says Lamb. “Kitchen supervision, high-volume production, catering, merchandise sales, VIP service, we work it all.”
Although students pay their own way by carpooling down to Fort Worth for the event, they are given management responsibility at a nationally recognized event that brings together all components of event management, tourism and hospitality. Metro State students will be managing local volunteers, many of whom are students from University of North Texas, The Art Institute of Dallas and Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students to work in an area that they’d like to pursue after they graduate,” says Lamb. “Where else can a student gain experience figuring out how to cook 200 duck breasts in less than three hours using just a few ovens?”
Lamb has taken between two and four students to work the event in past years, but this year 14 students are stepping forward to donate their time, labor and money to gain the experience. The Metro State team will be in supervisory positions, leading groups of 20-30 volunteers in areas of electronic check in, front-door entry, VIP and corporate seating, merchandise sales, silent auction, kitchen and culinary.
“Last year I worked as an assistant to the NFL celebrity chiefs from across the country,” says Todd Reenan, Metro State HTE sophomore. “This year I’m working as the manager of ‘Crew Food’ cooking for the 40-plus chefs and 300 volunteers. I’m nervous about cooking meals for some of the best chefs in the country, but I’m confident enough in my ability that I’m even planning to try out my own recipes.”
The volunteers will work 12 hours on Friday, Feb. 4, then 16 hours on Saturday, Feb. 5, the night of the main event. The Metro State team will be instrumental in prepping and working a VIP party Friday night for 300 corporate sponsors, NFL football players and celebrity chefs as guests. On Saturday, the 3,500 guests will be treated to food created by a chef representing every NFL team (Troy Guard from TAG represents Denver). Also, official Broncos alumni representatives in attendance will include Floyd Little and Karl Mecklenburg.
“At $600 per ticket, we hope to be able to raise nearly $1 million this year to benefit food banks in every NFL city across the country,” says Lamb. “We’ll also be recovering 3,580 pounds of food left over from the event by working with the Tarrant Area Food Bank in Fort Worth, which will redistribute the reclaimed food immediately to local agencies in need.”
Taste of the NFL raises money and awareness to kick hunger across America, directly supports the Feeding America system of Food Banks in every NFL city. The Food Bank of the Rockies is the Feeding America’s Colorado beneficiary. During the past 20 years, the Taste of the NFL has distributed $10 million for food banks through its Super Bowl dinner event, while raising $6 million from local fundraisers throughout year.
The Metro State team will pack up Sunday as winners regardless of what happens on the field of play as they ride home, with memories and experiences of a lifetime.
About Metropolitan State College of Denver
With more than 24,000 students, Metro State is Colorado’s leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans. Starting in the fall of 2010, the College is offering master’s degrees in accounting and teacher education, will offer a master’s in social work starting fall 2011. The College enrolls the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges in the state. It boasts 67,500 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.