Shipt and Jeff Mauro prepare Big Game Bites for the perfect tailgate, interview

Jeff Mauro serves flavorful tailgate recipes and tips at the Shipt x Visa Tailgate, photo provided by Shipt
Jeff Mauro serves flavorful tailgate recipes and tips at the Shipt x Visa Tailgate, photo provided by Shipt /

On College Game Day, football fans fill the stadium and the quad to cheer on their team. While that connection to their alma mater runs deep, the event requires a full spread to keep those hungry guests satisfied. Luckily, Shipt can complete that shopping list easily. With some expert advice from Jeff Mauro, that perfect tailgate is a huge win regardless of the game’s eventual outcome.

While football fans might have their lucky jersey or special socks, the reality is that the event before kickoff is just as vital to a successful day. The food and camaraderie around the tailgate experience is a huge part of gameday.

Although some people might be expert party planners, the old saying of time is money can come into play. Using a shopping service, like Shipt, to streamline the food and beverage purchases frees everyone up from the minutiae and puts the focus on the fun.

During the upcoming FSU vs Clemenson game, Jeff Mauro will be serving up some delicious dishes at the kickoff to the Shipt & Visa Tailgate Lounge. The first stop on the tailgate tour, Mauro has two scrumptious recipes, Smoked Triple Pepper Aged Cheddar Dip and Maple Pepper Pig Candy BLT Sliders with Giardiniera Aioli, that will have everyone asking for seconds or even thirds.

Shipt Jeff Mauro and Visa Tailgate event
Jeff Mauro serves flavorful tailgate recipes and tips at the Shipt x Visa Tailgate, photo provided by Shipt /

Ahead of the big Shipt tailgate event, FoodSided spoke with Jeff Mauro about tailgating tips, his recipes, and which team he’s supporting for the big game.

When planning a tailgate, certain parameters need to be taken into consideration. Ease of eating, approachable flavors, and dishes that satisfy are often top of mind.

Mauro commented, “as much as I love a big juicy bone-in rib eye, the tailgate is not the place to be eating with a knife and fork. You’re either sitting in a cloth chair without a table or standing with a drink in hand. This is not fine dining where you cut that dainty piece of steak. This is the time to eat that sandwich and have a little swipe of dip.”

Looking at Mauro’s two recipes that he will be highlighting at the Shipt x Visa Tailgate Lounge feature that ease of eating. More importantly, each of the recipes have adaptable flavors that appeal to a large crowd.

Speaking to his Smoked Triple Pepper Aged Cheddar Dip, Mauro explained how the three peppers can adapt to a variety of spice levels. Whether it is simply avoiding the jalapeno seeds or pulling back on the amount of pepper, the versatility is inherent in the recipe. More importantly, it is a food that can be prepared the day before.

As Mauro explained, “a tailgate has to have a well-thought out production schedule. You have to plan as much as possible. You want to think about food that can be made during that tailgate timeframe; it is not the time to make something that takes all day like ribs or a brisket. A tailgate should be hard, fast, and abundant. Keep it simple with sandwiches, burgers, and sausages.”

Even though there is a nod to simplicity, the food is never bland or boring. Mauro believes that the tailgate hits the right balance of fun and flavor. Some people might go over the top with the décor, but he thinks the aroma of sizzling bacon or grilling burgers sets the tone for the event. The anticipation of a great meal gets people excited.

And, the fun does not have to end at kickoff. Mauro suggested people think about making a little extra food that can be enjoyed after the game. For example, the bacon in his Maple Pepper Pig Candy BLT Sliders with Giardiniera Aioli can be transformed into a wrap. That food can be stored in the cooler and enjoyed before packing up the car and heading home.

Whether it is the bacon, sausage or something else on the grill, the flavorful tailgate fare sets the tone for the gathering. But, if something is missing from that spread, there is always a way to get a last minute buy with services like Shipt. After all, no one wants to have people using that lucky jersey as a napkin with that BLT sandwich.

As the big tailgate at the FSU vs Clemson game is approaching, which team gets Jeff Mauro’s support. He said that he’s waiting till game day to make that decision. He mentioned that the best tailgate spread might sway this allegiance.

Whether it is the college tailgate, NFL game day, or just a Wednesday night dinner, Shipt can make quick work of that to-do list so that food can be put on the plate easily. Sometimes the biggest win is the one that makes life simple.

The Shipt x Visa Tailgate Lounge kicks off its tour at the FSU vs Clemson game on Saturday, September 23, 2023. Additional stops include Miami at UNC on October 14 and Tennessee at Alabama on October 21.

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