Plenty of people show up for Super Bowl Sunday with the intention of having their eyes firmly set on the game, hopeful that their preferred team will walk away with the Vince Lombardi trophy. Then there are those who join in on the fun just so they can watch the Halftime Show. And then there are people like me, who come with their eyes on the snack table. My question isn’t who will win but rather, what are we eating? If you need some new ideas, or a new approach to a classic, Chef Kayla Greer, also known as Chef Kay Kay, has a couple for you.
The LA-based private celebrity chef and owner of the upscale sports bar 40Love knows a thing or two about game day eats. As the executive chef, Chef Kay Kay’s menu at 40Love boasts fresh takes on favorites. There’s the waygu hot dog, a cheeseburger…fusilli (a creamy pasta), sliders, but make them crab cakes, fried chicken deviled eggs and more. Those are just offerings for a regular weeknight. So when it comes to perhaps the biggest sports event of the year, she’s looking forward to making things that will certainly win over football fans and bring them closer.
“What I love most about this time and the food that comes of it is the togetherness that we all have when watching the game,” she tells ESSENCE. “We’re sharing a lot of food. A lot of food is finger food. It’s dips, it’s comforting, it’s familiar, and when all of those come together, it brings nothing but joyous times when with friends and family.”
And for the chef, nothing beats the togetherness found by patrons who pack in 40Love on Super Bowl Sunday.
“40Love around this time is undefeated,” she says. “It is the best time. We’re reservation only since we are usually overbooked on game days, and reservation requests are so high demand, minimums are required to reserve.”
She adds, “It’s high energy inside like you’re walking into a big house party. You’ll usually run into some familiar faces, catch a long line of foreign cars parked in the front and just catch a vibe while eating good food and enjoying the game with your peoples.”
The only thing that beats the fun had is the fare. For Chef Kay Kay, her personal favorite dish to share and consume with abandon this time of year is a good chips and dip spread.
“My go-to meal or snack for Super Bowl weekend will be a really good dip. I love a caramelized onion dip and potato chips,” she says. “I love any type of dip honestly. I love a spinach artichoke dip, which will be a special at 40Love for the Super Bowl and a good Mexican dish if it’s taquitos, quesadillas, or tacos dishes. My other go-to when I think Super Bowl is chili cheese dogs for some reason. The event just screams chili bar with Fritos and hot dogs and all types of accoutrements that you can help yourself to.”
To help us spice up our dishes for game day, Chef Kay Kay offered a couple fresh takes on favorites. Whoever you’re rooting for, you can’t lose with these mouthwatering goodies.
A 40Love Cheeseburger
3 pieces of case thick cut American cheese
wagyu beef (85g each)
Season both sides of the burger with Chef Kay Kay seasoning. Add cheese and place burger on skillet. Splash with water to steam and cover allowing cheese to fully melt. Toast bun with butter until golden brown. (Toasting the bread is very important, ensuring a great crispy crust that will perform as a barrier to the juicy meat and ketchup.) Lather on ketchup and onions on both sides of bun with two pieces of pickle.
white American cheese
fire roasted green chili
corn tortilla chips
Saute onion and garlic with butter and oil. Add full can of beans and bring to a boil. Add 225 g of water and two sprigs of thyme. After about 20 mins, remove thyme, add cumin. Add a pinch of minced garlic and after 10 mins, two tbs butter, cook down 20 more mins.
Let two tbs of butter simmer until melted. Add 225g milk and heat until hot, but not boiling. Add 220 g of white American cheese, stirring consistently (so cheese does not stick). Fire should be on medium high heat (not too high, not to low) until cheese is completely melted. Add cumin, 1.5 g worth. Add 1.5 g of chili powder. Add 30g of diced green chili. Reduce heat and add 160g of Colby jack, stirring consistently at a steady pace and proper temperature. Add Monterey Jack, pickled jalapeño and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cherry tomatoes 200 g
Red onion 15 g
White onion 22g
Pickled jalapeños 3g
Salt and pepper
Add chilis. Add seasoning. Keep stirring.
Combine ingredients on top of corn tortilla chips and serve.