View Full Version : Chef Anthony Zallo To Represent Steelers At NFL's Culinary Party

01-28-2010, 10:15 PM
Chef Anthony Zallo To Represent Steelers At NFL's Culinary Party
By: Carly Noel, WPXI.com

Posted: 6:37 pm EST January 28, 2010Updated: 8:36 pm EST January 28, 2010
PITTSBURGH -- For the fourth year, Bigelow Grille’s Executive Chef Anthony Zallo has been selected for the “Taste of the NFL,” a culinary lead up to the Super Bowl. This year, the event will take place on Feb. 6 at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

“Taste of the NFL” will feature food and wine from the best chefs in each of the 32 NFL cities. Zallo and Pittsburgh Steelers great Andy Russell have teamed up for the 19th annual event to represent the Steelers.

The chefs are selected based on critic reviews, originality, quality of their menu and restaurant ratings. Reviewers have described Zallo's culinary creations as "pure art" and "unique adventurous dishes."

Zallo will make potato goat cheese pierogies with crispy pork belly at the “Taste of the NFL."

“When you think of Pittsburgh, you think of pierogies. I took the pork belly and cooked it like Kielbasa. It’s really cool when it’s done. I incorporated organic goat cheese,” said Zallo.

I spoke with Zallo on Thursday before he makes his way to the Sunshine State in a van with 2,000 pierogies and his “crew.” The crew includes Bigelow Grille manager Brian Tuscano and sous chef Michael Brinsky.

Last year, Zallo purchased some of his ingredients in Tampa where the Super Bowl was held. This year, as Zallo has been making an effort to use organic and local products, he's only using food from Pittsburgh at the event.

Zallo’s crew and pierogies will leave Monday. Russell will travel with his wife and meet Zallo in Florida.

If you want to try the pierogies, they’re on the dinner menu at Bigelow Grille, located at One Bigelow Square in Pittsburgh.

In Florida, thousands, including celebrities, will get to try Zallo’s dish at the “Taste of the NFL.” Last year, Zallo served Meredith Vieira from NBC’s “Today” and Pittsburgh native and actor Michael Keaton.

The Max Weinberg band performed at the upscale event in 2009. This year, the Grammy-nominated Bare Naked Ladies will perform live during the culinary exhibition.

Money raised at the event will go to hunger-related charities, including the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Since its inception in 1992, “Taste of the NFL” has raised more than $8 million for hunger related charities, totaling nearly 72 million pounds of food.

Zallo looks forward to raising money for a good caused and working with Russell. The chef and former football player have done it together before and are friends.

“He’s an awesome guy. He believes in the cause. It’s important because food banks aren’t doing very well right now,” said Zallo.

Zallo and Russell’s booth at the event last year was popular.

“Our line was huge,” said Zallo.

The chef thinks the Steelers being in the Super Bowl and Russell’s “great personality” contributed to the long line.

When Zallo gets back from Florida, he hopes to begin working on a local “Taste of the NFL” event at Bigelow Grille. His plan is to have Pittsburgh Steelers participate.

“It’s nice to raise money collectively, but when you do it on your own, it’s greater that way,” said Zallo.

Zallo admitted he doesn’t avidly follow football, but he told me he’s a Steelers fan. He was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area and now lives in Bethel Park with his wife Bridget and their three children, Alexandria, 11, Raffaele, 7, and Isabella, 6.

Before becoming the executive chef at Bigelow Grille, Zallo opened Abrio in Peters Township and worked at Rolling Hills Country Club and several restaurants. He has worked in kitchens for more than 20 years.

Zallo is proud of the work he’s currently doing at Bigelow Grille.

“Bigelow Grille is great. I have a lot of flexibility and creative freedom,” said Zallo.

Click here to visit the restaurant's Web site.

Follow this link for more information about the “Taste of the NFL” and to see the other players and chefs involved.

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02-02-2010, 03:38 PM
That was an interesting read and thanks for posting it Mesa. Congratulations to Chef Anthony Zallo. Those pierogies sound very tasty!