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Andrew Zimmern Tells Us His Super Bowl Menu Plans - Exclusive

Andrew Zimmern wearing football jersey
Andrew Zimmern wearing football jersey - Jerod Harris/Getty Images

You don't have to be a fervent football supporter to enjoy the Super Bowl. One of the best parts of any game day get-together is the grub and no one knows this better than Andrew Zimmern — though the chef is also a huge sports fan by his own admission. In case you weren't already aware, Zimmern's well-versed in the art of whipping up snacks for hungry guests. In fact, he's it again this year.

From February 22 to 25, the Food Network star will participate in the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in sunny Miami, Florida. Alongside fellow celebrity chefs like Kardea Brown, Tiffany Derry, and Guy Fieri, Zimmern will host and demonstrate delectable dishes for guests to enjoy at the event. But even if you can't make it to Miami this February, there are plenty of dishes to choose from if you're looking for a Zimmern-approved menu for your game day gathering this year.

The celebrated cook is known for his crowd-pleasing recipes, like scrumptious cabbage dumplings and ultra-creamy mac and cheese, to name a few. He's even the creator of the Snackadium, a show-stopping Super Bowl snack platter to end all others. With that in mind, we at Tasting Table spoke to Zimmern to hear more about his tips for creating an unforgettable menu for the big game.

Read more: 25 Most Popular Snacks In America Ranked Worst To Best

He Starts By Mapping Out A Plan And Includes Variety

Andrew Zimmern scooping homemade guacamole
Andrew Zimmern scooping homemade guacamole - Andrew Zimmern / YouTube

Andrew Zimmern told us a successful Super Bowl menu starts with a winning strategy in mind. "You have to have food in three or four categories," he explained. Just like the players on the field, draft up your plan early and include lots of variety. Get things started with one of Zimmern's must-haves, chips and guacamole. From there, turn up the heat.

"You have to have a hot dip," he said. "I do a hot artichoke and crab dip with chips." It doesn't take much to entice guests with a delicious dip, from Zimmern's favorite, artichoke and crab, to a creamy buffalo chicken — simply use an old-fashioned warming tray to keep them hot throughout the event.

Whether you're busy refilling plates or simply shouting at the action on your TV screen, it's easy to work up an appetite for protein on Super Bowl Sunday. Instead of taking the easy way out with store-bought cold cuts, why not take a page from Zimmern's playbook? "I'll roast meat, a ham, a turkey, a pork shoulder, something like that so that you can just slice it, and people can make sandwiches," he revealed.

You can also roast some lamb for a unique charcuterie option or Tofurkey for vegetarians to indulge in the spread. Supply the sandwich station with a healthy assortment of condiments, from horseradish to mustard. Just don't forget to include extras like cheese, pickles, and olives.

Round Out Your Super Bowl Spread With Some Classics

Andrew Zimmern's Sticky Spicy Chicken Wings
Andrew Zimmern's Sticky Spicy Chicken Wings - Andrew Zimmern / YouTube

The next recipe category for you to tackle is soup. "I always like to do something that's served in a mug," Zimmern explained. His go-to choice for Super Bowl Sunday? "My grandmother's Tailgating Pot of Love, which is her pea soup, with big pieces of kielbasa or andouille in it," he said.

If for some reason split pea isn't your cup of tea, the cook has a few more suggestions. "Gumbo is another good one," he revealed. "Oyster stew — something that's hearty and delicious." Then serve some football-shaped soup crackers on the side. But let's be honest, what would a Super Bowl spread be without chicken wings involved?

"You have to have some kind of chicken wing dish," said the chef. It can be hard to choose just one type of wing recipe to serve, though the host isn't shy about his top pick. "My sticky, spicy chicken wings are the best wings there are," he said. Zimmern is known for his love of Asian ingredients and his signature wing recipe features pungent players like star anise, fresh ginger, and oyster sauce. The savory snack is sure to be a hit at your Super Bowl party, so don't be surprised if your friends and family request it all year long.

South Beach Wine & Food Festival runs February 22-25. You can purchase tickets here. To learn more about Andrew Zimmern's recipes and the upcoming docuseries, "Hope in the Water," visit www.andrewzimmern.com.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.