* Batali Joined By Guy Fieri, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Tim Love And Foreigner's Kelly Hansen For Asphalt Chef Grilling Competition
* Two-Day Charity Affair Also Will Feature Batali's Ultimate Tailgate Party
FORT WORTH, Texas (September 14, 2010) -- Gentlemen, start your grills.
Superstar celebrity chef Mario Batali is teaming up with Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter to present the Asphalt Chef cooking competition and his Ultimate Tailgate Party during November's AAA Texas 500 NASCAR triple-header weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
The Asphalt Chef will be the centerpiece of the two-day charity drive, as the event scheduled for the evening of Saturday, Nov. 6, will feature a dazzling line-up of celebrity chefs paired with special NASCAR guests in a cooking competition poolside at Texas Motor Speedway's Lone Star Tower clubhouse.
Batali has recruited "Culinary Rock Star" Guy Fieri and "Iron Chef" champion and Fort Worth resident Tim Love to join him as the celebrity chefs that will compete head to head with some special culinary assistance. Batali will partner with four-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, Fieri will work with 2004 Sprint Cup Series champ Kurt Busch and Love will be paired with Foreigner's lead singer Kelly Hansen. ABC-TV/ESPN NASCAR pit reporter Dave Burns, a self-admitted "foodie," will serve as the emcee of the event.
"Asphalt Chef is one of the coolest events I do all year," said Batali, who won the inaugural Asphalt Chef in 2008 with Sprint Cup driver Juan Pablo Montoya when it was a media/sponsor event at Texas Motor Speedway. "What can be better than teaming up with rock stars like Guy Fieri, Jimmie J. and Tim Love at the amazing Texas Motor Speedway? The action's incredible, the food is killer and the proceeds go to charity so everyone really wins!"
"Mario has visited with us at Texas Motor Speedway on two occasions and it has been a tremendous experience," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "We're looking forward to partnering with him on an exciting and fun two-day charity event like this that truly has an all-star cast of guests. We're hoping that this will be a hugely successful event for the two charities it will benefit -- Speedway Children's Charities and the Mario Batali Foundation."
The format is modeled after the popular "Iron Chef" television show -- where the world's premier chefs battle each other and the clock to earn the ultimate bragging rights -- but this event possesses a few wrinkles, such as the team concept.
A secret ingredient will be unveiled just prior to the competition and the teams will have five minutes to conceptualize a recipe. They will then go head to head and will have 20 minutes to produce a dish with the secret ingredient. The dishes will be presented to a special judging panel, graded in various categories and the winning team will receive an oversized, orange Mario Batali peppermill trophy and $5,000 to be designated to their favorite charity.
The Asphalt Chef evening, which will run from 6-9 p.m. CT, also will feature complimentary wine, beer and spirits as well as food, including a special dish from each of the celebrity chefs as well as live and silent auctions showcasing items and packages from the chefs, drivers and sponsors of the event. Hansen, who performed with Foreigner at Texas Motor Speedway during the Samsung Mobile 500 pre-race show in 2009, will be joined by band member and bassist Jeff Pilson, and the duo will perform a few acoustic versions of their songs that evening.
On Sunday, Nov. 7, -- race day for the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race -- Batali will play host to Mario Batali's Ultimate Tailgate Party that also will be held poolside at the clubhouse. The party, which will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT, will feature complimentary food from various major restaurants in the Metroplex as well as wine, beer and spirits. Batali, Fieri and Love also will conduct cooking demonstrations followed by a Q&A session with the guests.
A combination ticket is available for both Asphalt Chef and Mario Batali's Ultimate Tailgate Party at $350. Individual tickets are $250 for Asphalt Chef and $150 for the Mario Batali's Ultimate Tailgate Party. Capacity is limited for both events. The events benefit Speedway Children's Charities and the Mario Batali Foundation and are tax deductible.
In addition to fans having the opportunity to select the secret ingredient, they also will be able to enjoy the "trash talking" leading up to the event on the Facebook and twitter social networking platforms of the three chefs. Fan who become friends of Batali, Fieri and Love on Facebook or follow them on twitter will get to enjoy posts and video clips from them in regard to the Asphalt Chef competition.
For tickets or additional information, please contact Speedway Children's Charities at (817) 215-8421 or visit www.scctexas.org.
About Speedway Children's Charities
The mission of Speedway Children's Charities remains true to the ideals it was founded upon in 1982: to care for children in educational, financial, social or medical need in order to help them lead productive lives. SCC provides funding for hundreds of non-profit organizations throughout the nation that meet the direct needs of children. Our vision is that every child has the same opportunities no matter what obstacle they are facing. The Texas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities has distributed has invested over $6.7 million in the local community since it's inception in 1997. For more information about SCC -- Texas visit www.scctexas.org.
About The Mario Batali Foundation "I firmly believe in the vast and immeasurable potential of all children and see that it often goes untapped due to easily correctable deficiencies in our social fabric. The rights to good health, literacy and daily sustenance are inalienable to all regardless of race, creed, birthright, privilege or situation and the guarantee of these simple standards for all children is my objective." -- Mario Batali Long before he was a household name, Mario Batali was a philanthropist. Whether donating his time, services or dollars, Mario has been actively involved in the charities close to his heart for many years to raise awareness and support for children's disease research and relief, and hunger relief. Prompted by these philanthropic efforts, in 2008, Mario launched the Mario Batali Foundation. The MBF strives to ensure that all children are well read, well fed and well cared for. Please visit www.mariobatalifoundation.org for more information.