Tailgating is to autumn as freaking the hell out when ramps appear on menus is to spring. It's essential — which is why it shouldn't surprise you that somewhere in this town, there's a party raging. Next week, it'll come courtesy of local nonprofit Lovin' Spoonfuls' second annual Ultimate Tailgate Party, whose proceeds will help more fresh food make it into the city's soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and crisis centers. A team of 12 top-notch Boston chefs will be there, serving up gourmet twists on their favorite game-day dishes while you swig craft cocktails and beer (Peak Organic, not Natty Ice). To help us prepare, Lovin' Spoonfuls founder, the Pats-loving (and Jets-hating) tailgating Jedi Ashley Stanley, let us in on a few of her 'gate guidelines.
ON TAILGATE GRUB The best? [Chef Asia Mei's] amazing grilled cheese with candied bacon . . . ridiculous. Worst? A friend once made homemade veggie burgers. I think they were made out of cardboard and tofu. Vom.
ON AMBIANCE Music is a must at all times. I think my playlist would have a little bit of everything, with some new stuff like Mayer Hawthorne or Work Drugs on there. What goes better with good friends and great food than a kickass playlist? Oh, and hardcore gangsta rap.
ON OPPOSING-TEAM TAILGATE FACE-OFFS Feed your opponent. They can't talk with their mouth full.
ON 'GATE STEEZ Style's what you put out, not on — so if you're comfortable, you'll rock anything. This is my favorite weather right now — [it's got] the best fabrics and patterns. If it's a true fall day, cashmere and jeans and a great scarf always wins for me.
ON WHAT SHOULD YOU NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BRING TO A TAILGATE Your newborn. A Jets jersey. Bartles & Jaymes. Mayonnaise.
The Ultimate Tailgate Party takes place on October 28 on the lawn at Sam's, 60 Northern Ave, Boston. The VIP hour is from 6 to 7 pm; the main event is from 7 to 10 pm. For more information and tickets ($100–$250), visit lovinspoonfulstailgate.eventbrite.com.