Gridiron Grill-Off

Gridiron-Grill-OffJohn Offerdahl’s Broward Health® Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Tailgate Festival Takes the Field on November 8th

The competition is heating up as celebrity teams comprised of Miami Dolphins legends and critically acclaimed South Florida chefs get ready to face-off at this year’s “John Offerdahl’s Broward Health® Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Tailgate Festival.” The fifth annual culinary showdown that combines food, football and charity with as many as 2,500 attendees will take place at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater on Saturday, November 8 from 1 to 4 p.m.

“Now in our fifth year, we’re turning up the heat with more delicious food and entertainment for an elevated event experience,” said John Offerdahl, event founder and former Miami Dolphins All-Pro Linebacker. “Whether you are a foodie, football fan or charity supporter, you’re in for a real treat with new event components that are sure to be crowd-pleasers and keep people coming back for more year after year.”

All of the proceeds benefit Offerdahl’s Hand-Off Foundation, which directs funds to agencies that “Feed the Needs of Kids in Crisis,” including 4KIDS of South Florida, HOPE South Florida, Here’s Help, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation, Miami Dolphins Foundation and Taste of the NFL.

The teams are bringing their “A” game with menu items to include #11 Jensen’s Josper Grilled Skirt Steak with Brussel Sprouts, #22 Wooden’s Chipotle Wagyu Ribs with Rustic Kale Salad and #25 Oliver’s Graised Ox Tail with Horseradish Panna Cotta. Attendees will get to sample all of the signature grilled entrees, paired with premium Gallo wines. One winning team will be recognized with the People’s Choice Award, while another team will be selected by a panel of esteemed judges to receive the coveted Judge’s Choice Award.

Team pairings include guard Ed Newman and Peter Boulukus of YOLO, center Jeff Dellenbach and Chef Dustin Gordon of The Chefs Palette, safety Glenn Blackwood and Chef Victor Franco of Oceans 234, linebacker AJ Duhe and Chef Jeff Pfeffier of Lobster Bar Sea Grille, center Dwight Stephenson and Chef Michael Cerny of Truluck’s Fort Lauderdale and many more. Also joining the teams are several media personalities to add to the fun, including television news anchors: Neki Mohan, Todd Tongen and Kristi Krueger of Local 10, Trina Robinson of NBC 6 and Steve Shapiro of 7 News, plus meteorologists Erika Delgado of NBC 6 and Denise Issac of Telemundo 51.

In addition to great food and wine, organizers have added new opportunities to elevate the guest experience, including The Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Tailgate Challenge, Guy Harvey’s Sustainable Seafood Village and Chef Allen Susser’s VIP Culinary Exhibition.

The Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Tailgate Zone adds music, football, giveaways, interactive games and a cash bar for premium cocktails and craft beers. The experience also includes a Tailgate Challenge, presented by Omaha Steaks, with teams selected to compete for a $1,000 Grand Prize by creating a recipe that combines Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and premium Omaha Steaks meat.

Guy Harvey’s Sustainable Seafood Village will have a variety of interactive and educational experiences, including a tasting tent, games and an exhibit on the latest ocean technology and sustainable practices for maintaining a healthy environment.

New this year is a VIP experience presented by Taste of the NFL, which includes an added hour of fun from noon to 1 p.m. with an open bar, a live cooking demonstration from Chef Allen Susser and a “Cook-Off Competition” between Big 105.9 FM morning personalities Paul Castronovo and Young Ron Brewer.

Keeping with tradition, event guests will compete at the Toyota Cornhole Stadium and enjoy music throughout the day at the Festival Stage with the Masters of Ceremonies, Finsider’s Greg Likens and Footy of Y-100 fame.

Event tickets are:
$85 each or
$125 for Chef Allen Susser’s
VIP Culinary Exhibition,
which includes access to all of the Gridiron Grill-Off festivities.

Tickets are on sale now at

The Spark Behind The Tradition

Five years ago, John Offerdahl found himself reassessing his life after attending a Lifework Leadership class hosted by the National Christian Foundation that caused him to consider two questions: What is my significance, and how can I leverage what I do for eternal gain? He was ignited to use his talents to serve.

As a five-time, all-pro Miami Dolphins linebacker and owner of Offerdahl’s Café Grill, Offerdahl realized “My life is football and food.” In 2010, he integrated his love for grilling and football with his passion for helping kids in crisis, resulting in “John Offerdahl’s Broward Health® Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Tailgate Festival.” The event pairs Miami Dolphins legends with South Florida’s top chefs to prepare signature dishes on the grill as part of an exciting culinary competition for charity, which will take place on November 8 at Pompano Beach Amphitheater.

“We have an opportunity to bring two industries together – the restaurant & hotel industry with NFL football – to generate funds for faith-based agencies working alongside government to help fragmented families in our community,” Offerdahl said.

Having started his restaurant career as the “bagel boy” with the founding of Einstein Bagels, John is now matured into the “grill guy” or more aptly, the “Gridiron Griller.” He and his wife, Lynn, give back to the community through Offerdahl’s Hand-Off Foundation and its mission to “Feed the Needs of Kids in Crisis.” Beneficiaries include 4KIDS of South Florida, HOPE South Florida, Here’s Help, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Foundation, Miami Dolphins Foundation and Taste of the NFL. To purchase tickets visit

Offerdahl’s Hand-Off Foundation Helps Feed the Needs of Kids in Crisis 

Now in its fifth year, John Offerdahl’s Broward Health® Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Tailgate Festival assembles Miami Dolphins legends and some of South Florida’s best restaurants for a culinary competition that benefits Offerdahl’s Hand-Off Foundation. Since its inception, this effort has raised more than $100,000 for its charity partners, which “feed the needs of kids in crisis.”

Hope South Florida, a non-profit organization serving homeless families in Broward County by providing housing, mentoring relationships and community one-stop service centers, receives 30 percent of the proceeds. These funds can then be used to help instill hope in the homeless.

Modern-day orphans, who find themselves in foster care, also benefit as 30 percent of the proceeds are donated to 4KIDS of South Florida. The vision of 4KIDS is to find loving homes for kids who have been removed from their families due to abuse or neglect.

Katy Mills, 4KIDS, director of public relations said, “4KIDS has benefitted from The Gridiron Grill-off each year as it has brought greater awareness to the organization and the mission to provide a safe home for kids in crisis. It’s always fun to watch the chefs and the athletes come together and compete for such great causes.”

Due in part to this tribute to football, food and charity, 16 graduates from Broward County high schools were granted collegiate scholarships to pursue careers in the culinary arts and hospitality industries through the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation. Funds were also allocated to the School of the Year, Atlantic Tech, and two Broward Teachers of the Year, Culinary Instructor Scott Goodman from JP Taravella and HTMP Instructor Vicky Edgcomb from South Broward High School.

“We are grateful for the support from John Offerdahl and the Gridiron Grill-Off as it positively impacts what we are able to do,” said Anne Sallee, Broward Chapter Director for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “This extra financial support allows us to shape the lives of students who will pursue careers in the hospitality industry, hopefully returning home to be our future employees, managers and owners!”

Another beneficiary of the Gridiron Grill-Off is Taste of the NFL, which uses its funds as part of the Kick Hunger Challenge to raise money in support of food banks throughout the United States. About 10 percent of Offerdahl’s event supports Feeding South Florida, a leading domestic hunger relief organization.

Offerdahl’s Hand-Off Foundation also supports Here’s Help, a provider of residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment, annually serving 500 adolescents and young adults in Miami-Dade County, and the Miami Dolphins Foundation, devoted to supporting youth athletic programs and volunteer activities.

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