As Anthony Bourdain once said, “you learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” For Denver Broncos fans, Taste of the Broncos might be the next best thing to gathering around the dinner table with their favorite players. On June 16, Broncos team members will swap their orange-and-blue uniforms for aprons and hit their home stadium as sous chefs at this gourmet tailgate.

Modeled after Taste of the NFL (the gathering that occurs every year at the Super Bowl to benefit Feeding America) Taste of the Broncos is Denver’s inaugural event of this type. At $200 for general admission and $300 for VIP, tickets aren’t cheap, but attendees can rest easy knowing that the event benefits Food Bank of the Rockies, the largest private hunger relief organization in Colorado.

There’s something for every Denverite at the event: appearances from at least 15 Broncos (including quarterback Peyton Manning), music from the Colorado Symphony (in their first-ever performance at Sports Authority Field at Mile High), complimentary drinks, and delicious food from 30 Denver eateries. The stellar lineup of restaurants features many of Denver’s best, including TAG Restaurant Group, Beast & Bottle, Barolo Grill, Tables, Mizuna, and Elway’s (of course).

But the real reason not to miss this event is for the unique opportunity to catch the playful interactions between the chefs and the Broncos players—and to chat with them face to face. At a media preview, I had a blast watching Sugarmill’s pastry chef and cake artist Kelly McGeehan teach safety Omar Bolden how to decorate cupcakes with an artful swirl of peanut butter icing—and hearing about how much he likes to cook at home (his latest culinary feat? Jerk chicken). Chef Troy Guard schooled protein-obsessed outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware on his favorite way to prepare salmon for cooking at home (Guard recommends brining). As for guard Louis Vasquez and linebacker Von Miller, both prefer enjoying food over preparing it—especially when confronted with the hanger steak with edamame hummus and kale salad Old Major‘s Justin Brunson served at the media preview. At the actual event, Brunson will serve the amazing Old Major cheddar cheese biscuits with house-smoked ham and red pepper jam.

And with regard to eating orange and blue, attendees really will get to do just that—Sugarmill’s McGeehan is planning a dessert spread with colorful macarons and an elaborately decorated Bronco’s cake—maybe even in the shape of a Broncos’ jersey.

Taste of the Broncos takes place on Tuesday, June 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Purchase tickets here.

Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin is a writer living in Westminster, and has been covering food and sustainability in the Centennial State for more than five years.