The Broncos may not be going to the Big Game this year, but once you move past your disappointment, you’ll be free to focus on the second-most important part of a winning Super Bowl party: the food. (The third being, of course, that everyone quiets down when the commercials are on.)

Ellen Daehnick, owner of Post Oak Hall and Helliemae’s, is here to help with that second bit. On the four Saturdays leading up to the Super Bowl, her small Texas-inspired restaurant will host a series of classes she’s calling: “Get Your Food Game Strong for the Big Game.” The four-part series, launching January 13, features food experts chatting about a single tailgate food—queso and Frito pie among them—and offering tips on the best ways to cook it at home. The item will be featured on Post Oak Hall’s menu that afternoon, so even those who can’t make it to the classes can get a taste.

“This isn’t restaurant cooking. It’s for home cooks—those of us who want to make some good food for our families on game day,” Daehnick says. “It’s been a hard football season. The Super Bowl is an event that really is about food almost as much as it’s about football. And if there’s one thing Texans love, we love tailgating and we love good food when we’re watching football.” (Daehnick is from Houston.)

Here’s what attendees can look forward to:

  • January 13: Hostess extraordinaire Tammy Abramovitz focuses on the ins and outs of Frito chili pie, a Texas comfort food classic.
  • January 20: James Beard award–winning cookbook author and soul food guru—and Coloradan!—Adrian Miller will share tips for making a beef-based chili that will please a crowd. He’ll also share the history of Pedernales River Chili, created by former president Lyndon B. Johnson’s family cook, Zephyr Wright. (Miller’s newest book, the President’s Kitchen Cabinet, examines the African-American chefs who have worked in the White House and will be available for purchase.)
  • January 27: Texan wood-smoked brisket expert Randy Lee will discuss proper rubs, wood choices, and more, so you can start smoking your own meats at home—or perfect that recipe you’ve been struggling with.
  • February 3: Daehnick will lead a conversation about queso, “the national sauce of Texas.” She’ll debate the Velveeta versus real cheese question and suggest a few different varieties of the cheesy dish. She gave us one pro tip in advance: “Don’t be afraid of mixing multiple cheeses. If you want to make queso that has beautiful depth of flavor but won’t seize up on you, mix your cheeses and include processed cheese like Velveeta or American cheddar with your tastier aged cheese, like a cheddar or a pepper jack.”

Each 30-minute session (they’re free to attend) will start at 11 a.m. and include a Q&A, so attendees should feel free to troubleshoot past issues with any of these dishes. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“People will walk out the door with more skills than they walked in with,” Daehnick says. “That’s not bad for an hour on a Saturday.”

Giving Back: The hosts are donating all lunch proceeds from their sessions to their favorite charities. Daehnick’s benefactor is the Houston SPCA, which continues to aid animals displaced and/or hurt by Hurricane Harvey.

6195 W. 44th Ave., Wheat Ridge, 303-834-7048

Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at