A&P’s Announces Winners of Private Brand Tailgate Cook-off

Two New York Jets Fans won big at A&P’s Private Brand Woodson & James tailgating cook-off event, which took place before the Jets-Chargers football game on Sunday, October 23. A&P sponsored the event at MetLife stadium, where six contestants competed by cooking up the best-tasting steaks in the area.

While spectators enjoyed live entertainment with lassoing cowboys and a mechanical bull, the contestants lined up at their grilling stations and were given 90 minutes to prepare the juiciest and tastiest Woodson & James Angus steaks. The contestants brought their own marinades, sauces and spices to set their tailgating meal apart from the rest. They were rated by five judges, including A&P’s President and CEO Sam Martin, and two Jets alumni – Bruce Harper and Randy Beverly – who critiqued them on presentation, taste, originality and creativity.

The winner, Scott Schwartz of New Hyde Park, N.Y., revealed his secret to achieving a juicy grilled steak. “I like the marbleized meat,” he said. “It’s tender, easy to work with, and it tastes really good, too.” His winning combination of sesame ginger marinade, hot sauce, horseradish and spicy brown mustard made his steak stand out from the rest. And for a little extra flare, Scott used basil pesto sauce to drizzle the Jets name overtop his creation.

Scott, a 29-year-old Physical Therapist, is a huge Jets fan. According to the cook-off champion, his fiancé got him involved in this event. “Anything that involves steaks and the Jets, she knows is for me,” said Scott. He won $2,000 worth of A&P gift cards, which were presented by A&P’s Executive Vice President of Store Operations, Paul Hertz.

Scott’s Grill Master Recipe:

Step 1: Seasoning
Coat your favorite Woodson & James steak with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Step 2: Grille those steaks-a quick tip!
High heat. Light the grill and prepare it for direct grilling over high heat. Cook to desired wellness.

Step 3: Add Scott’s Secret Grill Master Marinade.

  • Original BBQ sauce
  • Sesame Ginger marinade
  • Hot sauce
  • Honey
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Spicy brown mustard
  • Horseradish

Step 4: Garnish the plate with shredded parmesan cheese, scallions, and a basil pesto sauce.

Step 5: Bon Appetite!!!

Another worthy competitor was Zoe Novendstern, a 23-year-old college student from New York City, who said the type of steak she used made all of the difference in the world. “I love how tender the Woodson & James Angus beef is compared to the other brands.” Zoe took home $1,000 worth of A&P gift cards for her stellar creation – a maple-bourbon porterhouse with chili chive garlic butter.

All of the contestants received two tickets to the Jets-Chargers game and were brought onto the field during halftime for the announcement of the winners.

A&P launched the exclusive Private Brand Woodson & James Angus Beef line in all A&P, Pathmark, Superfresh, Waldbaum’s and The Food Emporium stores in May 2011. It features USDA Choice Angus Beef that is grain-fed for premium flavor, tenderness and quality.

“These tasty and tender meats are ideal for tailgating,” said Tom O’Boyle, Executive Vice President of Merchandising, Marketing and Supply & Logistics. “It was great to see the contestants create such enticing creations using our superior Woodson & James steaks.”

For more information and recipes from the winning contestants, visit: http://www.woodsonandjames.com/cook-off-event/.



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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.