Joe Montana on Super Bowl snacks and his wife’s cooking

Joe Montana says in the kitchen that his skills are just “OK.” (Photo: Getty; designed by Zana Kaba)

Because food connects us all, Yahoo Life serves up a huge board full of table conversations with people who are passionate about what’s on their menu in Deglazeda series about food.

NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to ever grace a football field, but when it comes to cooking a meal, the four-time Super Bowl champion is just “OK.” The former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs always seemed to keep his cool in the pocket and was a master at chopping down defenses on the field, but it’s his wife who does more “spectacular things” in the kitchen.

“I do all the easier things and everyday things,” Montana tells Yahoo Life. “I love to cook outside. I love the grill. I love the pizza oven. Unfortunately, I think I make more mess, so she let me put two burners outside so I can keep the grease or my spills to a minimum to limit. .”

His wife, Jennifer, is the sane one, but she can serve up some incredible guilty pleasures. “Jennifer has learned to make a ridiculously good fried chicken without batter,” says Montana. “It’s all dry rub from a Southern recipe from the mother-in-law of one of my old wide receivers. She also makes a great Philly cheesesteak that she learned from Steve Martorano in Fort Lauderdale.”

One of the 66-year-old’s favorite food traditions goes back generations. “My grandmother used to make ravioli for midnight mass,” he says. “Everyone went to midnight mass and came back to her house. She lived with my aunt and uncle, who had seven children, and she made ravioli with meat, cheese, egg and spinach filling and her own homemade sauce. We would all go to 1:30 in the morning back to her house and let Ravioli and Jennifer try to keep that alive.

When it comes to comfort food, the two-time NFL Most Valuable Player is a meat and potatoes man. “I’d say a good cheeseburger and good fries, which is hard to find these days,” he says of his favorite comfort food order. “I love double cheeseburgers — that’s probably my most guilty pleasure, especially on the road in airports. It’s easier to find a fast food place than anything else.” While he likes them all, Montana’s favorite go-to on the west coast is In-N-Out Burger. If pizza is an option, his go-to is a margherita with anchovies or pepperoni and sausage.

With the big game just around the corner, the three-time Super Bowl MVP says no party is complete without chicken wings and “potato chips with sour cream and onion dip.” When attending an NFL game, he sticks to “an old-fashioned hot dog, popcorn, and salted peanuts in shells.”

“You know,” he says, “things to keep you busy during the game.”

The one food that causes Montana to interfere with his healthy appetite is curry, which his wife likes to make from scratch. “I don’t know what it is,” he says. “She makes it and she loves it. It’s just something with the taste that doesn’t sit well with me.”

Montana spoke to Yahoo Life to discuss its partnership with Guinness Gives Back, which has donated more than a million dollars to food banks across the country. Guinness is asking people to pledge 10 hours or more of community service between now and January 2024, to reach a goal of one million hours. The two-time NFL Comeback Player of the Year is partnered with Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow for the campaign. “Joe and I try to have a little fun along the way and help people get out there and help their communities,” says Montana. “Guinness is looking for a commitment of over a million hours, so we hope we can help them achieve that and you know, who doesn’t love a good Guinness?”

The eight-time Pro Bowler shares when he really discovered Guinness: “I fell in love with Guinness in Ireland. I was there looking at horses and our trainer’s husband suggested we go to the pub and get Guinness.”

“He says, ‘I’ll order the beer you sit down.’ He comes back and I go, ‘Where’s the beer?’ He says, “You have to wait for it, it takes a while to pour,” adds Montana. “Every afternoon from then on, I’d say, ‘Is it time for a Guinness now?'”

The Philadelphia Eagles will take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, February 12. Montana says the Eagles have been the cream of the crop all season, while Kansas City has looked “human” at times this year.

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