Taste of the Championship: Good Food for a Better Cause

Atlanta’s top chefs treat fans to exclusive foodie event ahead of national championship game to support the CFP Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers platform

ATLANTA (October 25, 2017) – On Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation will host an exclusive foodie event from the country’s best chefs, including local favorites, for a great cause. The “Taste of the Championship” event will feature gourmet food and beverages from notable restaurants and breweries with all proceeds going toward the CFP Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers platform.

“Taste of the Championship presents great entertainment and amazing cuisine, all in a world-class venue like the Georgia World Aquarium,” said CFP Foundation executive director, Britton Banowsky. “The best part of the event is that proceeds support teachers throughout Atlanta that are working hard to educate the next generation.”

Ticket buyers will celebrate teachers from around the nation while enjoying live music and chef demonstrations from the best of Atlanta’s culinary community, including:

  • Matt Basford, Executive Chef, Canoe
  • Johnathan and Justin Fox- Chef/Owners, Fox Bros Bar-B-Q
  • Ford Fry, Chef-Owner, Ford Fry Restaurants
  • Kevin Gillespie, Chef-Owner, Red Beard Restaurants
  • Rusty Hamlin, Executive Chef/Partner, Atkins Park Restaurant; Touring Chef for Zac Brown Band, Food Network Star season 13 finalist
  • Eddie Hernandez, Executive Chef, Taqueria del Sol
  • EJ Hodgkinson, Executive Chef, King + Duke
  • Pat Pascarella, Executive Chef, The Optimist
  • Michael Perez, Executive Chef, Donetto
  • Kevin Rathbun, Chef-Owner, Rathbun Restaurants
  • Todd Richards, Executive Chef-Owner, Richards’ Southern Fried
  • Matthew Ridgway, Executive Chef, Cooks & Soldiers
  • Savannah Sasser, Executive Chef, Hampton & Hudson
  • Joey Ward, Executive Chef, Gunshow

“Nothing brings people together like good food and this event will provide a unique way to unite the community right before the big game for this special cause,” Carl Adkins, Atlanta Football Host Committee executive director said. “We look forward to showcasing Atlanta’s diverse culinary community at Taste of the Championship.”

The “Taste of the Championship” event will be held at the Georgia Aquarium on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, from 7:00-10:00 p.m. VIP tickets can be purchased for $350 and include access to special VIP areas, private entrance and early access. General admission can be purchased for $250. Tickets may be purchased at this link.  All proceeds from the event will benefit Extra Yard for Teachers, which elevates the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering teachers through the implementation of programs in four focus areas: resources, recognition, recruitment and professional development.

This is one of many events the CFP Foundation will host in the days leading up to the national championship game on Jan. 8, 2018, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. For a list of events and more information on how to get involved visit:

About the Atlanta Football Host Committee 

Formed in 2016 under the Championship Hosting Division of the Atlanta Sports Council, the Atlanta Football Host Committee (AFHC) serves as an extension of the College Football Playoff Group in the local community. The organization is responsible for assisting with the planning and production of the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship and accompanying fan events. The AFHC is comprised of local leaders in business, sports and tourism and their mission is to host a one-of-a-kind championship experience for student-athletes, university representatives, media and college football fans. For more information visit:

About the College Football Playoff and Extra Yard for Teachers

The College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation is the charitable arm of the College Football Playoff, supporting education across the country. The CFP Foundation’s primary platform, Extra Yard for Teachers, elevates the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering teachers through the implementation of programs in four focus areas: resources, recognition, recruitment and professional development. The CFP Foundation utilizes multiple partnerships to execute its initiatives and support positive educational outcomes. For more information, visit