Culinary instructor has role in ESPN’s “College GameDay”

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GameDay crew with Single Barrel employees.
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GameDay preparations.
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Shad Sanford, Brandon Harpster, Payton Sandoz.

While the city of Lincoln was abuzz with excitement last Saturday because of ESPN’s “College GameDay” broadcasting outside Memorial Stadium, Southeast Community College’s own Brandon Harpster had front-row seats to the action. The Chef-Instructor at the College’s Culinary/Hospitality program also is the Executive Chef at Single Barrel Restaurant and Catering in downtown Lincoln.

“The crew of ‘GameDay’ sent out a memo to local restaurants asking for proposals of what they would do if they had the opportunity to be part of the show’s tailgate segment,” Harpster explained. “We put together a proposal, and we were lucky enough to be chosen.”

Harpster said the day started early. He and other employees arrived at Single Barrel at 4:30 a.m. to get the food and supplies ready, then got to the ESPN set by 6:15 a.m. The show ran from 8-11 a.m. Harpster was working the entire time.

“The first segment was of us cooking on the grills, which was a sponsor of the show,” he said. “After that segment, we had to wait for about an hour and a half before we presented the food on stage to the hosts, so it was some waiting and trying to keep the food in good quality before the scramble to get it plated and looking good before heading onstage. Then we went back and portioned all the food for hosts and staff to take with them after they were done.”

The menu consisted of Seafood Boil from Bourbon Street by Single Barrel containing shrimp, crab legs, crawfish, corn and potatoes; Smoked Brisket, Beef Ribs, Pork Spareribs, Andouille Sausage, Cornbread Stuffing and Cheesy Potatoes from Mulberry BBQ by Single Barrel; and Beef Volcano Chop, Beef Ribeye Tomahawk Chop with flavored Butters and grilled corn on the cob from Single Barrel.   

“We tried to represent our brands and what we do at each one,” Harpster said. “We also think it’s a good representation of what we like to eat in Nebraska. We were very honored to represent the food of Lincoln and Nebraska to the rest of the nation. It was a great experience to see behind the scenes of a large production. I didn't realize how popular the show was. The response from everyone has been amazing.”

According to ESPN, College GameDay averaged 1,939,000 viewers for last week’s show from Lincoln, and in the final hour of the broadcast, College GameDay averaged 2,289,000 viewers.

Single Barrel is located downtown Lincoln at 130 N. 10th St. and employs more than 10 SCC Culinary/Hospitality graduates and current students, including many of the chefs.

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For more information contact:
Andrea Gallagher
Marketing Specialist
402-323-3395
agallagher@southeast.edu