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Attend a downtown tailgate party for Steelers/Ravens game

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The newest installment in the Taste Test auditions in York will be bringing the tailgate to West Clarke Avenue in November.

Jen Heasley, a former teacher, will bring her concept Game Day Kitchen to the Taste Test auditions in a one-day tailgate experience outside of YorKitchen.

“It’s a big ol’ party,” Heasley said. “I’m all about fun.”

Heasley first fell in love with tailgating food while studying at Penn State, where she ran track and graduated in 1993. After attending a Penn State tailgate her freshman year, she was hooked.

She’s cooked most of her life, but it was at tailgates or at sports-centered parties where she was the most motivated.

“I wanted to ramp it up each week and push myself a little further,” Heasley said.

After retiring as a science teacher at McKinley Elementary School in June, Heasley pursued her dream of cooking professionally. She published a cookbook, “The Game Day Kitchen,” and began her catering service.

Heasley’s audition will vary from prior auditions like Hamir Patel’s Indian-Fusion and Steam Asian Street Food in both experience and length.

Game Day Kitchen will use part of West Clarke Avenue to create an outdoor tailgate. Heasley will cook up tailgate classics in an all-you-can-eat buffet with foods like wings and nachos, in addition to pulled pork sliders and a variety of soups.

There will also be a cash bar from Mudhook Brewing Company, and family fun like cornhole and a DJ.

The tailgate coincides with the rivalry game between the Baltimore Ravens and Heasley’s favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“You’re not just sitting down for a meal… you’re coming for the experience,” Heasley said.

The community is invited to attend the trial tailgate and answer questions about the experience, aiding the Taste Test team make a final determination for which concepts will occupy the pop up space.

If you go…

What: The Game Day Kitchen, Taste Test audition

Where: YorKitchen, 37 W. Clarke Ave., York

When: Sunday, Nov. 6 from noon to 8 p.m.

Cost: $27 for adults, $12 for children 8-16. $15 for to-go orders (food only)


More information:; to order the "Game Day Kitchen" cookbook, head to

Anthony J. Machcinski is the food and drink reporter for FlipSidePA and the York Daily Record. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter or email him at