Wayne Kostroski, 2010 James Beard Humanitarian of the Year, is founder of the Taste of the NFL, a non-profit organization that raises awareness and dollars for hunger relief. Now entering its 27th year, the Taste of the NFL has helped distribute more than $25 million for local and national food banks across America.
Kostroski founded the Taste of the NFL in 1992 while serving as chair of the Restaurant Committee for the Super Bowl XXVI Task Force. He created the TNFL’s first “Party with a Purpose®” that has since become a coveted event of Super Bowl weekend. On the eve of Super Bowl Sunday, 32 of the nation’s best chefs (one from each NFL city) and a current or alumni player from each NFL team come together for a night of food, fun and football. All event proceeds support local and national hunger organizations.
A well-known Twin Cities’ restaurateur, Kostroski is co-owner of Cuisine Concepts, a consulting and management company specializing in the hospitality industry, which also includes Franklin Street Bakery in Minneapolis. His entrée into the food and hospitality industry began in the late 1970s. A professional musician at the time, he entered into the restaurant business as the beverage and entertainment manager for the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres and the St. James hotel in Red Wing, MN. Since then he has played an instrumental role at several of the Twin Cities’ premier dining and entertainment establishments, including Figlio’s, Goodfellow’s, Tejas and Bar Abilene.