The Blend on Game Day at USC

Farm to Tailgate At Your Local Colleges & Universities

Over the years, college and university tailgates have become bigger and bigger, welcoming a diverse audience to cheer on their home team. Game day events are a great opportunity to capitalize on the diversity of attendees and serve healthier meal options with locally grown, sustainable produce. Make “Game Day” bigger than just the game, make it an experience that encourages eating local and healthy.

The Blend at USC

The Blend has been making its mark in colleges and universities across the country. USC was one of the first universities in the country to fully adopt the blend. In 2013, they hosted their first Shroomapolooza event highlighting mushrooms and The Blend. Focusing on an event, like tailgating, seemed like a natural evolution.

Farm to Tailgate at USC

In its continued partnership with the Mushroom Council, USC Hospitality introduced The Blend to a larger sample of the Trojan Family in a retail environment during Homecoming, which is typically one of the busiest days of the year.

The festivities took place on November 5, 2016, at Alumni Park, during the Trojan Family Game Day Experience. The grounds were open to the public 4 hours before game time allowing students and guest to sample delicious Farm to Tailgate food.

Game Day is a perfect opportunity to try new menu items based on the things your consumers already understand and know, ie. A bbq pork sandwich, substitute mushrooms for pork. Once shredded and topped with sauce, they share the same texture without the added sodium, calories and fat.


“The farm to tailgate is a fun and natural step for universities. It allows us a platform to communicate and simplify MOC principles into food commonly found on campus. Through this landscape we can reimagine the “classics” while adding elements of health, sustainability and flavor.”
~ Eric D. Ernest CEC, CCA, Executive Chef, USC Hospitality

On The Menu

The Mushroom Council served a variety of mushroom dishes including;

    • Pulled BBQ Mushrooms – Smoked & Pulled Mushrooms (Trumpet, Portabella & Shiitake) served on a Soft Roll with Fig Vinegar Apple Slaw & Honey Butternut Squash BBQ Sauce
    • 70% Beef, 30% Oyster Mushrooms – with Caramelized Onions, Cheddar Cheese, Quick Pickle Relish, Cherry-Beet Chipotle Ketchup & Oven Dried Yellow Tomato Mustard
    • 50/50 Street Tacos – Ground Chicken & Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, with Kale-Jicama Salad and Grilled Heirloom Tomato Salsa
    • Big Fork Portabella – Bacon Sausage with Shiitake Bacon Jam, Portabella Bacon, and Farmers Cheese
    • Mushroom Wings in Buffalo Sauce

Host Your own Farm to Tailgate Event using Supporting Materials from the Mushroom Council

The Mushroom Council supported USC’s Farm to Tailgate program by providing the following:

  • A twist on classic game day inspired recipe card
  • Promotional signage and mushroom display
  • Game Day and Blenditarian logos to create your own collateral and/or t-shirts for student giveaways