Two University of Miami Alumni Show Support For Hurricanes Football Through Tailgating, YouTube and Hot Sauce

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South Florida residents Alfonso Dager and Gary Kapit create the YouTube series “Cooking with Canes” to share their cooking skills and tell Canes fans that the Nevin Shapiro scandal won’t keep them from supporting their team.

“We’re here not only for ourselves but for all Canes fans out there. They should look for us in the parking lot and join in the fun. That’s what Hurricanes football and tailgating is all about.”

NCAA violations. Ponzi schemes. Jailed suspects. Illicit behavior. Football players taking unauthorized benefits. A program’s tarnished reputation. To say it’s been a wild pre-season for the Miami Hurricanes football program is certainly an understatement.

Despite the accusations made by former booster Nevin Shapiro, the investigations into the matter by the NCAA and the University, and various player suspensions resulting from the situation, Hurricane football fans are still eagerly anticipating the upcoming season. With a new coach on board and a slew of talent on the roster, they’re expecting great things from their team this year, no matter what happens.

Two such fans, South Florida residents and University of Miami alumni Alfonso (“Fonz”) Dager and Gary Kapit, have gone one step further, creating a YouTube video series that showcases not only their knack for fixing fantastic tailgate grub but also their unfettered dedication to their team. They call their show “Cooking with Canes.”

“This is a time of year we all look forward to, because we get to be around fellow fans and celebrate everything that Miami means to us. We try to demonstrate that in our videos,” says Kapit, cameraman and co-producer for the series. “We’re Canes fans, and we always will be. You can’t take that away from us.”

Both the devout and casual Miami fan will find much to admire in the “Cooking with Canes” series, from shots that showcase loads of official Miami gear to cleverly designed recipes that give playful nods to Hurricanes football history.

Take the “The Schnellen Burger,” for example. Named for former coach Howard Schnellenberger, who led Miami to its first championship in 1983, the tasty sandwich melds a slew of savory and tropical elements, like pineapple, mushrooms, peppers and cheese, into a unique whole that all but screams South Florida. If that weren’t enough, the sandwich boasts a garnish of green and orange pepper strips cut to resemble Miami’s trademark “U.”

“The recipes aren’t difficult to do and they’re fun to make and share,” says Dager, the affable host of the series. “This is the sort of food you look forward to eating when you’re around friends, family and Canes football fans -- and it’s a unique way to support our team.”

One of the key ingredients to their recipes is Fat Cat brand hot sauces. A boutique condiments company based in Orlando, Fla., Fat Cat was created by husband-and-wife team Eyal Goldshmid and Deborah Moskowitz. Moskowitz, also a Miami alumnus, is an avid Canes fan and a long-time season ticket holder. When she heard Dager and Kapit were putting together a series of Hurricanes-inspired tailgating recipe videos, she wasted no time in getting her company involved.

“Gary and Fonz are natural cooks,” says Moskowitz. “We’ve spent many hours tailgating with them at the Orange Bowl and at Sun Life Stadium. They make great food that real people can enjoy and appreciate. For a tailgate setting, that’s what you look for, and I felt our sauces were the perfect complement to that. I knew we had to be part of it.”

Dager and Kapit plan to produce several more recipe videos in the coming weeks, including two that will be shot on-site in the Sun Life Stadium parking lot before Miami’s games against Ohio St. and Kansas St., on September 17 and 24 respectively.

“We’re here not only for ourselves but for all Canes fans out there,” says Dager. “They should look for us in the parking lot and join in the fun. That’s what Hurricanes football and tailgating is all about, after all. Go Canes!”

For more information, or to view the “Cooking with Canes” videos, visit http://www.fatcatfoods.com/videos/ or visit the Fat Cat Foods YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/fatcatfoods.

ABOUT FAT CAT FOODS: Founded in 2011, Fat Cat Foods is a gourmet condiments and hot sauce company based in Orlando, Fla. Like many hot sauces, Fat Cat’s integrate various chile peppers, spices and other vegetables into the mix. But rather than test the limits of the Scoville scale (which measures the heat intensity of chilies and hot sauces), the company’s products highlight the flavors and quality of their ingredients first and foremost. Some of their sauces are spicy, some are mild — but each features a complex array of natural ingredients and pure flavors that complements a wide range of foods.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Eyal Goldshmid, Co-owner
Fat Cat Gourmet Foods, LLC
407-927-1771
eyal(at)fatcatfoods(dot)com

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