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Is Jesse Palmer food’s number one fan? He might be.

Jesse didn’t start out in the food world; he was a pro-footballer in the NFL.  Since retiring from the gridiron, he hosted the first two seasons of Recipe to Riches and is now the host of Food Network Canada’s new series, Food Truck Face Off. But his love for food still has to share his heart with football: he’s also a football commentator for ESPN and TSN.

Jesse’s originally from Ottawa and grew up in a family with an “amazing” cook for a mom.  His love of food started young with his mom introducing him to exotic dishes — Moroccan tagines (lamb, chicken with preserved lemons) — and instilling in him a love of spicy food. Jesse also told us she makes a “tremendous” Texas-style chili.  You know what else is big in Texas? Football. That is probably not a coincidence.

There’s something else that pairs really well with football and that’s Thanksgiving. We asked Jesse what his perfect Thanksgiving menu would be. His answer surprised us. Instead of going for the traditional turkey with all the fixings, he loves his mom’s prime rib beef roast with all of its traditional English fixings: Yorkshire pudding, gravy, smashed peas, roasted carrots and roasted potatoes. With maybe a bit of remorse, he says his dad is really partial to turkey (his mom makes a great turkey, too) but he and his brothers get their way for the holiday. Now that’s a good defensive play! Or would that be an offensive play?

Want to skip the turkey this year and try Thanksgiving à la Jesse?
Try these prime rib roast recipes from our Food Network Canada hosts:

And don’t forget those traditional side dishes Jesse loves:

Catch Jesse on Food Truck Face Off when it premieres Sunday, October 12th at 8pm ET.
Food Truck Face Off pits four food truck teams to see which food delivers the best eats on the street. The winning team gets their own food truck for one year.

Find out more about the show on the show website here.

Follow Jesse on Instagram here: @jessepalmerespn.

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