<
>

JOCK CHEF: GEORGE WILSON, BUFFALO BILLS

Buffalo Bills S George Wilson was all too happy to cook up a few of his specialties during the pre-season. Raised by a single mother, Wilson says he and his brother and sister were taught that a home-cooked meal is one of the most important things in a household. While enjoying some of his mom's signature dishes, like salmon and pork chops, the Kentucky native learned tips like "making things to your taste; as long as you start with a little, you can add to it, but don't ever overdo it," Wilson says.

In 2004, when he arrived in Buffalo, Wilson says he started cooking frequently because he spent more time at home. The single 27-year-old says he's cooked for the ladies "once or twice," but mostly grills out and invites teammates over to sample his eats. He also watches the occasional cooking show, but more for recipe ideas rather than image, as he says "the chefs on TV are really particular about presentation and I'm more about taste."

But on this day, the chicken, green beans, corn and baked beans he cooked for teammates Robert Royal, Angelo Crowell and Kawika Mitchell were both presented well and tasted delicious. While the main dish is often the most important, Wilson says the green beans side are what he's most proud of. "I think I've perfected my green beans," Wilson says. "When I fix them for the first time, that's what people leave talking about." What makes them so special? Knowing how much to add of ingredients like vinegar, lemon pepper, sugar and salt, and spreading the seasoning evenly.

When not with his family, Wilson says they talk on the phone and often share recipe ideas. "It's amazing how the older we've gotten, we've started cooking more and calling each other about recipes we're trying," Wilson says. Still, he's all too happy to head home in the off-season and let mom take charge. "Whenever I go home," Wilson says, "I don't have a hard time staying full."

(Apparently his teammates were content as well. Wilson was voted a team captain this week.)

RECIPES