Seattle’s Safeco Field gets food concession with local ingredients, menus by award-winning chefs

Buh-bye, limp hot dogs in soggy buns. Baseball season starts April 1st, and Seattle’s Safeco Field–go, Mariners–is celebrating its first home game on the 8th with some serious food.
Centerplate, the leading hospitality provider to North America’s premier sports stadiums, has developed a partnership with award-winning Seattle chef Ethan Stowell, as well as chefs Roberto Santibañez, owner of Brooklyn’s Fonda/culinary director of Hoboken’s The Taco Truck, and Bill Pustari, chef-owner of New Haven’s Modern Apizza.

The revamped Bullpen Market at Safeco Field will feature fresh, local ingredients and easy-on-the-budget prices. In addition to an Apizza outlet, there is chef Stowell’s Hamburg + Frites, and La Crêperie, and Flying Turtle Cantina/Tortugas Voladoras from Santibañez.

Says John Sergi, Chief Design Officer of Centerplate, “Our mission was to create a restaurant-style experience–the anti-fast food–in a concession environment. We (brought in) Ethan as our consulting chef…in order to help us make the food ‘restaurant-real.’

Stowell is the executive chef and owner of Ethan Stowell Restaurants, which includes Tavolàta, Anchovies & Olives, and How to Cook a Wolf. He is the acting chef at eight-month-old Staple & Fancy Mercantile, in Seattle’s gorgeously revamped Kolstrand Building in the Ballard neighborhood.

Best-known for his use of local ingredients and simple, seasonal food, Stowell was named one of the 2008 Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine magazine and has been honored with multiple James Beard Award nominations for “Best Chef Northwest.” Santibañez and Pustari were added to the line-up to create programs featuring the signature concepts for which they are both nationally acclaimed–Mexican food and pizza. I might get into sports if this is the future of stadium food.

Photo of the Day (05.03.10)

Many years ago, I went to a baseball game that started at 1:05pm. I arrived at noon to avoid the crowds, get something to eat and enjoy the afternoon sun. When I arrived, a very intoxicated man was getting thrown out of the stadium for making a scene. I was impressed horrified that he could get so drunk so early in the day. He wasn’t just buzzed. This was a man who had clearly started drinking early in the morning with the intent to show off his knowledge of curse words. I never really understood getting that drunk at sporting events. After paying for tickets, parking, food and souvenirs, it’s an incredibly expensive activity. I want to enjoy that investment and not spend my money on bad $7 beer.

That’s why I love this photo by Flickr user ncarling. There’s something serene about it. It’s as if everyone there truly cares about the game and its outcome. Well, of course they do. They’re Cubs fans. Every year holds the promise of forgetting the past and finally celebrating a championship. I just hope that they celebrate responsibly. Getting drunk is expensive.

Have a picture of a sporting event or other large gathering of people behaving (or misbehaving)? Submit your travel images to Gadling’s Flickr group right now and we might use it for a future Photo of the Day