According to a report by our news partners The Seattle Times, a number of Ballard food creations will be gracing the “homeplate” of fans at Safeco Field this year.
Centerplate, the company that provides food services for Safeco and other large venues, has been working for four years with Seattle restaurateur Ethan Stowell to drum up the perfect menu for local fans.
This year Stowell pointed Centerplate’s executive chef David Dekker to local companies such as Bonache, Woodinville Whiskey Company and Oola Distillery to give the menu a local flare.
Ballard based Bonache hot sauce is apparently all the rage, topping the hot wings (pictured above) that are set to be eaten by the bucketful by Mariners’ fans. According to the article, Bonache owner Marc Olsen has already delivered 18 industrial-sized buckets of his sauces and has committed to providing a minimum of 500 gallons to Safeco throughout the season.
“For the Hit it Here Cafe we are bringing in enough of the Habanero sauce to take care of 350 seats,” Olsen wrote in an email to The Seattle Times.
Olsen reportedly had to ramp up sauce production to meet Safeco’s demands. “But the real challenge might be keeping up with new orders that come in from all the people trying his sauces for the first time,” writes Seattle Times reporter Rebekah Denn.
Local honey from Ballard Bee Company also graces the 2014 Safeco menu, being drizzled over fried cheese curds from Pike Place Market-based Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. Founder and owner Corky Luster has already provided five pounds of honey to kick off the season. “I really admire (them) looking to work with local vendors, because it’s so easy just to go to Sysco and put your order in and it’s done,” Luster told The Seattle Times.
Initially, Ballard Bee Company’s involvement at Safeco was in doubt. Dekker’s initial request for a Safeco-sized order was impossible for the local company to provide while at the same time keeping up with regular seasonal production. Dekker then tried back with a “more manageable” request and the rest was history.
“You just have to make intelligent choices as to how and when and where, and be aware if you’re in a limited supply how to back it up and work around it,” Dekker told The Seattle Times.
Seattle native Stowell, although at first hesitant, is excited to be involved with the ballpark menu. “I think the whole thing is pretty cool,” Stowell told The Seattle Times, happily referring to the idea of taking business away from national corporations and focusing on businesses in the local community.
Photos courtesy of The Seattle Times (photo credit – Geoff Smith), Bonache Sauces and Ballard Bee Company.