The program includes healthy, local food options.
Rick Wineman, the new executive chef at Angel Stadium, took one long look at the empty 45,000-seat stadium and grasped the daunting task before him.
"I realized that my job is to make sure everyone in their seats has a great time and has wonderful food," said Wineman, who came to Angel Stadium from the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Indeed, he faces a grand assignment given the not-so-impressive reputation sports venues have when it comes to food. But Wineman has a few tricks up his sleeve.
In revamping the stadium menus this year, he's going after America's love for sandwiches, hot dogs and burgers. He's also jumping on the farm fresh bandwagon, a hot trend playing out in upscale restaurants. Fans will find more made-from-scratch meals and healthier foods geared for vegetarians, kids and people with food allergies.
"Everywhere you go, we're going to be fresh, fresh, fresh," said Wineman, who works for vendor Aramark.
During a phone interview, Wineman shared the update on the stadium's new "farm to fan" food program, which kicks off opening day, April 8:
Gourmet sandwiches: Inspired by sampling gourmet grilled sandwiches from local food trucks, Wineman has whipped up three hot sandwiches for fans: Angelito's Jalapeno Bacon Club, House Smoked Beef Brisket Griller and Angels Smoked Pastrami Reuben.
Many of the ingredients used in the sandwiches are locally sourced, and the brisket and pastrami will be smoked in-house.
"Most stadiums do not do that," Wineman said.
But there's a catch: Fans will have to vote (online at angels.com/sandwichvote or at the stadium) for the most drool-worthy sandwich during the first half of the season. The winner will get a permanent spot on the stadium menu. The winning sandwich will be announced after the All-Star break. All three sandwiches will be sold at the BBQ by Gate 2. The bacon club will be sold at the Chix stand in section 103. The brisket griller will be on the Panini Café menu in section 112, and in section 334 of the Club Level.
Angels Harvest: Concessions at the 1st and 3rd base food courts will offer an alternative menu for stadium visitors looking for more than standard ballpark fare of nachos, hot dogs and peanuts. About 15 healthier and lighter food items will be sold at the Angels Harvest food stands such as veggie dogs, gluten-free sandwiches, locally sourced fresh fruit, black bean burgers, veggie wraps and an organic market green salad. The stand will offer foods from Melissa's Produce, a Los Angeles distributor of specialty fruits and vegetables.
Wineman said the veggie dog will be made of "fresh vegetables with natural binders" and the black bean burger will be made with sunflower seeds and served on a vegan tapioca bun. Some items might also be available in regular concession stands throughout the park.
Specialty Hot Dogs: Last year, the stadium introduced the bacon-wrapped Halo Dog for the All-Star Game at the Major League Dogs concession stands. The Halo Dog will stick around along with a New York Coney Dog and a Kansas City BBQ Dog. Location: Section 259 and 424.
Knothole & Diamond clubs: The menus at the two restaurants for premium ticket holders have been revamped to focus on locally sourced foods. Instead of buffet-style service at the Diamond Club, Wineman said the restaurant will feature regional cuisine in tapas-style format. Cooks will prepare dishes in front of diners. "We're taking the cooks out of the kitchen, and putting them out front," Wineman said. Aramark's "farm to fan" menu will feature a variety of salads made with locally sourced greens and brisket smoked in-house.
The Diamond Club menu will also add the "It's in the alley" hot dog -- a half pound dog wrapped in smoked applewood bacon and topped with Anaheim chili peppers, onions, pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole.
"It's off the hook," Wineman said.
"It's off the hook," Wineman said.
Aramark said the focus on locally sourced foods will not result in an increase menu prices.