If you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Dodger Stadium Executive Chef Jason Tingley, you have missed out on meeting an exceptionally humorous guy who can pretty much be summed up in one word – passionate; okay maybe two words – insanely passionate.
On Tuesday and courtesy of Steve Brener, Yvonne Carrasco, Jon Weisman and Daisuke Sugiura of the Dodgers Communications Department, Tingley was given the difficult task of trying to please a group of some of the Dodgers’ harshest critics – approximately 50 of the teams most noted bloggers – by treating them to what he hopes will be well-received and exciting new food choices to be offered at Dodger Stadium this season.
Oh sure, it’s easy to say that offering up the proverbial ‘free lunch’ to a group that is well known and often kidded about their affection for food – especially Dodger Dogs – but the simple truth is that Tingley not only hit one out of the park, he hit one out of the solar system.
Truth be told, those lucky enough to receive an invitation to what the Dodgers hope will become an annual event (much to the pleasure of the bloggers) had received a copy of Tingley’s proposed 2016 menu additions, so there was already a lot of anticipation (and growling stomachs) when the Stadium Club doors opened on Tuesday. And while there was little doubt that whatever Tingley put out there would hit the spot, it’s safe to say that he far exceeded everyone’s expectations.
“The King’s Roll. Why do we need a King’s Roll? Because we’re excited this year that we can start a sponsorship with them instead of just being a customer,” Tingley said. “Like, who doesn’t like the King’s Roll for everything – burgers, hot dogs – everything? What I’ve found out from years of working here is that the fans really like simplistic foods but they’re really starting to take a look at [stadium] food in a whole new light. We think that the [King’s Hawaiian] potato bun is going to be amazing.”
And it is.
Although the King’s Hawaiian Hot Dog and the Gouda Kobe Burger on the aforementioned buns were incredible, my absolute favorite new menu item was the Shock Top Bratwurst. While it may be easy to say that a ballpark brat is a ballpark brat, this one stands head and shoulders above any bratwurst I’ve ever had – ballpark or otherwise.
“The Shock Top covers the new sponsorship that we have with them and kind of dumps the other with us,” Tingley said. “It is made with Shock Top beer and comes two different ways: there’s going to be a spicy and just a regular bratwurst. It’s going to be served down at the [Think Blue] Barbecue stand on that little space on the outside.”
Because everyone has their own individual tastes and personal preferences when it comes to ballpark fare, it would be unfair of me to suggest that what I consider to be Tingley’s best offering(s) will appeal to everyone, but I can say without hesitation that Chef Tingley’s new menu pretty much has something for everybody.
Whatever your fancy, whether a hot dog, hamburger, bratwurst, the new Chicken Verde Sandwich or Specialty Nachos Verde, chances are you’ll find one of these new menu items to your liking. If not, there’s always the original Dodger Dog … and who doesn’t like one (or two) of those?