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Mariners ballpark food, Marco Pollo sandwich
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Mariners bring ballpark food to your home with cooking demo, recipes from T-Mobile Park executive chef

The Marco Pollo sandwich. (Courtesy Photo)

This year is a bummer for baseball fans who look forward to sitting in the stands of a stadium, a hot dog in one hand and a cold beer in the other. But T-Mobile Park is doing its best to recreate some of the experiences at home.

On Friday, July 31, at 12 p.m., Seattle restaurateur Ethan Stowell and Taylor Park, Centerplate’s T-Mobile Park Executive Chef, are co-hosting a video cooking demonstration on the Mariners YouTube channel. They’ll be making a few of the recipes they developed for this season that fans won’t get to taste at the stadium.

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Chef Park says the punny “Marco Pollo” sandwich was created in honor of the Mariners’ 2020 Opening Day starting pitcher Marco Gonzalez. “Pollo” means chicken in Spanish.

“I created a Hispanic style torta sandwich with refried black beans, pickled jalapenos, a corn salsa, avocado, sour cream, and chicken tinga, which is a chicken thigh braised in chipotle and onions,” Park said. “A nice, warm, hearty sandwich.”

Marco Pollo Sandwich

This is ballpark food, so of course they’ll be grilling up some Hempler’s hot dogs.

“Ethan Stowell and I go back and forth as to what his favorite hot dog is and what mine is,” Park said. “I’m a purist. I like mine lightly simmered, put on the grill for a quick char and get that grill flavor on it, and just mustard. I don’t know if I could have too much mustard on my hot dog.”

They’ll be stirring up a couple cocktails too, like the Mariners Margarita and a drink they created for this season, the Magenta Mojo, a hot pink, tequila-based take on the Moscow Mule. For dessert, they’ll assemble an ice cream sandwich.

“Two, six-ounce Metropolitan Market ‘The Cookies,'”said Chef Park, describing a cookie locals go wild for. “And we have Lopez Island ice cream, which we put in the middle. If you were able to come to the stadium, we would roll it in your favorite two toppings — whether its Fruity Pebbles, or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or chocolate sprinkles.”

You’ll be able to download the recipe cards during and after the YouTube premier so you can recreate the dishes, ideally before watching or listening to the Mariners game at home.

While there aren’t any fans to cook for right now, Chef Park is hard at work cooking for the players on game days. But COVID-19 has changed the way the players are fed.

“Everything has to be individually packaged. So if I’m doing a teriyaki chicken with fried brown rice and some vegetables, each component has to go into its own individually packaged container,” he said. “The players get tested for COVID-19 every two days, if not every day, but with that we want to make sure that the players aren’t opening up the plastic containers, looking at it, closing it, putting it back. So it’s a clear top plastic container so they can see it. That way there’s no potential for cross-contamination. We feel it’s just safer.”

Before cooking at T-Mobile Park, Chef Park was an executive sous chef at CenturyLink Field with the Seahawks, and executive sous chef for Oracle Arena and the Golden State Warriors. Having cooked for a variety of athletes in a variety of sports, I wondered what the similarities and differences were.

“Tennis players were by far the healthiest that I’ve fed,” he said. “I was the executive chef for Palm Springs Indian Wells for the Paribas Open down there and these guys were straight green kale smoothies every day. No sugar in their diets. These are, legit, the healthiest people I’ve ever met in my life!”

If you’re not a tennis player and you want to whip up some Marco Pollo sandwiches, or maybe an ice cream sandwich with a giant cookie, click here to watch the cooking demonstration.

Listen to Rachel Belle’s James Beard Award nominated podcast, “Your Last Meal,” featuring celebrities like Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, Rainn Wilson, and Greta Gerwig. Follow @yourlastmealpodcast on Instagram!

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