Guest post by Mark Jeffers, the culinary director of San Francisco’s Chase Center (the new home of NBA’s Golden State Warriors) for Bon Appétit Management Company. He is focused on creating localized experiences that reflect the Bay Area’s unique culture.

At Chase Center, our overarching goal is to create a wide-ranging menu of flavorful and creative offerings that represent an only-in-the-Bay-Area experience. We want to celebrate the diversity of cuisines and cultures in the region, and give fans something they might otherwise not be able to try without visiting specific neighborhood businesses throughout the Bay.

Because the Bay Area boasts a young and food-conscious demographic, we’ve done our best to create an arena experience that incorporates the classics while pushing the norms of what is considered “arena” food — highlighting diverse cuisines, spotlighting unique flavor profiles, and focusing on plant-based menu offerings that appeal to a wide range of palates. Through our Taste Makers at Chase Center program, we’ve partnered with dozens of local food entrepreneurs to give fans something new and different to try each time they visit.

We don’t want our guests to feel limited in their ability to find something delicious, simply because they are plant-based, so we are constantly working on evolving our offerings. We source ingredients from over 200 local farms, allowing us to offer seasonal cuisine while minimizing our carbon footprint. Fun fact: to feed the guests for a sold-out event, our culinary team purchases 3,200 pounds of fresh vegetables and 1,450 pounds of fruit. The arena itself is home to eight full kitchens, so we are able to make dishes a la minute to give fans the freshest experience possible.

We are really pleased with the feedback we’ve received since opening. Recently, guests have been raving about our Vietnamese-style garlic Brussels sprouts — they have a terrific balance of sweet, salty, spicy, and umami. The Impossible curry lumpia from The Sarap Shop has also been a huge hit with plant-based guests. When you can visit Chase Center and taste everything from steamed dumplings to an Impossible cheesesteak to vegan tacos, the food experience is as exciting as the event itself.

Photo credit: Old Skool Cafe – West African Peanut Butter Stew

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