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  • Benjamin Gerstel

Lunch with the Yankees' Chefs

Earlier this week, the Yankees hosted a lunch for the media. Their head chefs, Marcus Samuelsson and Matt Gibson were both in attendance as well. The media was allowed to try everything from Korean BBQ fries, to Greek food and thick, juicy burgers as well. In an effort to connect with the community more, the Yankees were able to unite people through a common interest that all of us had: food.

To begin the event, Chef Matt Gibson addressed the media as a whole, and thanked a few people on top of that. Gibson described how thankful he was for the past year and the partners he has made in that time, including people like Samuelsson. With some friendly advice to conclude his opening statements, Gibson told the media that the event “was a marathon, and not a sprint.” He was not lying, as there was an endless supply of phenomenal food staring right at us.

Samuellson and Gibson are two of the most decorated chefs in the world, and the Yankees have them both on their roster. Marcus Samuelsson was the youngest chef to ever obtain a three-star review and he was also named “Best Chef: NYC” by the James Beard Foundation in 2003. He has a plethora of restaurants, has been featured on Iron Chef, Chopped All-Stars, The Today Show and others, and has been honored at the White House, for one of the most illustrious resumes in the cooking industry. Gibson is also a legendary chef, who has been making Thanksgiving meals for his family since he was just thirteen years old. Considering they were born on opposite sides of the world, and they are two of the best chefs in the world, it’s a blessing to have both right here at Yankee Stadium. I interviewed them both about their inspiration to become a chef, and here’s what they each had to say:

Samuelson: “Yeah um, I cooked all my life. It’s something we did in my family a lot, not professionally but I had ambition and I was good at it. I had a chance to travel with food and you know, I think when you come to a place like this, like Yankee Stadium, you think about everything that happened on the field, and all of the battles that took place and that motivates your mission.” Samuelsson also described how his diverse background (Ethiopian/Swedish) has influenced his culinary skills. “For me, I’ve changed a lot just like any, I’ve evolved. I have a global background, and when you add traveling to that, my food constantly evolves. Because I’m curious, I want to know about how all cultures eat. After eating all that chicken there’s still a new way that I don’t know about.

Gibson: “Honestly, my mom didn’t cook, and I got tired of eating TV dinners. So, I started watching cooking shows on public television instead of cartoons on the weekends. And, fell in love with it, cooked at home, starting cooking large meals for the families, and then I got my first restaurant job at 15 and a half.”

It was a pleasure interviewing both of them, and the Yankees luncheon was a massive success today. With everything from local breweries, to Samuelsson’s famous Streetbird, the Yankees displayed an arsenal of high-end food that will be available to fans all season long.

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