The Eagles have brought in a startling number of heavy hitters for the 2013-2014 campaign, some of whom are acknowledged to be the best in the business.
No, it’s not help for the offensive line and the receiving corps. In a dramatic upgrade to the food offerings at Lincoln Financial Field, the team and Aramark, its exclusive food and beverage partner, have brought in Marc Vetri, owner/chef of Vetri, Amis, Osteria and Alla Spina; Jose Garces, the owner of 15 restaurants including Amada, JG Domestic and Distrito; and Peter McAndrews, the chef/owner of Mood Mio, Monsu and Paesano’s.
“These amazing chefs are considered institutions in Philadelphia,” Leonard Bonacci, the team’s vice president of event operations and event services, said in a statement.
Not that it was such a hard sell to get the three chefs to say yes, especially Vetri, who professes himself to be a lifelong Eagles fan. Still, at first glance, with four extant restaurants and two more on the way (in addition to the upcoming Pizzeria Vetri, another Osteria is slated to open later this year in the Moorestown Mall), it seems hard to believe that the quality control-obsessed restaurateur would have the time to devote to a stadium concession.
On the contrary, he says, the transition to serving Alla Spina’s Northern Italian-influenced sandwiches was a breeze. Since Aramark handles the actual day-to-day cooking at the stadium, Vetri says all he had to do was come up with the menu items, which include his take on the cheesesteak (think beer cheese) and Alla Spina’s vegetarian burger, which gets its “bloody” goodness from the addition of beets.
“We send guys down to watch Aramark occasionally,” Vetri says, “but they have really been handling the recipes.”
The process, from the initial conversation with Bonacci to the rollout of all of the new season’s offerings at a press event in a club level suite on July 30, took around a year and a half.
For Vetri, the new partnership deal has one additional benefit: he gets to one-up his sister, Montgomery County district attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.
“Now I can probably get Eagles tickets easier than she can!” he says with a laugh.