SBJ/July 14 - 20, 2003/MLB At Midseason

Levy Restaurants gets its first start as caterer to all-stars’ clubhouses

Levy Restaurants is preparing for the first time to cater the clubhouses when Major League Baseball's All-Star Game is played Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.

The Chicago-based premium food service provider, which signed its first sports facility contract 21 years ago at the old Comiskey Park, doesn't usually feed players at the home of the White Sox.

Normally, White Sox executive chef Roy Rivas or clubhouse equipment manager Vince Fresso decides the menu, whether it's "ribs, pizza or Chinese food," with input from the players, according to White Sox media relations representative Katie Kirby.

But the White Sox and MLB determined that Levy would be best for the All-Star Game. Levy staffers geared up to feed a group of 100 people that included players, managers, coaches and other on-field personnel.

Levy regional executive chef Ron Krivosik said the most prominent menu items in the clubhouse would be "high-protein" foods such as pasta, beef and chicken, plus fresh vegetables and fruits.

"We looked at the different ethnic backgrounds and will also be serving sushi. We want to make sure everyone's happy," he added, alluding to American League all-stars Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui, both of whom come from Japan.

"They can load up on carbs or go light on salads. We proposed everything to MLB, and they were fine with it. If a player asks for something special, we'll whip it up."

Levy also caters to 103 luxury suites, 1,800 club seats and the Stadium Club at U.S. Cellular Field. Sportservice has the regular concessions contract.

Krivosik said he was excited to showcase on the club level the "Martini Luge," a large ice formation in which vodka is poured through a frozen tunnel, coming out chilled on the other end.

"We've done a few others, but we're going to deck this one out. It's huge, 10 feet by 8 feet," Krivosik said.

Also on the club level, Levy planned a "Maxwell Street" concept, themed after Chicago's famous open-air flea market, offering Polish sausage with caramelized onions, pork chop sandwiches and foot-long hot dogs.

In the suites, Krivosik said, "We tried to keep everything Midwestern-style, with our classic beef tenderloin, babyback ribs, salads, dips and spreads."

A regional departure: Crab Louis cocktail and the "All American Raw Bar" with lobster tail, shrimp and jumbo lump crabmeat.

Luxury-suite patrons willing to upgrade their entrees could choose to have lamb chops with skillet potatoes or veal chop stuffed with prosciutto and served with polenta.

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