Fine dining has taken on a new meaning at Fenway Park as Executive Chef Ron Abel transitions Fenway fare into legs of lamb, and arugula salad with locally sourced goat cheese, beets and heirloom tomatoes. I am taken aback by what I didn’t know hours ago and what I know now. As a foodie and graduate of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, 2007, I should be ashamed. Fenway Park truly is a ‘diamond in the rough’ when it comes to fine dining and food. That is, since Chef Ron took it under his wing.
He has transitioned a basic ballpark menu of traditional Fenway Franks ( which we all love and remain on the menu), beer, and burgers, into delectable lobster salad with lemon aioli, and fresh chives and scallions placed meticulously on top, and set in a warm, housemade bun. How does he do it? After all, consistency is key to a successful operation, yet there are, on a sold out day, 36,000 fans who attend the game. That means there are a potential 36,000 mouths to feed. That alone deserves a round of applause! Chef Ron graduated from Johnson and Wales in 1987 with an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts. Following graduation he studied under famed chefs such as Lydia Shire of Biba, and worked in one of Boston’s best restaurants, Icarus, until he found his home at Fenway. His desire for local, sustainable, seasonal ingredients has made a presence unfathomable to a ballpark. That is until now. With over 100 employees working under him, and 5 Sous chefs, and managing various locations throughout the ballpark, we need not complain about our jobs and how stressful they are. Lets take a moment to appreciate his talent and drive, stamina and love for food.
It was in 2006 Chef Ron entered the gates of Fenway Park and began to reconstruct a menu that would suite the needs of foodies while still satisfying the stereotypical fan. He’s thus far presented Wellfleet oysters at Fenway’s Premium Club, and asparagus soup made with fresh, local asparagus at EMC’s fine dining establishment. The beer, burgers, famed Fenway Franks and sodas remain intact, but the options are there for the more open minded individual. Likewise, Chef Ron not only puts his heart in the quality of his food but also in where it’s sourced. Local farmers have gone as far as reserving land specifically for Fenway’s eclectic cuisine.
Let the games begin as we, as fans, put forth our pride in not only Boston’s best team of players, the Boston Red Sox, but also in its culinary talent. Thanks to Chef Ron Abell Fenway Park is on its way to being a Culinary Mecca.