Chef José Andrés Joins Verizon Center’s Culinary Roster

Acclaimed Chef Partners with Aramark to Bring His Award-Winning Cuisine to Arena Guests

PHILADELPHIA, PA (October 17, 2016) – Monumental Sports & Entertainment and Aramark, Verizon Center’s concessionaire, today announced a “pop up” collaboration with internationally acclaimed culinary pioneer and innovator Chef José Andrés that will bring his award-winning talent and cuisine to Washington Capitals and Wizards fans, as well as concert, family show and sporting event guests during the 2016-17 season.


The alliance is part of Aramark’s Launch Test Kitchen, an innovative, flexible dining concept designed to showcase local chefs, introduce new items and quickly adopt food trends. Located on Verizon Center’s main concourse by section 105, Launch Test Kitchen is equipped with a guest feedback component, inviting fans to share which items they enjoy the most.

Launch Test Kitchen will showcase Chef Andrés’ breadth of culinary offerings by featuring rotating menus from three of his renowned DC-based ThinkFoodGroup restaurants during the 2016-17 season, beginning with Beefsteak. The new stand had its soft launch on Saturday, Oct. 15.

Commented Andrés, “The Verizon Center has long been the centerpiece of our Penn Quarter neighborhood, home to many of my DC restaurants, so I’m thrilled to be able to share some of our concepts, via Aramark, with the fans of my beloved Wizards and Caps and all those who come to Verizon Center this fall and winter!”

“We’re excited to be working with Aramark on this new dining concept with one of the most world-renowned Chefs,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment president of venues David Touhey. “Chef Andrés has several restaurants local to the D.C. area and being able to integrate this new food concept with a rotating menu of food options from his expansive restaurant group at Verizon Center is fantastic. Fans will now have the opportunity to experience some local fare from Chef Andrés throughout the coming season.”

“The new Launch Test Kitchen and our partnership with José Andrés is the latest example of Aramark’s ongoing commitment to working with Verizon Center to develop innovative concepts that further elevate the arena’s dining experience,” said Carl Mittleman, president of Aramark’s Sports & Entertainment division. “Chef Andrés is one of the most distinguished and respected culinarians in the world, and we are proud to be partnering with him to bring his award-winning cuisine to fans and guests visiting Verizon Center.”

Beefsteak is the latest concept by ThinkFoodGroup, featuring hearty bowls of farm-fresh, flash-prepared vegetables served atop a choice of warm grains or cool greens, along with house-made sauces, a variety of crisp and fresh toppings, and optional meatier additions. Launch Test Kitchen’s initial Beefsteak pop menu will feature the following, ranging in price from $6 to $12:

Beefsteak Tomato Burger
Beefsteak Tomato, Pickled Red Onions, Sprouts, Caper Herb Mayo, Olive Oil, Sea Salt, served on an Olive Oil Brioche Bun

Gazpacho Bowl
Tomato Gazpacho, Romaine, Scallion, Cherry Tomato, Cucumber Salad, Sprouts, Radish and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Naked Bowl
Yellow Squash, Potatoes, Mushrooms, Cabbage, Broccoli, Green Beans, Garlic Yogurt and Topped with Romaine, Pumpkin Seeds, Cherry Tomato, Radish and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Eden Bowl
Quinoa, Snowpeas, Edamame, Green Beans, Broccoli, Zucchini, Cilantro, Garlic Yogurt, Romaine, and Topped with Cucumber Salad, Scallions, Sprouts, Sesame Seeds and Lemon Honey Dressing

Frida Kale Bowl
Rice, Kale, Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Spicy Tomato, and Topped with Cherry Tomato, Scallions, Corn Nuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Cranberries and Lemon Honey Dressing

Kimchi-wa Bowl
Rice, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Cabbage, Edamame, Bok Choy, Garlic Yogurt Sauce, and Topped with Scallions, Sesame Seeds, Corn Nuts, Kimchi and Soy Ginger Dressing 

About Chef José Andrés
Named as one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” and awarded “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, author, educator, television personality, humanitarian and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. A pioneer of Spanish tapas in the United States, he is also known for his groundbreaking avant-garde cuisine and his award-winning group of 25 restaurants located throughout the country and beyond. His innovative minibar by José Andrés was awarded two Michelin stars in 2016, one of the first restaurants in Washington, D.C. to be recognized by the institution. Additional DC area restaurants include Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, China Chilcano and America Eats Tavern as well as Beefsteak and Pepe food truck. Andrés’ work has earned awards and distinctions such as the 2015 National Humanities Medal, one of 12 distinguished recipients of the award from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Outstanding American by Choice award, presented by President Obama.

About Verizon Center
Verizon Center is a 20,000-seat multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue, owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE), in downtown Washington, D.C. The arena is home to four professional sports teams, also owned by MSE, which include the AFL’s Washington Valor, NBA's Washington Wizards, NHL's Washington Capitals and WNBA's Washington Mystics. MSE also oversees management of Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the state-of-the-art training facility for the Capitals, and George Mason University's EagleBank Arena. Hosting an average of 220 events per year, inclusive of games, concerts, family shows and world-class sporting events, as well as home games for the NCAA’s Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team, Verizon Center sits at the heart of an $8.8 billion redevelopment of downtown Washington, D.C., that began 18 years ago when the arena opened.

About Aramark
Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, state-of-the-art healthcare providers, the world’s leading educational institutions, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world. Our 270,000 team members deliver experiences that enrich and nourish millions of lives every day through innovative services in food, facilities management and uniforms. We work to put our sustainability goals into action by focusing on initiatives that engage our employees, empower healthy living, preserve our planet and build local communities. Aramark is recognized as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE, as well as an employer of choice by the Human Rights Campaign and DiversityInc. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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