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Inside Levi's Stadium: A 49ers Football Food-Fest

SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) -- The San Francisco 49ers are aiming to make the food selections at Levi's Stadium in a class by themselves and are also planning the world's best tailgate party.

Star chef Michael Mina is creating a members-only, pregame tailgate club at the stadium, known simply as Michael Mina's Tailgate. "This project that I'm about to do puts my two passions in my life together. And that's sports  - and especially the 49ers and football - and cooking!" he said.

Mina has held season tickets for 25 years. His parties at the 'Stick were legendary. Now his tailgate is coming to Santa Clara.



The location: the new Bourbon Steak & Pub Restaurant at the northeast corner of the stadium. All year long, the venue will serve buttery steaks, duck fat fries, lobster, tuna tartar - you name it. But on game days, the site will add a members-only tailgate.

"You actually can't experience all of it when you come to one game," he said. "That's how decadent we want it to be."

Game-themed menus, specialty cocktails, and famous chefs will all be on hand. The cost: $5,000 for the season.

If you can't get a ticket to the tailgate, worry not! Once inside, you're not going to go hungry as long as you bring money - it won't be cheap. From a secret new recipe for garlic fries, to the red velvet cupcakes topped with gold leaf, food vendor Centerplate is serving up more than 180 different menu items. Many dishes are made from scratch.



"It's being cooked fresh," said Chef Ryan Stone. "It's not sitting in a hot box for hours."

Stone whipped up a taste test for KPIX 5 anchor Elizabeth Cook: a Mexican torta, a mean-packed pistachio muffuletta, and even a vegan navy bean kale curry.

The food can't be fresher. It's farm to fork in the true sense. Greens like an artisan romaine are harvested at the Tanimura and Antle farm in Salinas.

"You're able to get a lot of leaves out of the head so it's extremely sustainable because you're not throwing away so much of the lettuce," explained farmer Mike Antle.

The garlic is pulled fresh from the fields of Gilroy at Christopher Ranch.

"Been a 49er fan all my life, a season ticket holder. So to have them come down to Santa Clara is an amazing dream for me to come true!" said farmer Bill Christopher of Christopher Ranch.

Nearly all of the ingredients used at the stadium are locally sourced, making it better to be there. Elizabeth declared the red velvet her favorite.


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