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Food and beverages at CenturyLink Field are about to be even more local, better

First & Goal Hospitality takes over the CLink contract.

The Retreat Palm Springs 2016  - Day 1 Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for [is.]

Normally a change of hospitality provider at a stadium is boring. Massive multi-nationals have a history of bland-ifying everything. This is not normal. This is a great local chef helping establish CenturyLink Field, and WaMu Theater, as great mass dining experiences.

First & Goal Hospitality launched on March 1, 2017. First & Goal is within the umbrella of Paul Allen’s investments. Seattle Sounders supporters, Seattle Seahawks fans, concert goers and convention attendees will benefit.

FGH is committed to delivering a world-class food and beverage experience at CenturyLink Field, CenturyLink Event Center and the WaMu Theater by continually exceeding the expectations of the venue’s guests and fans. Award-winning executive chef and founder of Huxley Wallace Collective Josh Henderson

Wait. Stop right there. Josh Henderson? Founder of Skillet, that Henderson? Yes, that Henderson. Chef Henderson later founded the Huxley Wallace Collective. You likely know of them for Qualify Athletics, or their James Beard nominations, or Westward, Great State Burgers, or Poulet Galore.

Huxley Wallace will transform one concession stand to a version of their Poulet Galore restaurant featuring rotisserie chicken, crispy chicken sandwiches and chicken wings.

Ok, that’s great. That’s really great. I’m a flavor nut. Lots of SaH staffers are flavor nuts. This is good news, but Henderson on his own may be a bit overwhelmed. Maybe this is just corp-speak. Someone else is going to be the Executive Chef, for sure? Yes.

Henderson, along with CenturyLink Field Executive Chef Michael Johnson and the FGH leadership team, will collaborate on a newly formed Chef’s Council to lead a board of up-and-coming local chefs who will make recommendations for and contribute to the menus for catering, concessions, and suites at the stadium, event center and WaMu Theater.

Henderson and this Chef’s Council are about the vision. Johnson is the implementation. Who is Michael Johnson?

He’s the guy that modernized and localized SafeCo Field’s concessions in 2014-15 and then transitioned to Delware North while they were managing CenturyLink concessions. He also has soccer experience with CommunityAmerica Ballpark (former home of the Kansas City Wizards). Chef Johnson has done this before.

The slow transformation from mass produced corporate food into a stadium that features great local companies like Kraken Congee and Beecher’s Cheese has taken some time. In 2017, it will take leaps forward.

For a region renowned for Asian Fusion, the mainland origin for poke, salmon prepared in nearly infinite ways and a leader in the craft beer movement getting a local chef in charge of stadium food and beverage is a blessing.

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