Chad Neuman, Chase Center’s former executive chef and newly announced culinary director, is on a mission.
“We will make sure we have something for everyone,” he said, referring to the diversity of Warriors fans and visitors to The City’s newest, glitziest arena.
Pointing to some of his fellow chefs gathered at a press event onsite, Neuman added, “I want Chase Center to be known as the finest establishment here in San Francisco, and with them, I believe I can do it.’
Neuman, whose appointment was announced Monday by the arena, the Golden State Warriors and Bon Appétit Management Company, is heading up Chase Center’s food and beverage program, a job that includes overseeing menus, managing chefs and leading some 200 culinary staffers working in the arena’s 36 concession stands and premium dining spaces.
A Puerto Rico native who rose from dishwashing and working at a chain pizzeria to posts at the Ritz-Carlton in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and at Amway Arena in Orlando, Neuman on Monday introduced Wings and Woks, his Asian-inspired spin on wings, as a highlight menu item when the arena opens on Sept. 15 (with a Tame Impala concert).
On hand for the arena’s debut in 2018, Neuman added that all rotating menus at concessions upon reopening will be “totally” new and include vegan offerings.
Bon Appétit Vice President of Hospitality Leslie Panion, describing how Neuman’s mix of domestic and international experience makes him a “perfect fit” for the job, added that Chase Center’s program represents a first in arena dining in that chefs will prepare from-scratch dishes, working with local producers, onsite in eight kitchens.
While a focus remains on sourcing ingredients from regional farms and vendors using environmentally and socially responsible practices, the arena also is continuing Taste Makers at Chase Center, a venture under which local small businesses sell their foods onsite.
Tiffany Carter, a born-and-bred Bayview resident, is owner of Boug Cali, a Taste Maker eatery serving California Creole cuisine. Calling the Chase Center gig “a dream come true,” she said the menu upon reopening will include its signature jerk chicken and other items to be announced.
Other Taste Makers on hand Monday were San Francisco natives Kristen Brillantes, her brother James Brillantes and J.P. Reyes, owners of The Sarap Shop, a food truck in Parklab Gardens offering Filipino-American comfort fare.
Among the shop’s most popular items is the Longanisa Dirty Dog, a Filipino breakfast sausage – their take on a Mission Dirty Dog, Kristen said.
The Sarap Shop’s Chase Center outlet, the owners said, will offer custom, different dishes, including a vegan lumpia with plant-based Impossible “meat.”
That variety, again, is being reflected in Neuman’s upcoming menus.
Unable to mention a favorite dish, Neuman — a Warriors fan who finds the team inspirational — said he was excited by the flavor-filled vegan sweet crispy tofu rice, which is on the Wings and Woks menu, which also includes adobo wings, spicy red miso wings, spicy Korean wings and salt and pepper wings.