Stadium Chef - Food & Beverage Magazine

Stadium Chef

Mike Malone is the Executive Chef at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Chef Mike has had the opportunity to host some truly amazing moments in sports including the 2017 NCAA national championship at Raymond James Stadium. He has had the opportunity to support the culinary staff for events such as 2015 World Series at Citi Field, the 2019 Superbowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, 2019 NBA All Star Game at the Spectrum Center, and the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park. 

Mike started out washing dishes at a Greek restaurant in Tarpon Springs, Florida at age 13. He fell in love with fast paced environment of a restaurant, and washing dishes meant he could spend more time with his dad, who was a line cook at the restaurant. Mike went on to culinary school and worked many different jobs in the industry, always focusing on what he could learn from each position. From fine dining hotels to catering at a small private college in Ohio, he finally found his place in the sports world. After a few years of moving around, Mike found himself in a Sous Chef position at Raymond James Stadium. He had the opportunity to grow and develop into a leader and was subsequently promoted to Executive Sous Chef. Three years later it was time to move on, and that is when Mike got the job with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Stadium Chef

Being the Executive Chef at an MLB stadium means Mike over sees menu and recipe development for every facet of the stadium, putting systems into place to ensure the production is consistent and food quality is a priority every single day. From the high end, award winning, concessions offerings, like the Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese, to catering sixty VIP suites, the Rays Club and Home Plate Club. Chef Mike is responsible for overseeing all food production in a stadium that brings in 20 million dollars of annual revenue. He is passionate about elevating the food at the stadium, always trying to push for innovative and delicious offerings every season. 

Cooking and sports are two of Mike’s passions, it’s only fitting that he found his home with the local baseball team, one that was formed only a few years before he stepped foot in a professional kitchen. The Rays made it deep into the playoffs last year, hopefully they can bring the Commissioner’s Trophy to Tampa this year with the rest of Champa Bay!