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Former Bandits chef crafts Field of Dreams menu

Former Bandits chef crafts Field of Dreams menu

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The Pawtucket Red Sox are taking their Dinner on the Diamond program on the road, offering weekend dinner experiences on the baseball diamond at the Field of Dreams movie site near Dyersville, Iowa, this fall.

A chef whose resume includes working at Modern Woodmen Park for the Quad Cities River Bandits has crafted the menu that will bring outdoor fine dining to the Field of Dreams movie site this month.

Tom Whalen, currently the executive chef for the Pawtucket Red Sox, has added a Midwestern touch to the menu that will be offered to guests who will eat at tables placed on the baseball diamond surrounded by a cornfield near Dyersville, Iowa.

With minor-league baseball teams sidelined this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pawtucket team has been offering a "Dining on the Diamond" program for the past three months at its home ballpark in Rhode Island.

Through a partnership with the Field of Dreams site operator, Go the Distance, the Pawtucket team’s Diamond Dining operation will bring its outdoor hospitality concept to the Field of Dreams beginning on the weekend of Sept. 11-12.

The plan is for Field of Dreams Dining on the Diamond program to continue on several weekends throughout September and October.

Tables will be set up in the outfield of the iconic baseball diamond, and in addition to dinner, guest appearances are planned for diners who will be able to order everything from an Iowa pork chop plate to barbecue to chicken caprese and New England style lobster roll.

Traditional ballpark favorites, including hot dogs, burgers and fries, are also among menu options, as well as a pork tenderloin sandwich and fries and sweet corn on a stick.

Whalen added the Midwestern staples of pork and corn to a menu that has attracted more than 6,000 guests to eat on the outfield at the Pawtucket ballpark in recent months.

A Rhode Island native, Whalen worked for River Bandits food and beverage provider Professional Sports Catering in the Quad-Cities in 2014 and 2015.

Items on the menu for the Field of Dreams location range in price from $4 for a hot dog and fries to $20 for steak tips served with a loaded baked potato and roasted broccolini.

Reservations are required and can be made at or by calling 563-823-8374.

Tom Mietzel, the chief executive officer of Go the Distance, said the unique dining experience being offered fits perfectly in the vision the group’s founder, Denise Stillman, to create special experiences at the Field of Dreams for all to enjoy.

"Our founder Denise Stillman had a dream of preserving this special place," Mietzel said. "She would have loved Dining on the Diamond and our team is honored to be working with this incredible event."

Tables will be spread out to allow for social distancing at a venue made famous by the 1989 film Field of Dreams.

The site was scheduled to host a major-league game between the White Sox and Cardinals in August at a temporary 8,000-seat ballpark adjacent to the diamond where the movie was filmed.

However, the coronavirus and logistical issues prompted Major League Baseball to postpone that event until 2021 and the temporary seating and facilities have been removed from the site although the field constructed for the game remains.


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