FRISCO, Texas — FC Dallas introduced new dishes on its expanded menu for the 2022 season, offering a twist to some fan favorites. The soccer club also introduced a new face among the ranks at Toyota Stadium.
The new mid-summer items at the special showcase on July 27, as well as Legends Hospitality at Toyota Stadium's new executive chef, Erika Dabney.
Dabney has years of experience in the stadium and sports food industry, but hopes to bring her twist to visitors to the stadium.
Despite the string of 100+ degree days in North Texas, the mid-summer release of the new menu items featured food that Dabney hopes will "cool" FC Dallas fans down.
Dabney became executive chef at Legends after previous executive chef Rex Turner was appointed as District Chef for Legends Hospitality, which guides culinary for Toyota Stadium and The Star in Frisco.
"Chef Rex has done a phenomenal job here for the last five years," Dabney said. "Those are tough shoes to fill."
Dabney comes to Frisco from serving as Executive Chef for Legends at the Ochsner Training Facility, the practice complex shared by the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans.
“The FC Dallas matchday experience is a North Texas summer entertainment tradition known for its great food, and we are thrilled to share exciting additions to the flavors that our soccer fans already crave and love,” said Dabney.
"We are continually studying what fans enjoy to take our FC Dallas match day to new levels of fun. Chef Dabney has led the creation of excellent and innovative additions that meet our goals to bring even more enjoyment to FC Dallas match day as the soccer energy continues to grow to new heights in North Texas," said Legends Hospitality Toyota Stadium General Manager Kristy Rempel.
For Dabney, each new item introduced on Wednesday was inspired in some part by either her work or even fond memories.
With the chorizo nachos, Dabney recalled the memory of her husband making her the dish more than a decade ago.
When she first met her husband, Dabney said he made her chorizo tacos and paired them with pickling favors.
"It stuck with me, for ten years," Dabney said. "I took that, changed that, and made it into nachos for fans to enjoy."
You can find that dish at the Winners Club Concession.
For the jerk spiced chips with pineapple salsa, it was the collaboration and partnership between Legends and Casa M that drove the inspiration, as well as the hope to cool fans off in the Texas heat.
You can find those StadiumDrop, Winners Club and the Gallagher Club.
With the monster burger, the inspiration came from Dabney's sister, whose college experience brought Dabney to a "grease truck" with sandwiches loaded with several fried food. Similarly, Dabney's monster burger is stacked with a fresh beef patty, crispy chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks and drenched in honey mustard.
You can find that dish at Burgers and More, as well as Chef's Kitchen.
Other new menu items introduced Wednesday included the Greek chicken bowl, a baked bean and brisket dog and a smoked turkey baked potato. To find the location for those foods and all the other dining at Toyota Stadium, visit their website.
With the launch of these mid-summer food items, Dabney is looking forward to what the future holds in Toyota Stadium.
"We're going to be able to just elevate the kind of things that we're able to offer and provide a different kind of variety," said Dabney.
Though she's not from Texas, Dabney knows how Texans love their food and she hopes to infuse her own style into dishes at FC Dallas.
"I hope to find new creative ways to be true to what Texas is, and what I'm learning Texas is," Dabney said. "There's a lot to learn."
For those who are considering entering the food industry, Dabney has some advice.
"Don't expect it to be easy, be prepared to work harder than everybody else," Dabney said. "Come in first, leave last. Don't forget to have fun."
You can try Dabney's new items starting July 30, as they'll debut during the Star Wars-themed game between FC Dallas and LA Galaxy.