Marcus Samuelsson grew up in Sweden, so forgive him if he has a special affinity for a team that calls Yankee Stadium home that is not the Yankees.

So, yes, when NYCFC won last season’s MLS Cup, the Harlem-based celebrity chef found himself screaming in excitement and texting with his fellow Swede, NYCFC’s Anton Tinnerholm, who was injured at the time.

To top things off Samuelsson had his Manhattan restaurant, Streetbird, fashion a replica MLS Cup trophy out of waffles to mark the start of the current season.

“I think we’re winning again this year,” he said on Tuesday at a Yankee Stadium event to showcase new and returning food offerings for this season, including Streetbird.

The Hot Bird sandwich at Yankee Stadium on April 12,...

The Hot Bird sandwich at Yankee Stadium on April 12, 2022, in Bronx, New York. Credit: Brittainy Newman

But what about the Yankees? Samuelsson was wearing a Yankees shirt, and they obviously are the stadium’s primary tenant.

For a guy who was born in Ethiopia and grew up in Scandinavia, he said he has mostly gotten himself up to speed.

“I came to New York in the mid-'90s, just when the Yankees turned around,” he told Newsday. “As a young chef coming up in the city, we couldn’t go to the playoff games but we got to go to games.

“Also, as an immigrant, it’s part of why you come to a place — to learn a different culture . . . The Yankees experience is like that. And I got to know Bernie Williams and other players. Baseball has grown on me, and I’ve been fortunate enough to cook for a lot of players and meet a lot of players, and now you always root for them.”

Like all pro teams, the Yankees are in a food arms race of sorts to keep fans engaged with and spending on new and innovative items.

This year’s new slate includes Samuelsson’s restaurant, The Halal Guys and “Bobby’s Burgers” from another celebrity chef, Bobby Flay.

Among the items served Tuesday:

  • Bacon Crunchburger from Bobby's Burgers: burger, bacon, cheese, potato chips and Bobby's Sauce.
  • Burrata Burger from City Winery: Burratta cheese with nut-free pesto, cabernet sauvigon and balsamic reduction and arugula on a toasted brioche bun.
  • Beef  Gyro Sandwich and Chicken Platter from The Halal Guys
  • Hot Bird Sandwich from Streetbird: Boneless chicken thigh with spicy chica shake, slaw and pickles.
  • Sumo Dog from Sumo Dog: With Wasabi relish, pickled peppers, spicy Mayo, Teriyaki sauce, wasabi furikake, minced onion and kizami nori.

"This is what evolution is,” Samuelsson said. “It changes. It does not have to be one thing, it could be many things . . . Whatever it looks like in the city, that’s what should be brought into the ballpark. That’s what you see here.”

Matt Gibson, senior executive chef of Legends Hospitality, said quality and variety in menus is a must for modern stadiums and arenas.

“People are so into food nowadays,” he said. “It’s great as a chef. Chefs aren’t in the back, darkly lit kitchens anymore. We’re front and center here, and we want to make sure people are enjoying themselves.”

View of Sumo Tots at Yankee Stadium on April 12,...

View of Sumo Tots at Yankee Stadium on April 12, 2022, in Bronx, New York. Credit: Brittainy Newman

Gibson and his staff are back to enjoying themselves after a 2020 season with no fans at all and a 2021 during which things were more normal but not fully so.

“We’re chefs; we like to feed people,” he said. “Opening up with Boston and having this placed packed on Friday was bonkers. It was great.

“It hurt [in 2020 and ’21], let’s be honest. Even though we were open last year with fans, it wasn’t like this. Last Friday and this whole past weekend, it was great.”

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