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Cubs Add Pop-Up Menus From City's Top Chefs, Starting With Stephanie Izard

By Ariel Cheung | May 24, 2017 1:23pm
 Chicago chefs Jeff Mauro (from left), Matthias Merges, Stephanie Izard, Rick Bayless and Graham Elliot will take part in a chef series at Wrigley Field.
Chicago chefs Jeff Mauro (from left), Matthias Merges, Stephanie Izard, Rick Bayless and Graham Elliot will take part in a chef series at Wrigley Field.
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Provided/Chicago Cubs

WRIGLEY FIELD — Some of Chicago's top chefs will dream up new takes on their favorite ballpark eats for a pop-up series at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs are first teaming up with Stephanie Izard, the newly crowned Iron Chef who won the first season of "Iron Chef Gauntlet" earlier this week.

Izard's ballpark-inspired menu will be offered at the newly renovated Sheffield Counter on the main concourse starting with the St. Louis Cardinals game June 2.

Also a James Beard award recipient and "Top Chef" winner, Izard will carry on with her goat-themed offerings, which are found at her Chicago restaurants Girl & the Goat, Little Goat Diner and Duck Duck Goat.

"Since the inception of our restoration project, our food and beverage offerings have improved dramatically," said Alex Sugarman, Cubs senior vice president of strategy and ballpark operations. "We're honored these elite chefs will advance those efforts with their unique culinary approaches."

Following Izard will be food from Matthias Merges, owner of Logan Square's Yusho Japanese Grill + Noodle House and several popular bars. Merges' menu will be available in late June into early July, with Pork & Mindy's chef Jeff Mauro wrapping up July.

August homestands will feature menu selections from TV stalwarts Rick Bayless and Graham Elliot. Bayless will be spicing things up with his take on Mexican cuisine at restaurants like Frontera, while Elliot will showcase classic American cuisine at the end of the month.

The chefs will visit the ballpark during each of their rotations, although they won't be serving the food themselves.

It's not the first time the Cubs have collaborated with big names on the Chicago food scene. 

Permanently located in the bleachers, Hot Doug's offers a rotating selection of Cub-inspired sausages, dreamt up by the king of Chicago dogs, Doug Sohn.

Some of the pop-up chefs are building on their pre-existing ties to Wrigley; the Sheffield Counter carries craft cocktails inspired by Merges' bar Billy Sunday, and Mauro inked a deal in December to open a Pork & Mindy's concession stand in the bleachers.

RELATED: Here Are The New Food Options At Wrigley Field This Season

Just outside the ballpark, Big Star and Smoke Daddy will open next year inside Hotel Zachary. And with the Wrigley Field plaza now open, more chefs will likely stop by for events like the Craft and Cuisine weekend food festival earlier this month.

The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by an entity controlled by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team.