The Foodist: Tottenham to step pitch-side dining up a notch in new stadium
Tottenham Hotspur is the first Premier League club to bank big on food and drink
I once went on a trip with a food journalist who told me that he ate beans on toast for dinner once a week to "keep himself grounded". The point being that, if you're fortunate enough to eat at some of London's best restaurants as part of your job, it's good to check your privilege sometimes.
For me, there's one dish that always resets the clock: the chicken balti pie at Tottenham Hotspur. I've had a season ticket for 12 years now – and the recipe's changed a few times since then – but it's always been a favourite.
But with football's audience now being more global than it's ever been, and an ever-increasing demand for all-encompassing experiences to go alongside your favourite sport, football clubs are rethinking the way they think about food. My club, in particular, seems to be leading the way.
First, Tottenham swooped to sign the Roux family to cook at the H Club, the epicentre of the hospitality offering at its new stadium, which opens its doors from the 2018/19 season. Then it followed that one up with three more: veteran chef (and Spurs fan) Chris Galvin, as well as Bryn Williams and Dipna Anand. They'll each challenge for places to cook on matchdays at the H Club for guests who want more than just to watch the game.
With rumours swirling of a cheese room on site, and loads of other food and drink innovations seemingly in the pipeline, the club has since announced a partnership with Beavertown, one of the world's most acclaimed craft brewers (and a Tottenham resident to boot), to set up a microbrewery in the stadium. Given that the only place near the ground I could find a pint of Gamma Ray before this news was the aptly named Elbow Room in Bruce Grove, I can't bloody wait.
Like the old enemy Arsenal before us, Tottenham will no doubt weather cries of gentrification for its efforts. For me, I quite like the thought of Chris Galvin et al cooking up a storm in the kitchens a stone's throw from the pitch. I just hope there'll still be a balti pie for me at Spurs when I need one.
Find out more at tottenhamhotspur.com/hospitality