When Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas opens for the season on May 17, it's adding some celebrity backstage, at the concessions stands. The music venue is tripling down on name-brand chefs.
Chef-lebrities who consulted on menus at Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas include Art Smith, Oprah Winfrey's former personal chef; Tim Love, the Fort Worth chef and TV personality; and Questlove, the frontman for hip-hop group The Roots and band leader for the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Don't expect to see those chefs at the Dallas music venue, but they did develop the recipes. And their names will be on display.
Local company Dog Haus Biergarten will join the concessions team at Dos Equis, too. Founders Hagop Giragossian, Quasim Riaz and Andre Vener will debut a hot dog menu.
Rounding out the list of concert-venue newcomers is Top Chef contestant Fabio Viviani, whose fried foods will be for sale.
LiveNation has dabbled in bringing big names into its concert venues, like when Guy Fieri, host of Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, opened a stand called Guy's Burger Joint at Dos Equis in 2015. Its debut was wildly popular. That stand is no longer in operation, but spokeswoman Liz Sharkey says that food and cocktails at LiveNation venues — especially those from recognizable people — are a priority.
And "right now, in Texas," she adds, "we're really focusing on Dos Equis."
Interestingly, all LiveNation venues also work with Manager of Venue Sustainability Lucy August-Perna on programs like eliminating plastic straws, creating composting programs and sourcing food locally.
Before August-Perna took the job in 2016, she traveled with Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson and U2, to "bring their social and environmental issues to light while out on the road," she says. She reversed roles by working directly for LiveNation, and she says she hopes that the celebrities she worked for will now find concert venues that more closely align with their strategies to reduce waste, energy and water.
Here's a look at some of the new menu items that will be available at Dos Equis Pavilion.
Questlove's fake-meat cheesesteak
Questlove, a culinary author and noted gastronomic enthusiast, worked with Impossible Foods to create a plant-based cheesesteak in honor of his hometown of Philadelphia. He's is also an investor in Impossible Foods. His cheesesteak will be sold in 40 LiveNation venues, including Dos Equis in Dallas and Toyota Music Factory in Irving.
His team tested audience reaction to it at the Roots Picnic in 2018. "No one believed me when I told them the 'meat' was not beef, but plant-based," Questlove said in a statement. "My team and I saw an opportunity to roll out the product on a much larger level."
The cheesesteak is made with Impossible 2.0 Meat, melted cheese, peppers and onions. Vegans — a group who might especially be interested in ordering this sandwich — would need to remove the cheese.
And despite a CNN article saying "America is running out of Impossible Burgers," a spokeswoman says LiveNation doesn't believe the shortage will affect their music venues. "We'll be sure to let fans know if the shortage should effect them," Sharkey says in an email.
Tim Love's chicken-fried brisket and nachos
It's chef Tim Love's first time working with LiveNation, and he's rolling out a Woodshed Smokehouse stand at Dos Equis Pavilion, so named for his restaurant in Fort Worth. The menu includes a chicken-fried brisket sandwich and "bad ass nachos" topped with brisket, queso, pico de gallo, sour cream and jalapenos.
The nachos are similar but not identical to Love's "kick ass nachos" at Woodshed. The chicken-fried brisket sandwich was created solely for LiveNation venues, however; it's available only at Dos Equis and in two music venues in Florida and New York.
"We created the chicken-fried brisket sandwich just for this concept that I'm pretty stoked about," Love says. "All of the brisket is made on-site in smokers specially outfitted for the space that we'll also cook whole pigs in."
Art Smith's fried chicken
Beyond being Winfrey's personal chef, Smith has several restaurants, including Art Bird & Whiskey Bar in New York's Grand Central Terminal. (Adding to its celebrity, USA Today notes that Lady Gaga's dad is the owner of that restaurant.)
The stand at Dos Equis will sell a simple menu of macaroni and cheese; buttermilk biscuits; and a box with a boneless chicken breast and thigh, a side of cole slaw, a biscuit and some pimento cheese.
Art Bird will appear at 23 LiveNation music venues; Dallas is the only Texas site.
Dog Haus' loaded hot dogs
Richardson restaurant Dog Haus plans to sell hog dogs in Hawaiian buns.
The owners will have several options, including Chili the Kid, a 'dog with white American cheese, chili, crispy onions and chipotle aioli; and the Reservoir Hog, a Polish kielbasa sausage with chili, slaw and yellow mustard.
Dog Haus will also sell tater tots, cheese tots and chili-cheese tots.
'Top Chef' Fabio Viviani's fried-chicken sandwich
Think you've tried everything fried? Top Chef contestant Viviani's menu offers even more fried foods. He's consulted on a menu to sell a fried-chicken sandwich with slaw, spicy pickles and chipotle aioli; fried potato skins with truffle oil and parmesan; and fried ravioli served with marinara and parmesan.
Before the season starts, LiveNation is selling $20 tickets to select concerts across the country. The deal runs May 1-7 here.