Originally posted on Hall of Very Good  |  Last updated 7/26/13
Plenty has been written about ballpark food.  Who has the best hot dogs?  Where can someone get vegetarian or gluten-free menu items?  And, of course, why in the world would someone make a burger with Krispy Kreme doughnuts as the bun? But while we're in the stands spilling stadium sauce on our shirts, what are the players eating? Meet Theresa Corderi.  Since 2000, she's been preparing meals for the New York Mets.  And as you might suspect, there's a lot more to it than just throwing out a veggie tray and some cold cuts. HOVG:  You made the transition with the team from Shea Stadium to Citi Field in 2009.  What is the difference between the two kitchens?  Did you have a say in what went into the kitchen there at Citi Field? CORDERI: At Shea, I started out cooking at my house in New Jersey and transporting food to the ballpark. Then, the team built a small cooking area in the back of an old weight room. I was cooking on a tiny residential stove (something you'd have in your apartment), using a hand wash sink with what could best be described only as fair water pressure.  I was storing stuff in an old Pepsi refrigerator. Here at Citi, I have the best of everything in a beautiful commercial kitchen. I didn't need to have a say in the kitchen because the ballpark construction company designed a fantastic space that would make any New York chef jealous. HOVG:  And you’ve got your parents working in the kitchen with you.  What’s that like? CORDERI: Dad only helps out in Spring Training.  He runs the press room and does a little cooking on the grill. Mom works spring training and full-time here in New York. Nobody on the team knows her name…she's just "Mom" in the clubhouse.  HOVG:  In your years with the team, it’s safe to say you’ve developed a pretty tight bond with a lot of the players.  And it surprised me that, by looking at your tweets, this bond isn’t just with the Mets…there are a lot of opposing players that, at least through social media, you’ve maintained a relationship with.  I’d like to throw some names of Mets players, past and present, and, if you can…can you tell me what their favorite food is?  Current Mets star Matt Harvey? CORDERI: Matt leans towards a wheat free diet, but he LOVES pizza and pasta. I make him gluten-free versions of his favorites. He's a big fan of my Tiramisu too.  HOVG:  “Mr. Met” David Wright? CORDERI: David loves sushi post-game and salmon pre-game.  (He also likes) white chocolate peanut butter on banana pancakes for breakfast. He never eats red meat HOVG:  Only because I’ve seen the pictures on Twitter…LaTroy Hawkins? CORDERI: Well, last year, LaTroy lead a vegan lifestyle, but that ended about five days into Spring Training. (He) now eats eggs, steak, fish and even bacon in the morning…and is still mad at me for it. HOVG:  One of my all-time favorites…Mike Piazza? CORDERI: Mike was one of the healthiest guys in the clubhouse back then… grilled chicken paillard with lots of vegetables was his go to meal. HOVG:  John Franco? CORDERI: Anything Italian! HOVG:  Jose Reyes? CORDERI: Jose was super strict when it came to his diet. He ate grilled lemon chicken and sweet potatoes almost every night. The only time he didn't, was when I made BBQ baby back ribs. HOVG:  What has been the weirdest food request? CORDERI: In Spring Training one year, some guys went north and killed a wild boar.  They then made me cook it. It was like roasting shoe leather…I don't recommend it! HOVG:  Lastly…getting back to that special relationship you have with the players, there’s a pretty popular story about the time you took 2012 Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to get his nails done.  Can you tell me that story? CORDERI: He wrote about it his book, but it was really wasn't anything that out of the ordinary. He had a nail issue…I know a little about nails.  We took a ride into the heart of Flushing to fix it. That's the story. Sometimes it's good to have a woman in the clubhouse. Mom's a seamstress and she's always sewing buttons back on uniforms last minute, hemming uniform pants that are way too long for guys that just get called up.  She even alters or fixes trousers, suit jackets and shirts minutes before guys leave for road trips.   You can follow Theresa Corderi on Twitter at @bumblelina1.  

This article first appeared on Hall of Very Good and was syndicated with permission.

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