Fans will get a chance to "Feast with 45" at Fenway Park when Pedro Martinez's charity food fest returns for its second year this weekend.
Mayor Marty Walsh, former Red Sox greats Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield, Celtics star Al Horford and more will join Martinez and his wife Carolina at Friday night's festivities, which will feature bites from dozens of the Boston's areas top chefs, including Tony Maws, Jason Santos, Andy Husbands and Chris Coombs. Brasserie JO's Nick Calias will also be there serving up braised octopus, and the acclaimed chef gave Metro a taste of what to expect.
"We have actually over 45 of some of the best chefs in New England coming, and they’re all [bringing] different foods, from octopus to tuna to lobster rolls," Calias says. "It’s an opportunity for the chefs to really give back to Pedro for everything he’s done for the city."
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The Hall of Fame pitcher seems pretty pumped about this weekend's event too, especially since proceeds will go to benefit the Pedro Martinez Charity, which helps families and kids in the Dominican Republic and the U.S.
"I’m really excited, especially because the best part of it the fact that we can actually offer opportunities for people that are less fortunate," Martinez tells Metro. "We open doors for people to become better humans, better students, better society, so that’s the most important part."
Ahead, the Boston sports legend gives us a peek at what else to expect at this year's feast, his thoughts on the renewed Red Sox-Yankees rivalry and more.
Talking baseball and bites with Pedro Martinez
Have any fun suprirses in store for this year's Feast with 45?
Well, with this feast, you just never know, because we’re going to be mingling with the fans. It’s just going be totally off of our hands what people might come up with. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. Having the opportunity to have the chefs cooking different meals, 45 chefs, 45 different meals. It’s a great opportunity to mingle with the people. I feel like having dinner with the people in Boston, for me, it’s so interesting because they saw me pitch for so many years here. But for me, it’s really interesting, just the fact that I can have dinner with so many people at once.
Do you have any favorite, go-to restaurants in Boston?
I’m spoiled because I have Nick, who’s like my brother as a chef. He cooks for me. But sometimes, we do take a little time together to go and taste the different restaurants. We go to Abe and Louie’s, we go to Morton’s, we go to Sorellina. Anywhere around here, we go to so many places. But we do have a night that we get out of the kitchen and go out to dinner, and especially with my wife around, my wife loves tasting. We go for Asian food, whatever. But we do try to take a little time for us, alone, away from the kitchen. But once again, I’m spoiled because he cooks for me all the time and he’s at the same hotel I’m staying, which is the Colonnade. He’s the main chef from Brasserie JO, so we get to just step down, go and have a feast every single day.
What are your thoughts on the renewed rivalry between the Red Sox and the Yankees?
I’m extremely excited about this team, and the rivalry is only going to get better because the Yankees have a young nucleus of good players and so do we. I can’t wait to see how this is going to develop because these two teams are on pace to win 100 games. One of them is going to take the flag and the other one is going to have to go play a wild card game. It would be really bad if the team that wins 100 games ends up losing to a wild card team. It’s really interesting, but I think it’s going to keep everything exciting for the fans, exciting for all of us that are watching from the outside. It’s still bad I can’t compete in it because now I have been eager to go out there and compete. But I’m looking forward to these two teams.
Now that you're playing days are over, you've spent your time in the analyst chair and working on your charity. Do you have any plans to get back into baseball in another form down the road, possibly as a coach?
I’m going to remain pretty much stable with the things that I’m doing, but I’m looking forward to seeing my kids develop in their baseball career. I’m looking forward to being once again supportive of my kids. My youngest is starting to play pro ball, so I’m looking forward to seeing how he develops and hopefully spend some time with him and see how things go, and if he struggles, hopefully be there for him. But with the foundation, I think we need to continue to work, be steady and just continue to do little things, and not little by little. I hope he grows up to be something bigger. I’m actually starting a brand, my name. So I’m actually looking forward to that and seeing the different things that we’re going to be coming up with. Hopefully we’ll get all the support that we normally get here in Boston.
If you go:
June 29, 6:30 p.m., Fenway Park, 4 Jersey St., Boston, $45-$500, pedromartinezcharity.com