Skip to content

Chef Dave's Dugout a hit with Saanich ball fans

Concession stand run by executive chef gets cooking for Little League provincials in Ambassador Park
Chef Dave Roger and his wife Lauren are fixtures at Saanich's Ambassador Park, where they operate Chef Dave's Dugout.

ItB次元官网网址檚 no coincidence the iconic song B次元官网网址楾ake Me Out to the BallgameB次元官网网址 mentions ballpark food as much as it references the actual game.

ThatB次元官网网址檚 not to say that thereB次元官网网址檚 anything wrong with baseball B次元官网网址 itB次元官网网址檚 a great game. But ballpark food is the stuff of legend, and the hot dogs, peanuts, and other snacks are enough to bring fans back time and time again.

In Saanich, the best ballpark food is unquestionably found at Chef DaveB次元官网网址檚 Dugout.  ItB次元官网网址檚 located at Ambassador Park, and, with the end of the baseball season, it will soon be closing for the year.

But thereB次元官网网址檚 a bit of good news for fans of Chef DaveB次元官网网址檚 food.

The park will host the Little League Baseball Provincial Tournament between July 13 and 21 and the concession will be open.

Now, by this time you may well be asking why this concession deserves particular mention.

It starts with Chef Dave Roger, whose background and level of training are not what one ordinarily expects to find at a ballpark snack bar.

Roger is a formally trained chef whose background includes working as the executive chef at the Marriott hotel in Victoria, and who is currently occupied in teaching culinary arts at the Songhees First Nation.  HeB次元官网网址檚 also been involved in that organization starting their own catering business, Songhees Events and Catering. Oh, and it's worth mention that heB次元官网网址檚 helped them with their own food truck, Songhees Seafood and Steam, which is generally parked on Admirals Road.

So, what is he doing in a ballpark concession?

RogerB次元官网网址檚 involvement at the ballpark began while coaching his two sons when he noticed that the food at the ballpark wasB次元官网网址mB次元官网网址 lacking.

B次元官网网址淚 just wanted to make it more efficient. Sometimes it would be open and sometimes it was closed. And the foodB次元官网网址ellB次元官网网址次元官网网址

He drew upon his expertise and created a baseball-themed menu that featured a first base burger, second base burger, a third base burger, a grand slam burger, and, well, you get the picture.

There were also some very non-ballpark offerings like a wild coho salmon filet burger, maple marinated, with candied red onion marmalade, and garlic parmesan fries with chipotle mayo drizzled over the top.

RogerB次元官网网址檚 wife, Lauren, works the counter at the Dugout and admits that when Roger first announced that he taking on the concession, she thought he might be taking on too much.

B次元官网网址淎t the time he was executive chef at the Marriot, and I said, how are you going to manage this, but he just said, that he was going to make it happen,B次元官网网址 Lauren said.

Ten years later, the couple is still at it, in addition to their full-time jobs.

B次元官网网址淚tB次元官网网址檚 amazing the energy you get. For three months a year, we stop everything and spend all our spare time there. Our social life is put on hold and weB次元官网网址檙e there, but itB次元官网网址檚 great,B次元官网网址 she said. ItB次元官网网址檚 been a joy for both of us and we actually miss it when we have to close at the end of the baseball season.B次元官网网址

Not surprisingly, Roger and his wife have noticed that not everyone coming to their concession is at the park for the baseball.

B次元官网网址淲e have people coming in who have heard about the food and come just to try out our menu. And they tend to come back,B次元官网网址 said Roger.

Of course, some of those people may hang around and watch some baseball, and thatB次元官网网址檚 a good thing too.

Lauren works the counter at Chef DaveB次元官网网址檚 Dugout and has become a neighbourhood icon in her own right.

B次元官网网址淭he children got to know me because IB次元官网网址檇 give them candy as a treat, and now I do the same for the pups that come to the park with their owners,B次元官网网址 Lauren said. B次元官网网址淚B次元官网网址檓 the concession lady and heB次元官网网址檚 the chef and itB次元官网网址檚 really been a joy for both of us.B次元官网网址

The downside of the coupleB次元官网网址檚 popularity is that the concession gets so busy that Roger doesnB次元官网网址檛 get to watch much baseball these days.

B次元官网网址淚 have a window that looks out right behind home plate, but we generally have a lineup for food so I canB次元官网网址檛 really watch much,B次元官网网址 Roger said.

B次元官网网址淏ut sometimes, I still take a few minutes to get a look. I love the game, after all.B次元官网网址



) document.head.appendChild(flippScript); window.flippxp = window.flippxp || {run: []}; window.flippxp.run.push(function() { window.flippxp.registerSlot("#flipp-ux-slot-ssdaw212", "Black Press Media Standard", 1281409, [312035]); }); }