It’s easy as a Boston fan to conjure up fun memories of former Dominican-American Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez: that time he wore a Yoda mask in the dugout or helped the team to its first World Series win in 86 years.
Carolina and Pedro Martinez
Now Pedro and his wife Carolina are back at Fenway Park to help raise money for the Pedro Martinez Charity Community Center with the Feast with 45 on May 6, featuring Boston’s best chefs, including Nick Calias of the Colonnade Hitel, Steve DiFillippo and Rodney Murillof of Davios, and Jason Santos of Buttermilk and Bourbon.
What was the inspiration behind having a food focused event? Carolina Martiniez: At the Pedro Martinez Charity Community Center we teach a program on culinary arts to the children that shows them how to cook at home and even pursue culinary professions later in life. Our friend, Chef Nick Calias from Brasserie Jo in Boston, was inspired by the work we do and he came up with this idea to help fund our program back home. He reached out to all his chef friends, and everyone became immediately excited about the event. So, here we are, ready to have a feast at Fenway. we are hoping this will turn out to be one of our annual events in the Boston area.
What do you love most about the Boston food community? CM: We enjoy many different dishes that you can only get in the Northeast area, especially Boston. We love lobster rolls, clam chowder, and pretty much all the dishes that have to do with seafood. Fresh seafood is a highlight of Boston. It's our biggest treat out of all that Boston has to offer when it comes to food
Any thoughts of ever opening a Dominican themed restaurant in Boston? CM: That would be interesting! We would have to see how our Bostonians feel about Dominican food before venturing down that road. Maybe we can convince Chef Nick Calias to be our partner and have him come down to the Dominican Republic and do a training with the chefs there. Food is one of our many passions, so this would be an interesting endeavor!
Tell us a little more about how this event will help children through Pedro Martinez Charity in the Dominican Republic. CM: Oh, it well help tremendously because our center represents an opportunity for kids that wouldn't have education, arts, sports, food, and health care all in one place for them and their families. More than 500 children are on the waiting list to get into our programs because we need more donors to help provide for these children. These funds will help us greatly by allowing us to accept more children into our programs.
Pedro, What is it like returning to Fenway for an event of this nature? Pedro Martinez: For me it will probably a little strange, as I always look at Fenway as my work place. This time it will be something completely new, as I embrace the park with a whole different meaning. It brings back the memories of the different times I saw the young faces of Latino kids from the New England area that used to come to Fenway and had that look of awe in their faces whenever they came to meet me and other players. So, this is definitely a special occasion.
How important is it to you to serve the people of your home country? PM: For me this is the most important mission that I have been assigned to, as this is the true meaning of life. We are blessed to be a blessing, and I am blessed to be able to contribute to the education of Dominican children at risk. I was given the public platform so I can become a voice for those who can’t be heard, and I am humbled to do so.
Feast with 45 takes place on May 6 from 6-10 p.m. at Fenway Park, 20 Yawkey Way. Buy tickets via Eventbrite.