Marcello Cordeiro, Rio's director of food and beverages, and his team are hard at work preparing for the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which are just under three months away. He tells The Associated Press, “We want to make sure when there is a medal or a record, part of that record also goes to our food team.”
The athletes village kitchen, which will be as large as a football field, will, at its peak, prepare 60,000 meals daily. These meals will be produced from daily shipments of 460,000 pounds of raw ingredients, and served on 4 million biodegradable plates for 18,000 athletes, coaches, and staff. The dining room itself will be larger than two football fields.
Guests will have a choice of five different buffets: Brazilian, Asian, International, Pasta and Pizza, and Halal and Kosher. For Muslim and Jewish athletes, food served will adhere to their religious dietary laws.
In preparing the final menus, Cordeiro and team are holding about 20 food tastings, seven or eight of which have already happened.
A large emphasis is being placed on food safety. Cordeiro says that he must guarantee the food served is free from steroids and any other ingredients that might cause an athlete to test positive on a doping test.
“To assure that our ingredients are free of steroids and other kinds of chemicals, we are making sure our suppliers have all the certificates that are demanded by our national food and drug agency,” Cordeiro said. “People don't know how complex it is to put out safe food. We know that this is a very sensitive subject that could influence a result or an athlete's medal.”
Check out our roundup of the best restaurants in Brazil, for whether you are lucky enough to be in town during the Olympics or in planning your next visit.