Posts filed under Gin

The Unknown Champions of Wimbledon Are Food Service Staff and Culinary Suppliers

The Games have begun, yet many of the half-million devoted tennis fans who will watch Nadal, Federer and Djokovic on home televisions and office Internet connections are unaware of the massive food service that supports this famous 14 day tournament of strength and skill.

Just consider the most recently released figures which reveal just how hard the 1,700 member FMC Catering staff at Wimbledon will be working for those 14 exciting days of play: 

To Be Served 

  • 130,000 Lunches Served
  • 40,000 Char-Grilled Meals Served
  • 30,000 Fish and Chips Served
  • 30,000 Meals for FMC's Own Staff
  • 12,000 Kilos (26,455 Pounds) Poached and Smoked Salmon
  • 17,000 Bottles of Champagne Lanson
  • 150,000 Pimm’s Cocktails
  • 100,000 Pints of Beer and Lager
  • 300,000 Cups of Tea and Coffee
  • 250,000 Bottles of Water
  • 190,000 Sandwiches
  • 150,000 Bath Buns, Scones, Pasties and Doughnuts
  • 135,000 Ice Creams
  • 60,000 Sausages
  • 30,000 Liters (31,700 Quarts) of Milk
  • 23,000 Bananas
  • 22,000 Slices of Pizza
  • 20,000 Frozen Yoghurt Cups

As you might have noticed, the above list does not include Wimbledon’s famed “Strawberries and Cream” which are a must when attending the Games. Well, they are in a food class all by themselves where tradition meets logistics.

On average Game spectators will consume 28,000 kilos (61,730 pounds) of English strawberries - 2,000 kilos (4,409 pounds) and 7,000 liters (7,397 quarts) of fresh cream every day of play.

When added up, that’s a total of 28,000 kilos (61,726 pounds) of strawberries and 98,000 liters (103,558 quarts) of cream prepared and served in just in 14 days! WOW! 

And these aren't just any generic strawberries. They're Grade 1 English strawberries from Britain’s finest strawberry producing farms such as the Hugh Lowe Family Farms.  Suppliers are working extra hard this year to meet the tournament’s demand as heavy rains and overly long cloudy skies have delayed the usual ripening season.

But with a courageous spirit equal to that of any tournament player, England’s berry growers are working hard to make their 5:30 A.M. delivery date each and every day.

The very same words used in the newest Wimbledon ad should also be used to describe the hard working catering staff and culinary suppliers to the Tournament – Super Human, Tough as Nails, True Champions All!

Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2012 

Post Note, May 26, 2012: You know you're a star when you're profiled on 60 Miuntues, America's in-depth Sunday News program faithfully watched by millions. This past Sunday Novak Djokovic was so honored.

The resulting story highlights how Djokovic's skill and courage led him from battle torn streets of Belgrade to the emerald green grass of Wimbledon. Impressive and touching. Thank you 60 Minutes!


New York Health Department Plays Grinch to Algonquin Hotel Beloved Cat

‘Tis the holiday season, a time for fun and good cheer when all are friends and kindness fills the air.

Or should be…

In what can only be called a ‘cat-astrophe’, the New York City Health Department apparently forgot to refer to their calendar when they recently banned the Algonquin's ‘direcfurr of guest relations’, the beautiful kitty Matilda III from many sections of this historic hotel.

Now certainly the Health Department has a valuable job to do but perhaps this is an overreaction to a tradition that since the 1930s has harmed no one.

Matilda, the Algonquin's famed cat, is part of a proud line of feline greeters who have been delighting guests since the first kitty was welcomed, cold and hungry, out of a stormy night by the hotel's compassionate owner Frank Case.

Honored by no less than the actor John Barrymore with the names “Hamlet” or “Matilda”, depending on their sex, the current kitty can now only grace the registration area – and only while on a leash.

All these restrictions are thanks to the NYC Health Department’s grumpy ‘grinch-y’ attitude during a season of supposed cheer and good well.

Surely the ghosts of such legendary literarties as Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Mark Conley, Edna Ferber and George F. Kaufman, all members of the Hotel’s famed Round Table, would object to such an injustice against a noble kitty who is dedicated to the very spirit of a warm welcome and a gentle purr. 

One can hope that amidst all the glorious sparkle and glitter that typifies New York City during the winter holidays, the New York City's Health Department will perhaps review their decision and adopt a more objective perspective that honors both the values of the Season and the traditions of welcome that are the hallmark of our Industry all year round.

Post Note, November 28, 2011 - If you're interested in learning more about the Round Table of Literary Greats that gathered during the 1920's at the Algonquin Hotel, be sure to check out the film, Mrs. Parker and Her Vicious Circle

The hotel's insightful owner Frank Case often sent complimentary popover rolls and celery to their corner table as those gathered there tended to talk first, drink second (whiskey sours were a favorite) and eat last - a combination that anyone in the Industry knows is not the best for any guest no matter their talent or the season. 

Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2011