Feeding 100 U.S. Olympians at the Winter Olympics: A Glimpse Behind the Scenes

What It Takes to Feed 100 U.S. Olympians in PyeongChang

Photos: Courtesy of Blue Diamond Almonds

Feeding 100 Olympic athletes is no small feat. Chef Allen Tran, MS, CSSD, RD, and Chef Megan Chacosky, MS, RD, are responsible for this mammoth task as the high-performance dietitian and chef for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association. Operating out of the USSA Center of Excellence training facility in Park City, UT, their daily routine involves crafting meals tailored to the nutritional and training demands of the athletes.

According to Chef Tran, it’s like preparing multiple Thanksgiving feasts every day. The difficulty is compounded by the need to accommodate food allergies and the diverse training phases of the athletes. With about 200 athletes in their care, the chefs need to cater to varying workout routines and dietary restrictions. Nonetheless, they aim to empower the athletes to make intelligent food choices to support their training, often serving meals buffet-style so that individuals can customize their plates.

To ensure a constant supply of nutritious foods, Chef Chacosky undertakes regular grocery runs and employs a local food purveyor and Costco for bulk deliveries. The facility is equipped with multiple refrigerators and a deep freezer to store perishables for up to one week. Additionally, Chacosky conducts meal prep classes to educate the athletes on preparing wholesome meals at home.

When traveling with specific teams, the culinary team modifies menus to suit the demands of the environment. For high-altitude, high-volume training camps, additional calories are incorporated, with a focus on increased hydration for athletes. Partnerships with brands like Blue Diamond Almonds and Almond Breeze provide essential ingredients and snacks, ensuring diverse dietary needs, including lactose intolerance and dairy avoidance, are met.

Recipes to Fuel Excellence

The collaboration with Blue Diamond Almonds and Almond Breeze has resulted in the creation of nutritious and delicious recipes specifically tailored for the athletes. Here is one of the six recipes that Chefs Chacosky and Tran have designed for the Winter Olympics: Creamy Lemon-Garlic Pasta.

Winter Olympics Meals: Creamy Lemon-Garlic Pasta

Photo: Courtesy of Blue Diamond Almonds

Creamy Lemon-Garlic Pasta Recipe

Makes 3-4 servings


1 large bunch asparagus
2 lemons, zest and juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons each: salt, pepper and garlic powder
2 cups Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original Almondmilk (or for extra creaminess use Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original Almond Cashew Blend)
1 pound dry pasta, any shape (or gluten-free pasta)
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained
Optional: 1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese or 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast


  1. Preheat oven to 450° Line a baking sheet with foil and set it aside. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Trim the asparagus and cut them into one-inch pieces. Be sure to save the tough ends.
  2. Make the creamy pasta sauce: Combine boiled asparagus stalks, zest and juice of two lemons, almond milk, one tablespoon of olive oil, and the remaining teaspoon each of salt, pepper and garlic powder in a food processor or blender. Blend until the mixture is completely combined.
  3. Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and stir in the roasted asparagus and garbanzo beans.

The Skinny

Next Up: Almond Couscous Salad

Source link

Post ID: LdzKkMMgX8th

Share With Friends!