Fuelling Your Appetite – Yas Marina Circuit’s Catering Operation To Cook Up A Winning Culinary Formula On F1® Race Weeked
Event managers at Yas Marina Circuit are busily preparing for one of the biggest challenges of hosting the approaching F1® juggernaut – how to feed an estimated 70,000 hungry mouths.
The scale of the catering operation for the title-deciding 2016 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX is quite staggering – 270 chefs, 7,000 tons of rice, 17 mobile kitchen units, more than 250 hours of cooking prep, and an estimated 145,000 individual meals.
The meticulous planning all ensures that a capacity crowd of 60,000 fans, plus an additional 10,000 people making up the teams and support staff, enjoy good quality, varied cuisine during the entire F1® experience from November 24th-27th.
Al Tareq Al Ameri, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit, said: “There are many factors to plan for during F1® weekend – maintenance, engineering, transport, media coverage, and meeting the needs of the teams, to name a few. But ensuring that everyone at Yas Marina Circuit is given varied food and drink options is one of our biggest and most important challenges.
“Since our first Grand Prix in 2009, we have invested considerable time and resources into expanding our culinary range to ensure we offer healthy, good quality meals influenced by a wide range of cuisines from around the world.”
While Yas Marina Circuit’s kitchens have in the past focused on serving casual dining fare, the menu is now more influenced by street food hailing from Asia, Mexico, the Americas and the Middle East. Even novelty items like sweet pizza and nitrogen ice-cream have made it onto the menu. Healthy options including detox salads, fresh juices, and granola bars will also be in ready supply.
The food trucks include Bunny Chow, which is a South African curry served in bread, Karak House, which serves tea and Emirati sweets, Moti Roti, serving Pakistani cuisine, and Pink Burger, which cooks up healthy burgers.
The food experience at Yas Marina Circuit’s ‘Club Areas’ include Italian, Cuban and American cuisines, while the brunches focus on street food with live cooking stations.
For Yas Marina’s Circuit’s corporate and hospitality suites, chefs have opted for refined contemporary cuisine fusing a range of international flavours. Executives will be hammering out deals and making contacts while sampling such dishes as orange blossom infused labneh, truffle parmesan fries, and Korean braised Wagyu beef cheek. Meanwhile in staff working areas, the Circuit will keep staff fuelled with ‘brain food’, such as low GI healthy snacks packed with nuts and seeds.
In its entirety, the catering operation will feature 14 food trucks per day, 17 mobile kitchen units, 270 chefs, 380 front of house staff, and 320 external vendors. In terms of staple ingredients consumed over race weekend, the crowds will get through an estimated 7,000 tons of rice, 6,500 tons of noodles, and 9,000 tons of fries. Set up alone will take a total of 250 hours, while clean-up will take more than 100 hours.
Mr Al Ameri added: “Our objective is to make the 2016 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX not just an incredible sporting and entertainment experience, but a culinary one as well.”