Eating healthy is beneficial to all lifestyles. It is important to eat the right things and provide our bodies with the necessary nutrients and energy that it needs to perform its natural functions. An important group of individuals whose menus are extremely crucial are athletes. As the Winter Olympics continue, people may wonder how these athletes are staying nourished and energized. Epicurious’ epi-log features an interview with the head chef for the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding Association, Allen Tran, where he shares what Olympians are eating at Sochi.
At Sochi, there aren’t any stocked kitchens with endless ingredients; the chefs must provide their own ingredients. While it is almost impossible traveling from one country to another with tons of ingredients for cooking, Allen Tran roamed around in search of the freshest products that were available. He was successful in finding some local treasures such as salmon, pumpkin, buckwheat, fish sauce, coconut milk, quinoa and more. When he learned that these were the finest and freshest of foods around, Allen Tran stocked up.
The fact that most Americans are used to consuming many foods of other cultures has been on their side completely. With that said, the Olympians were indulging in meals within Mexican, Italian, and Asian cultures, as well as the traditional home style American cuisine. Two things that Allen Tran and team were able to bring with them were the most necessary – a water filtration system and a suitcase full of hot sauce. In addition, spices that may not have been available in Russia and chocolate syrup were also part of the packed from America ingredients. Some may wonder why chocolate syrup of all things? Turns out, Chocolate Milk helps tremendously in recovery for athletes. Tran did make some pretty classic American favorites for special occasions throughout the Winter Olympics, such as peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.
Allen Tran has been extremely cautious in terms of making sure the food is 100% safe for these athletes to consume. In the 2006 Olympics, there was a food poisoning incident, and Tran made it his business to go above and beyond in making safety his main priority. Chances are, everything he makes will be delicious anyway, so that never has to be a priority – it just happens. Allen Tran has a degree in food science and has been trained in food safety; therefore he is confident that he will only provide safe and delectable dishes for these hard-working Olympians. He also has a team of American chefs handling the food and no one else. It is no question that these Olympians are eating well and getting their necessary nutrients and carbs to help them win the gold!