AmericaOne Report 11/25/99
It Takes Three Cooks To Make the Team Go Fast
by Dana Paxton
How do you keep a ton and a half of America’s Cup sailing team well-fed and happy? You employ three full-time chefs with a background in hospitality service. Meet Mark Reihana, Harry Lynskey, and Chris Bond. Each brings a big-group approach to feeding 80 hungry people three meals a day, seven days a week.
Their day is long by anyone’s standards. Our trio can be found up before the sun at the "dining hall" created out of a vacant two-story house next to the team housing. The kitchen has been expanded and equipped to professional chef’s standards. A six-burner gas range, a full-size indoor grill, a commercial refrigerator, and a pantry big enough to stock the 30 boxes of cereal, 35 dozen eggs, and 56 liters of juice the team goes through in a week’s worth of breakfast take up the bulk of the galley.
Before anyone comes in for breakfast, the trio prepares the sailing team’s lunches and packs them into specifically designed containers. Depending on the call of protein-to-carb ratio from the teams’ trainer Billy Bates, the cooks customize the meals for the sailors. Some days it’s pasta salad and a sirloin steak with an apple. "At the moment it’s low-carbohydrates, high protein and clean, uncooked veggies," says Lynskey.
Next comes breakfast, which is not the tamest scene since the team has also been up since dawn, but they’ve been in the gym working off stress and increasing cardio and muscle endurance. The all pile into the kitchen ravenous scrambling for eggs and juice.
Mark, Harry, and Chris are ahead of the curve. They’ve already fixed up a skillet of 40 eggs and eight two-liter juice cartons are in the middle of each dining table. A fast fill-up and the team is off in a dash for a quick shower before the convoy to the compound. Ditto with the cooks.
Down at the AmericaOne compound, the Meal Team has a portable kitchen, much like those found at local high-school soccer games, only this one turns out about 80 roasted chickens per week. Oh, and 300 pounds of meat consisting of sirloins, ground beef, and prime New Zealand lamb. That pure protein complements the nutrition guidelines set by the team’s trainer Billy Bates.
Rounding out the daily diet is a boatload of fresh produce culled from local suppliers. "Whatever is in season is what we cook," says Reihana. "Parsnips, kumara (NZ sweet potato), aubergine (eggplant), courgettes (zucchini), and asparagus."
Even though the sailing team is out on the water racing doesn’t mean the cooks have time off. On shore there’s a staff of thirty, including the shore crew, to feed. They get the same deluxe treatment the team gets: A delicious buffet full of well-prepared food. Walking away hungry is not an option.
By mid-afternoon, Reihana, Lynskey, and Bond have some personal time, but then it’s straight back into prepping for dinner. "Right before dinner is the busiest time," says Lynskey. "The sailing team is back from racing, the office staff and shore crew are hungry. We have a lot of people to prepare meals for in a short amount of time."
The team piles through for a fuel up and then they’re off again to assess the day’s racing or one of hundreds of maintenance projects in the compound.
By 7:00 p.m. it’s quiet in the dining area and Reihana, Lynskey, and Bond are cleaning up. After a thorough wash down of the kitchen and a run through the next day’s list of chores, the three close down shop for the night knowing they’ve made a ton of difference to a sailing team working hard every day to bring home the America’s Cup.
AmericaOne is dedicated to recapturing the America's Cup by applying U.S. technology in aerodynamics, computer equipment, hydrodynamics, naval architecture, sail design and structural engineering to America's Cup sailboat design. Operating since June 1, 1996, AmericaOne is the challenger on behalf of San Francisco's St. Francis Yacht Club. AmericaOne technology partners and top-level sponsors include Hewlett-Packard Company, Telcordia Technologies/SAIC, Ford Motor Company/Visteon and United Technologies Corp. To learn more about AmericaOne visit: www.americaone.org.
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