Just Somm Chef tells us what it’s like to be an NFL Team Chef through an interview with Phil Conners, the former Team Chef for the Cincinnati Bengals. Here is an excerpt.
Each day, breakfast begins at 5:30 am. The players have a hot buffet with all the breakfast staples: scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausage, the classics. There is a cold buffet with every smoothie ingredient imaginable. The team consumes hundreds of pounds of fruit and berries daily. The busiest area of all is the omelet station. For two to three hour straight, the cooks dish out omelet after omelet with a smile on their face.
It would be remiss not to mention the cereal station. The favorite choice of the Cincinnati Bengals was Cinnamon Toast Crunch. If the coaches and nutritionists weren’t keeping a close eye on the players, some would eat up to ten bowls of cinnamon toast crunch. The station is refilled daily.
At lunch, one of the most typically consumed foods is the turkey burger on account of the lean protein content, and the players might eat a total of 120 pounds of turkey burgers a day. It is not uncommon to see a player eat four turkey burgers in one sitting. The day is a schedule full of practice, drills, protein breaks, smoothie breaks, and meals. A small player might eat 5,000 calories a day. The larger players, like the linemen, are shooting for around 10,000 calories a day. The job of the team chef becomes a balance between keeping the menu interesting and putting out mass amounts of nutrient dense calories.