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article imageProfessional private chef gives Washington Redskins food boost

By James Walker     Oct 4, 2014 in Food
Over the past 13 months, American football team the Washington Redskins has attempted to boost the players' dietary nutrition by creating a made-to-order, healthy-eating outlet in their basement staffed by a gourmet chef and a full-time nutritionist.
Opened just over a year ago, the new kitchen, often serving more than 350 meals created from-scratch each day, was part of a $30 million renovation of the team's building, making them one of very few clubs to employ an on-site chef and nutritionist. Coach Jay Gruden explained "If your diet starts to suffer a little bit, then your play is going to suffer. It all goes hand-in-hand. It's hard to be a physical specimen and have a terrible diet."
Washington Times reports that owner Dan Snyder hired top D.C. chef Jon Mathieson, inspired by French cuisine, to transform the eating habits of everyone working for the club, including players, coaches and general support staff. Mathieson said of his position "If I was going to take a leap from the fine-dining branch, why not go polar-opposite and try to do clean-eating for a football team and see where it goes." He works from a kitchen equipped with anything a professional chef could ever want: huge cooking pots, a brick pizza oven, smoothie, pasta and omelette stations, cheese melters and any other implement you could name. He is responsible for preparing up to 75 pounds each of fish and meat per day though.
Before his arrival, the players would regularly consume barbecue, Italian or Mexican food from services like Qdoba Catering, even dining on burgers from McDonalds occasionally - not necessarily the best choice for a sports star!. Now it is typical to consume scrambled egg whites, turkey, bacon, sausage or fish though alongside a refreshing "recovery" smoothie, found by every player's locker after training.
The players seem happy with the new dining arrangements. Typical favourites include the salmon and Mathieson's adapted pizza, using yogurt, milk and whole wheat flour to make it healthier for the players. The arrangement is certainly very different idea to what other teams tend to eat while training and perhaps finally marks the blurring of borders between gourmet, nutritional eating and all-out sports practice, providing just enough protein to keep everyone happy but without the fattening content found in other foods.
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