LOOK: World-class kitchen and meals in-store at Athletes’ Village » Manila Bulletin Lifestyle

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LOOK: World-class kitchen and meals in-store at Athletes’ Village


By Kristelle Bechayda

Amid the controversy that members of the women’s football teams for the upcoming 30th Southeast Asian Games were served kikiam, which many rated as insufficient, the players housed at the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City won’t be suffering from the same fate.

Poch Jarolan (Everybody’s Cafe), who is part of the culinary team that was tapped to man the kitchen at the Athletes’ Village, reassures this. On his Facebook account on Nov. 24, he posted photos of their Halal-approved kitchen, as well as some of the meals they have served.

“When you are brought to that level to prepare food and feed world-class athletes, the facilities and standards also [have] to be at par,” he wrote on the caption.

That day’s afternoon snack for the athletes consisted of a hearty spread of sotanghon, lemon cucumber juice, pizza, and egg sandwiches on wheat bread. In a separate post, Jarolan also shared they also served freshly-baked breads for the athletes daily, courtesy of a separate baking team.

Chef Bruce Lim shared in an interview that the dishes they would be serving are Halal-certified. This is for the benefit of the Muslim athletes, whose diet is restricted by their Islamic religion. Lim said he made sure the team took steps to guarantee everything is Halal, so much so that a Malaysian governing body was coming to check and certify that the entire food system and the kitchen is 100 percent Halal.

Lim was appointed by the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) to be the 2019 Southeast Asian Game’s head chef. As head chef, he is responsible for the nutrition needs of every athlete in the biggest edition of the SEA Games to be hosted by the Philippines. He added that he and his culinary team are also working with every team’s nutritionists to ensure the athletes’ dietary preferences are met.

The 30th Southeast Asian Games are from Nov. 30 until Dec. 11.

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