This post comes from Chef Kevin Doherty.
The NHL Playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals proved to be one of the most exciting and challenging times of my career as a chef. I’ve tried to capture how non-stop the action could be on game days at TD Garden in the post below.
8 a.m. Monday morning: Someone says, “Where is Chef?”
The answer: He’s in Banners preparing for the Chairman’s visit. He just learned the number has gone from 12 to 53 people. There are people coming on different planes at different times.
Not a problem. Where is Chef Patrick?
He’s knee deep in press feeding for the 650 members of the media and Chef Kevin Liebfred from New Meadowlands Stadium is running the press rooms too.
There are some more challenges….
“Who ordered Pepsi? We’re a Coke house.”
“There is turn in the middle of press feeding as the menu needs to change for local media…”
No problem. Ok.
“Where is Chef Liz?” She is with Chef Jamie Caudy from the Minnesota Twins operations.
“Also, the Vancouver ownership suites need to be gluten free. Not a problem, right?”
Right. Yes. Okay.
“Chef, we also need a birthday cake in 20 minutes for the Chairman’s event.”
“Tell Chef Liz we need 48 full sheet pizzas for ESPN event.”
“Who is firing up the Bruins’ post game meal?
“It’s almost game time, are we ready? Go up to Banners and tell Larry I have the salmon and the Bistro tenders coming in today so we can do the mis en place…”
Right. Yes. Ok. What else is on our To Do list.
“Tell Chef Josh and Jeff that I need to see the latest VIP suite list…oh, it’s three pages long. We’re going to need 15 minutes to review. There are so many VIP attending these games. We need to get everything right.”
“I will drop off the pastry for concessions in the commissary in the next 20 minutes.”
“Yes, I called Steve ‘sushi chef’ who rolls in Banners raw bar. He has 67 pre ordered slates.”
“There are also 53 people with allergen alerts…. No peanuts, legumes, beans, peas or shellfish….okay, we’re good with that.
“Chef Liz, do you have the cheddar popcorn?”
Ok. The planning is done. What else….
We receive an e-mail telling us the loading dock will be shrunk to one bay (we only have three) and delivery’s must be in before 8 a.m. — we’ll make this work.
I’ve posted the above stream of consciousness in hopes of describing how much work and pressure goes in to these large events. That said, there is nothing more gratifying than meeting the needs and demands of so many people and turning out world class food. So many chefs helped out, pitched in and were a part of the fun. I can’t thank them enough. I need to take special time to thank the visiting chefs: Chefs Jamie Caudy, Jeff Wheaton, Kevin Liebfred, Tait Guthrie, David Spinazzola and Justin Kane. I also must give a huge thank you to the TD Garden chefs: Chefs Patrick Kilduff, Liz Silva Hernandez, David Spinazolla and Josh Ingraham. All of you earned your stripes.
Now I can say I’ve handled two championship series from two different teams (Bruins and Celtics) in the same building in the same season. It was a wild, wonderful ride that culminated with the Bruins incredible Stanley Cup title. You can’t ask for a better ending to the season.
Also, did I mention that in the middle of all that we handled sold out concerts for New Kids on The Block and Glee… you know, average days.