FOODSERVICE FOR HUSKIES: Arctic Games Sports include dog mushing, snowshoeing, curling, push-pull, knuckle jumps, hockey and more.
Dean Hamburg, food service director of the Kenai Peninsula-(AK) Borough School District, and Dan Hastings, student nutrition coordinator, were undaunted by the task of serving 50,000 meals to the athletes at the Arctic Winter Games in Kenai Peninsula, located just south of Anchorage.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner were served to athletes at three feeding sites—Skyview High School, Kenai Central High School and Soldotna High School— during the 10-day event.
"Our team raised the bar both in menu selection and style," recalls Hamburg, whose team was composed of local school nutrition professionals as well as international volunteers.
"Some athlete participants did bring their own "Muktuk" (whale blubber) for in-room consumption, but for the most part, meals were consumed from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. in the three village cafeteria settings," says Hamburg.
These cafès proved to be great social halls for Arctic athletes to share their stories of Arctic life. "Greenland cross-country athletes bonded with Alaskan biathlon members over yogurt, breads, eggs and hot cereals," he adds.
Hamburg assisted with food preparation for the 2004 Arctic Winter games in Wood Buffalo, Alberta, Canada as well.
"The key to success for an event like this is planning," he says.
A full month ahead of the first arriving teams, the food team prepared 1200 servings of lasagna and some 20,000 cookies that were held in school district freezers.
The Arctic Winter Games were conducted from March 5-11 with Winter Sports teams visiting from Arctic regions like Greenland, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Yukon, Northern Alberta, Northwest Territories and Alaska.