If you’ve ever taken your family camping for the weekend, you know the planning and preparation it takes to eat well in a remote place.
This is the analogy San Diego-based caterer John Crisafulli uses when describing his Olympic-sized challenge: feeding 5,000 people for 60 days at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“There’s no home depot there. There is no big grocery store. There are no Costcos in Russia,” he explained.
Crisafulli has been hired as the U.S. Olympic Caterer, responsible for feeding everyone from USOC executives to NBC broadcasters.
And, he’s been prepping for his very own version of the Olympic “Hunger Games,” if you will, for quite some time.
The logistical puzzle for his Sorrento Mesa company, “Behind the Scenes Catering,” started right around the same time the 2012 Summer Olympics in London were winding down.
Ten containers of equipment were sent directly from London to Sochi and 65,000 cases of product went out from San Diego to ensure there’s enough food to feed the Winter Games crowd.
“We’ve had to literally invent a supply chain and ship things in, not only from the U.S., but U.K. and Europe, and that’s something we’ve never had to do in the past in any of the previous games,” he said.
But, the foodie is certainly up for the task.
This will be Crisafulli’s eighth consecutive time working for the Olympics and he calls this latest gig the greatest challenge of them all.