The World Cup is the second biggest sporting event in the world, the only event bigger than the World Cup is the Olympic Games. It’s the most popular football tournament and is the hardest football competition to win. Even qualifying to play is a great achievement as only 32 teams from the whole world are able to compete for the title. The first World Cup was hosted in 1930 and has been played every 4 years since so there have been 20 World Cup tournaments. It was first hosted in Uruguay and every 4 years there is a competitive bid to decide who will be the next country to host the cup. Almost half of the world’s population tune it to watch the World Cup, the last cup had over 3 billion fans watching. The popularity of the games means that whichever country hosts them will see an increase in tourism and will bring in lots of money for their economy.
Teams spend a long time preparing for the games as every player needs to be playing at their best to be successful. Managers of the teams competing must think about every small detail to give their team the best chance of winning. It’s not just training that counts but also equipment, from soccer cleats that give you extra ankle support to top-quality goalie gloves, every detail counts. Brazil has some great football players in their team and their managers are really effective which has helped them to win 5 World Cups, the most out of any country with Italy and Germany close behind on 4. Another great part of the World Cup is the food, it’s a difficult event to cater for as there are so many people and as the Cup is hosted in a different country every 4 years the food is always vastly different to the previous world cup. As it’s such a huge event you might wonder how it catered for, so we’ve created a chef’s guide on how to host the perfect world cup feast.
This is the first and most important thing for any chef to think about when hosting an event, particularly one of this size. While the taste and quality of the food are important, food safety is the single most important thing when it comes to food preparation. When preparing food for an event of this size there are many food hygiene rules to follow. The most important rule of food hygiene is to wash your hands frequently when dealing with food as this will prevent any cross-contamination issues. Some other food rules include chopping meat and vegetables on different chopping boards, cook foods at the correct temperature, and make sure that they’re fully cooked and store foods correctly. If you don’t follow these rules then it increases the chances of one or many of the people attending the event getting sick as if you store or cook foods at the wrong temperature they can grow harmful bacteria that make people ill after consumption.
Preparation is the next most important thing when hosting a massive event with lots of people to feed. When catering for smaller groups, whilst it is not recommended, many chefs can get away with doing very little prep and winging it on the day. This would not be possible for an event the size of the World Cup, having a plan in place is so important to not get stressed out or mess up whilst cooking. Any food preparations that can be done early should be done, for example, all of your vegetables should be chopped up prior to when you start cooking as this will make it much easier. If you’re cooking and having to prepare your ingredients at the same time this can be stressful and lead to mistakes, having your ingredients already prepped means you can just add in what you need and concentrate on cooking.
Shoes and Clothes
When hosting an event of this size you’re going to have to spend hours each day in the kitchen to cater to all the guests. It’s so important that you wear comfortable clothes and nothing that’s too warm as if you’re all wrapped up, the heat from the kitchen will become unbearable. You’ll also be on your feet all day, everyone knows how much your feet hurt after a whole day so having comfy shoes will make this much more bearable. You’ll also be on your feet for many days so if you wear uncomfortable shoes that give you blisters, you’ll struggle to get through the rest of the days.
Pick your Menu Carefully
One of the greatest things about the food being served at the World Cup is that it is vastly different every time as it’s a reflection of the hosting countries cuisine. When designing a menu for an event this big you have to be realistic about what you can expect to make. Whilst the menu does need to be mainly based on local foods, if the local meals are complex then you’ll need to create easier versions of them as you won’t have time to create such a large quantity of complex meals. It’s also important to remember to include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options on your menu.