The Greatest Show on Earth.....

We thought this would be the best & easiest way to keep all our family & friends up to date on our day to day happenings in Whistler. We'll try to make a post each day, however we're not going to fool ourselves. We're not young fella's any more and the days are going to be long. But we'll try our best to include as many of the highlights of our adventure of a lifetime as often as possible.

Bill Pratt & Mike Greer

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dancing Chickens

Day 3 of Athlete feeding and although the average person would think we're runnning around like chickens with our heads cut off. We like to call it organized pandamonia. The food is good, it get's out on time and the staff are happy, hmm, doesn't sound like panic to me. But then again, we're only feeding a few hundred athletes at the moment and 800 workforce. Wait till that number jumps to 2600 athletes per meal and 1500 workforce, then you'll see the chickens rock and roll.

Olympic Chef Bill

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Perspective from the Back of House

As everything comes together it's great to see how each role fits into the intricate pieces of the puzzle. There's an incredible amount of logistics gone into making it all work from ground zero to a well oiled machine.

As the numbers in feeding go up, so does the amount of products required being ordered & received. My working partner "Becky" from P.E.I. likes to refer to them as the groceries. There's just 4 of us looking after all the inventory, receiving, rotating, storing & pulling frozen products 2 days in advance to thaw. James from Melbourne & Dave from Whales are full-time Sodexo major event employees, and have been on the ground & working full out for the past 2 weeks trying to get everything in place & organized as best as possible to make it easier for the Chefs, Cooks & Front of House staff to find what they need to get their jobs done quickly & efficiently.

The kitchen being busiest during the day, we work late in the afternoon to the wee hours of the morning to stay out everyone elses way. The delivery arrives anytime between 7pm & 10pm. The last 2 nights had 12 pallets each, weighing an average of 2000 lbs each. Almost like getting my beer delivery at Buffy's, with exception of were getting slightly more groceries here in Whistler. What's really fortunate is all the products are delivered by one company on one truck once a night.

Someone posted they didn't know where we found the time to make posts to the blog. I don't know about Bill, as he works longer hours & is under the gun a hell of a lot more than me. Myself, I use my valuable hour each way bus trip to type out mine on my Blackberry & then upload it via email. Seems to me like the most efficient use of time ;-)

Bill tells me the first day of feeding the Athletes was huge success. I'll let him tell you all about it.

Cheers, Olympic FSM Mike

Day One

Trial Dinner

6 am – 11 pm, boy I’m glad that was only the trial dinner yesterday! It was almost midnight before we got home so I missed the blog last night. Today we hit the road by 6:30 am and snuck out of there early tonight at 9:30 pm. No one said this was going to be easy and we all came with our game faces on to do some serious work. There are bumps in the road trying to figure out recipes and routines, but we have some seriously dedicated Can-Do Chef’s that are here to get the job done.

We have this Scottish Chef Trevor Garden from Glasgow who is dominating the production kitchen and keeping me fed with prepped product so we can pull together hot food for both the Athletes and Workforce. Stephen Lee our acquisition Chef is keeping us in food and Chef Paul Rogalski, my Iron Chef buddy has the biggest job trying to co-ordinate all the prep cooks. What amazes me most is how Chef Michael Smith can be taking it in the rear from every direction and still stop in the middle of complete pandemonium and pat one of the young cooks on the back to cheer them up or stop for a photo shot every time a fan asks him (imagine doing that a dozen times a day)

One can not truly imagine the magnitude of feeding like this on a continual basis until you're immersed into it. The reality is the job has to get done and we’ll lead from the front because failure is not an option.  We were pretty hot in the kitchen today for our first official day and things went so smooth I decided to get a photo with my buddy Mike in the fridge just to cool down a little, still got 7 weeks to go.

Olympic Chef Bill

The Mona Lisa

It still amazes me how some people always expect more. The accommodations for the Olympic workforce in the Whistler Athletes Village location are in two separate locations. One just North of Whistler in hotels & the other South in Squamish aboard a cruise ship the Mona Lisa. Each are an hour bus trip to the village.

I'm on the ship. Although it is 44 years old, it is in fact a fully functioning cruise liner. With the exception of entertainment & a filled pool, we're afforded all the other amenities such as wonderful buffet meals with linen, china & silver. Beverages are served & dishes area cleared. The bars are open, as is the fitness room (no, you won't find me there) and access to computers with free internet. Even our cabins are attended to daily. Sure, they're slightly small & we have to share them with 2 or 3 strangers who quickly become new friends. All that & we get the privilege of working at the Olympics.

None the less there's always someone expects more.

Olympic FSM Mike ;-)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chef Michael Smith

One of the nicest people you'll meet. You can follow along with his Twitter page and get the inside scoop on what it takes to provide Food Services to an event this huge.

Olympic FSM Mike

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Actually, he made it yesterday for his in-routine of safety and health lectures and then they were sending him back to the carnival cruise line for more R&R before he started today. I had a few moments to tour him around the kitchen and facility and I wasn’t sure if the look on his face was fear or simply shock and awe. Like a good trooper that he is, he jumped in with both feet today as if he’d been with us for the past few weeks and now after 12 hours under his belt he’s an old sod ( must be that good military training).

The action for the day was a trial run on breakfast. In the Navy we normally have about 7 or 8 hot items on the steamline. Imagine us trying to get 26 hot items then set 4 other stations; that’s 104 serving pans plus backup for each in a hot box. Breakfast goes from 0530 – 10 am, you definitely won’t get that breakfast in bed service in the Navy.
Tomorrow the trial run starts on all the hot servery areas because we go live on Thursday for the athletes and my job will be to orchestrate the kitchen like a Maestro orchestrates a symphony. I’m just wondering if the safety rep will let me stand on a milk crate to make the kitchen sing?

Olympic Chef Bill

Chef Michael Smith

One of the nicest people you'll meet. You can follow along with his Twitter page and get the inside scoop on what it takes to provide Food Services to an event this huge.

Olympic FSM Mike

Monday, February 1, 2010

Iron Chef America

Someone told me that we lost on Iron Chef America last night and I'm wondering if they were watching the same show I was. Here I am competing on the hottest cooking show in North America with my buddy Michael Smith and Paul Rogalski and the scoring is decided by a soap opera star from the 80's or 90's?? What you didn't see in the show was us feeding the camera crew, why do you think they kept zooming in on us doing cool things like throwing avocado’s and stainless steel bowls and they caught Bobby Flay burning his orange reduction. Don't take my word for it, PVR the show and calculate the time the camera was on us and then on Flay. What I don't get was the originality and plating points awarded to Flai over us when all his plates were plain white. Can someone tell me if that lamb, chunky watermelon and avocado course was a Picaso art piece or his dessert?

All kidding aside, I want to Thank everyone for the ton of E-Mails and Blog hits over the past 24 hours, my blackberry has never been so busy. Our Iron Chef showing party last night was a blast and it felt good to have everyone cheering us on even after they announced the soap star took this gig instead of washing dishes in Hell’s kitchen?

Olympic Chef Bill

Olympic Fever!

Wow, what I expected plus a hundred times more. Everyone pumped with Olympic energy & enthusiasm. I'll admit I was little a apprehensive & nervous about being part of such a major event. That was quickly washed away when surrounded by so many others who are just as honoured to be involved in this historic opportunity.

Everyday there's a bunch of new staff coming aboard. Our group of wide eyed & eager Foodies come from as far as Australia, as well as PEI, QC, ON, MB, & SK. All full of positive energy and ready to go! Making new like minded friends with the same outlook on life. Living the Dream...

Olympic FSM Mike

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Iron Chef America!

Tonight's the night. Chef Bill Pratt and Chef Michael Smith battling it out in Kitchen Stadium with Chef Bobby Flay on the Food Network, 31 Jan 2010 at 6 PM Pacific, 7PM AB & SK, 8 PM MB, 9PM Eastern, 9:30 NFLD.  Don't miss this Canadian food amazing event!">

Cheers,  Mike