|Dakar Rally 2014 BLOG INSIDE: A TV-cook and rallydriver as X-raid caterer.|
Well, if you finish a stage as driver, repair the cars as a mechanic or if you are otherwise involved in the rally, you really become hungry during the day. A rally-catering is essential at the Dakar rally and this year´s official catering is really famous. In the morning breakfast with eggs, meat, marmelade, coffee and tea, during the day lunch with salads and every day changing food, in the evening hot dinner -if you want also in the middle of the night.
Some teams - especially the big ones - additionally have their own catering. Not because they don´t trust the official caterer, but sometimes ways are long, time is short or the taste of the different nationalities is simply different. So at the X-raid Monster Energy team, ´the biggest team in the rally and responsible for 12 cars, which means there are more than 150 people within the crew. In this year the team has a premiere: A "celebrity cook".
Gerd Kastenmeier from Germany has his own exclusive restaurant in the city of Dresden in Eastern Germany, is owning a catering service, has his own TV-show - and he is also the official caterer of the "Breslau Rally", the world´s largest amateur-rallyraid (in some years nearly as big as the Dakar). But not only that: Kastenmeier himself is also a rallydriver, not at the Dakar, but in the Breslau Rally. Who else knows better what a rallydriver needs after a tough stage?
"During the Breslau I was asked by a team-member of X-raid if I´m eventually interested to do the Dakar-catering for them" Kastenmeier said. "I was very interested because beeing at the Dakar was always a dream. So in the beginning of November 2013 I met with X-raid and we made the deal. It was great. Even from the beginning of the cooperation I was involved - it started with the question 'How do you want your catering truck?'"
Yes, the team has it´s own catering truck. A big MAN TGS with kitchen, big fridge, oven, washing machines and a special built grill. "We built the truck as I and our crew need it and we could buy and install the equipment we like to work with - this is always great" Kastenmeier said.
A rally-catering especially in the Dakar rally is quite different than a normal catering. You have to handle with the time, the long liaisons and especially with the health of the crew. Also it is important what food you use and where you buy it.
"The contract was clear: The food must be tasty, interesting, healthy and especially created carefully because nobody wanted to have sick members" Kastenmeier reported. "So we bought a lot of stuff before in Germany. Fresh stuff like fruits, vegetables or meat we buy locally, all is cooked with water of bottles. We simply don´t want to risk anything."
And the crew members like it. During the day they got sweets, fruits and some "fast food" like noodles, salads or burgers. In the evening the crew around Kastenmeier and "Heinz" is creating the big dinner: Fresh made "Wiener Schnitzel", cooked vegetables, pasta, steaks - every day a new menu. "Sure, it was a risk to hire a new caterer you personally don´t know" head of marketing Thomas Quandt reported. "But when we heard that he is a rally-caterer and also driving in rallies we trusted in him. This descision was definetely right - the food is great, the people like it!" Well done...
2014/01/09 | 00:10 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS