Free food fills
Nutritious, tasty meals attract athletes

by Glen Korstrom
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 20/98) - Part of travelling is enjoying a variety of good meals. Most visitors eat most meals at Akaitcho Hall or Weledeh school, where food is free, nutritious and tasty.

"We're doing all the major preparation in this kitchen," chef Dan Connelly said in the Akaitcho Hall cafeteria kitchen.

"We have full selection menus set up for every day. We don't just dish up the plates. People have a selection."

Connelly made the trip to Yellowknife from Prince George in British Columbia, the province where most visiting Akaitcho kitchen staff originate from. In Weledeh, most visiting staff made the trip to Yellowknife from Alberta.

Chefs provide vegetarian entrees on request but otherwise grill arctic char, slow-cook roast beef and baste roast turkey.

The standard supper includes a soup, starch, protein dish, vegetable and a desert.

By the Games end, Connelly said the staff will prepare five full semi-trailers' worth of food.

For athletes competing too far from the cafeteria centres, they can request bag lunches.

"Bag lunches include a fruit, two juices, a cookie, desert and a sandwich," Connelly said.

There were 500 such lunches on Tuesday, enough to make Connelly dream of packing the bags in his sleep.

"That's one thing we're not getting a lot of," he said. "The regular shifts are 16 hours."

Meanwhile, volunteers from the Vocational Trade Centre bus cafeteria tables and generally cleaning up.

"The students are working together at the Games and that's good for teamwork and community involvement," said staff volunteer Shelly Strong.

Student volunteer Ray Komak raved about the food down to the hamburgers. "It was a really good hamburger."

And to Alberta women's volleyball chaperon Sharon Johnson, all her lunches and dinners have been excellent.

"Some people have gone to Boston Pizza, but I've come here for lunches and dinners," she said.

"There's a 9 a.m. cutoff for breakfast so I haven't tried the hot breakfast," she said finishing a porridge at about 10:15 a.m.

Tonight's main dish is the roast turkey complete with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and rotini in tomato sauce.

About 1,500 people are expected to chow down on roast beef, corn on the cob and roasted potatoes tomorrow after the closing ceremonies.