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Denver Native (Carol)
09-05-2007, 09:48 AM
http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/flavor/article/0,2792,DRMN_26356_5689791,00.html

Broncos' caterer piles on the team favorites

By Jay Dedrick, Rocky Mountain News
September 4, 2007

ENGLEWOOD - Jason Elam had just polished off a 16-ounce porterhouse steak, a lobster tail, some twice-baked-potato casserole and roasted vegetables when he excused himself from the cafeteria table he shared with his fellow Denver Broncos kickers.

A moment later he returned to his seat, a jar of Skippy in one hand, two slices of sandwich bread in the other.

"This is my dessert," he said, smiling as he slathered the peanut butter onto the bread.

And this was grill night at Denver Broncos training camp, a robust Monday meal that many players called the highlight of the camp's two weeks' worth of food fare.

Meals are served at the Dove Valley facility whenever the team is at work - off-season mini-camps, regular-season practices. But as they prepared for the season that kicks off Sunday in Buffalo, Broncos players did their most vital fueling of the year during last month's training camp. This is where cornerback Domonique Foxworth looked forward to the cinnamon rolls at breakfast, where wide receiver Brian Clark piled the buffalo wings high on his plate at lunch.

When training camp took place on the University of Northern Colorado campus in Greeley years ago, "it was more like dorm meals," said Chip Conway, the team's vice president of operations. "This is a little classier."

Credit goes to Avie Rosacci and her team at Tony Rosacci's Fine Catering, the catering arm of Tony's Meats. Like the coaches and players, she has a playbook, only this three-ring binder is packed thick with menus and recipes.

"We really try to mix it up," she said, sounding as much like an offensive coordinator as a caterer. "We want them to look forward to every meal, so we give them a lot of options. We're able to please everybody about 90 percent of the time."

This is Rosacci's fifth year as president of the business and her fourth year of handling catering for the Broncos.

"Initially, I was surprised by the pure volume of food," Rosacci said. During camp, her team of three to six workers provides about 2 pounds of food per meal for each player and 8 to 12 ounces for each merely mortal staffer at the team facility. "We worked a lot of overtime that first year."

Experience has taught her to treat training camp like Christmas - the other time of year when a caterer can't afford to have even one employee on vacation.

"I was also struck by the simplicity of the players' tastes," she said. "If it's a food you can't pronounce or identify by looking at it, they're not going to eat it. And we want to make foods they like, because they have choices - they don't have to eat here."

Besides the main courses and sides, the grill-night menu included pull-apart rolls, mixed fresh fruit and a spinach-and-pear salad with vanilla vinaigrette. Those with a sweet tooth had their choice of Snickers Bar Pie or Fresh Berry Sponge Cake. Or both.

Buffet-style meals allow for refills, so signs on the sneeze guards politely asked diners to limit themselves to one steak and one lobster tail each.

"I've seen several players take three lobster tails - even with the sign up," said Skylar Smith, the Rosacci's staffer who served as grill master for the evening's 175 steaks, one for each person dining.

Despite the presence of so many lineman-size appetites - or kicker-size, for that matter - team leaders keep an eye on health, too. Trainers and nutritionists must approve menus. And this year, Rosacci says, players requested less comfort food and more health-minded fare: fish, rice and whole grains. Rosacci's "neutral zone" menus include fare like oven-roasted turkey with white rice and quinoa pilaf, oven salmon with brown rice and sea bass with napa cabbage.

Familiar favorites still rate, too: macaroni and cheese, chicken and beef skewers, lean barbecue. Custom orders are available via an omelet station at breakfast, a sandwich station at lunch. Desserts tend to be malt-shop simple: hot fudge sundaes, banana cream pie, ice cream bars and cookies.

In her rookie season, Rosacci learned another lesson when casseroles failed to score with the team.

"I tried turkey casserole, taco casserole - they didn't like any of them," Rosacci said. "I thought I was going to get kicked out of here."

The exception to the rule: a twice-baked-potato casserole. It was scooped up often as a side to the steak-and-lobster combo, which was easily the most popular entree of training camp.

With or without a peanut butter sandwich.

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09-05-2007, 10:13 AM
Thanks for the read, Carol.

That's really interesting. They are really a "meat-and-potatoes" bunch, aren't they?

But bread and peanut butter following a steak dinner? :tsk:


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Lonestar
09-05-2007, 12:52 PM
It must be lunch time cause I just got famished.

Great find

TXBRONC
09-05-2007, 03:56 PM
Oh man that sounded good. Thank you DN its was an interesting read.

Watchthemiddle
09-05-2007, 04:41 PM
Thats incentive right there to become a pro football player. 2 pounds of food each....:eek::eek: <--- I LOVE IT!!

Elam can put away that much food?


Jason Elam had just polished off a 16-ounce porterhouse steak, a lobster tail, some twice-baked-potato casserole and roasted vegetables when he excused himself from the cafeteria table he shared with his fellow Denver Broncos kickers.

A moment later he returned to his seat, a jar of Skippy in one hand, two slices of sandwich bread in the other.

NIce!!! That must be why Bid Money was cut. LOL :laugh:..He was taking more then his share of 2 pounds...:laugh:

TXBRONC
09-05-2007, 04:54 PM
Thats incentive right there to become a pro football player. 2 pounds of food each....:eek:<--- I LOVE IT!!

Elam can put away that much food?


NIce!!! That must be why Bid Money was cut. LOL :laugh:..He was taking more then his share of 2 pounds...:laugh:


And not just your run of mill stuff either. Porterhouse steaks and lobster tails and peanut butter. :D

Watchthemiddle
09-05-2007, 05:27 PM
And not just your run of mill stuff either. Porterhouse steaks and lobster tails and peanut butter. :D

To compare that to my daily intake.....16 oz of sirloin, 2 cans of tuna, and 6 tbl spoons of natural PB.

Thats the poor mans training table....:laugh:

TXBRONC
09-05-2007, 06:13 PM
To compare that to my daily intake.....16 oz of sirloin, 2 cans of tuna, and 6 tbl spoons of natural PB.

Thats the poor mans training table....:laugh:


I could find a way to suffer through that poor man's training table. :D

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