There’s always something interesting happening at Stamford Bridge, but nothing beats the sheer buzz and atmosphere on a matchday. Included within the 42,000 football fans on-site, there are over 5450 hospitality guests who enjoy our award-winning hospitality experience in a multitude of hospitality suites. These include freshly prepared meals, from informal bowl foods to four-course gourmet dining, innovative canapés and irresistible desserts.
To create each and every dish with passion and pride requires a talented and dedicated team of chefs. In addition to our core team of 15, we’ll bring in up to 65 extra chefs to help ensure that every dish that leaves our 22 on-site kitchens is of the highest standard.
We’ll begin preparations three days before a matchday, with delivery of fresh produce. For each matchday, we will take delivery of over 1000 chicken breasts, 20 whole hams and over 100kg each of Turkey and Beef. All of our meat is 100% British and sourced from suppliers that meet our stringent quality and welfare standards- happier farms produce better quality meat.
The first dishes that the team work on are our canapes and cold starters, such as Smoked Salmon with dill cream. These are hand rolled to create a perfectly round starter that can then be sliced into seven even slices for display in the hospitality suites. These can be kept chilled so that they are perfect for serving on the day.
Alongside these, we will create all of our cold meat and salad dishes in our north stand kitchen, and will begin to prepare our slow-cooked dishes such as Ham Hock so that they are ready to go for matchday.
Moving through the next two days, we will be ensuring that our fresh vegetables are washed, cut and prepared for cooking. As part of my role as Executive Chef, I need to spread my time across the stadium to ensure that each of our 22 kitchens has everything they need to create each dish required – from 24 covers in our Millennium Suites, to 278 in our larger suites such as Drake and Harris.
Finally, on the matchday itself, we’ll be working on finishing and plating all of our meals, from gourmet fine dining to casual bowl food dishes. For example, we will caramelise sugar on our desserts by hand and add garnishes and sauces to our cold desserts to ensure that each dish receives a personal touch and individual attention to detail. For our buffet-style dining suites, we take great care in arranging each dish to produce an enticing display that impresses both our first-time guests and loyal annual hospitality members.
I will also ensure that each dish is consistent in appearance and portion size before delivery to the suites, to guarantee that every hospitality guest receives a consistently high quality experience, from their canapes upon entry through to their desserts and post-match treats.
When it’s all over- we can take a well-earned break (until the next match, that is!)