ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester Americans starting their season at home this Friday night against the Islanders. They are coming off a great playoff run, and ahead of the puck drop News 8 wanted to know:
What does it take to feed a hockey team? News 8 went to Blue Cross Arena Wednesday as they were getting in their final practices before the season starts.
While they prep on the ice, there’s a team that helps them prep off it. Nutrition, says head coach Seth Appert, is a huge part of what the Sabres and Amerks do.
“It’s to make yourself the best hockey player you can be as you chase down the national hockey league,” he said in his media availability Tuesday.
The business behind the food is Farmhouse Table. They have been providing mostly breakfast and lunch for the team for about seven years.
For this gig, like any other, their focus is on quality food made from locally sourced ingredients. They make it off-site and bring it in every day.
“The idea of being here every day, working with the team, and getting the opportunity was too good to pass up,” said Mike Hasenauer the CEO of Farmhouse. He’s also an Amerks fan.
The other key member of the nutrition team is Christine Dziedzic; she’s the dietitian for the Sabres and the Amerks, she helps Farmhouse make the menu.
Dziedzic intensively preps with each individual player: she works to find out their tastes, and needs, measures caloric burn and even uses blood tests to determine what customized supplements they need.
While a lot of the prep helps with the meals they have at the facility, a big part of their job is prep. After all, the Amerks have a lot of young players.
“It can start with things very simply, like how I set up my kitchen to learn how to cook,” she said.
“I think I still have things to learn, especially at the pro level,” said defenseman Zach Metsa. He had an extensive college career before coming to the Amerks. “But I feel like at least now I have a decent baseline to work off of.”
Farmhouse goes through a lot of quality food from local sources:
“Roughly 200 pounds of protein every five days, output from our space every day, nine dozen eggs every day,” he said.
But it pays off with tasty meals. Hasenauer and Dziedzic make sure that the meals taste good; it might be fuel, but it’s no fun to eat boring food at the volume these players do.
Coach Appert loves their Taco Tuesdays, Dziedzic — a native of Australia — loves the soups come wintertime, and Metsa has a soft spot for their brisket.
Hasenauer said the popular veggie is broccoli. For Farmhouse, the gratitude from the players of a great meal is their fuel, but it goes beyond that, too:
“Last year we watched the Sabres, and we realized that probably 60-70% of the players on the ice had come through Rochester, and had eaten our food, and we knew them well, and we knew their families, and we were really rooting for them, and that’s the most rewarding part for sure,” he said.
You can find tickets for the Amerks game here.