FINISHING TOUCH: Hard Rock Stadium Executive Chef Dayanny De La Cruz puts the finishing touches on a salmon and tomato carpaccio, one of the items that will be on offer at the Crypto.com Miami Formula 1 Grand Prix. (Photo by Matthew Noel for Sodexo Live!)
Sodexo live! executive chef accustomed to major events
Expectations rise for the Crypto.com Formula 1 Grand Prix of Miami as it debuts as the newest race on the F1 calendar from May 6-8 in Miami Gardens featuring top international drivers, motorsport enthusiasts and a menu worthy of the winner’s circle.
This is the inaugural event on the 275-acre property where Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL Miami Dolphins, is located. The spectator layout is divided into eight distinct areas that reflect local culture and lifestyle, including a marina, beach club and luxury suites to view the action on and off the track.
There will be plenty to see. The 3.36-mile Miami International Speedway was built from 24,000 tons of asphalt and features 19 turns, three straights and has an estimated top speed of 135 mph.
Zachary Williams, Director of Sodexo Live! at Hard Rock Stadium, the Dolphins’ food supplier, put into perspective transforming the venue’s huge parking lot into a small town for race week: “That’s a lot of ground to cover,” said- he joked.
Covering this area with premium foods and drinks is a challenge. A year of preparation, Sodexo Live! will set up 70 different locations with three large production kitchens and satellite kitchens in each area preparing fresh food on event days. Each location will be fully stocked so there is no delay in covering the long distance and having to restock items.
“Each kitchen will operate independently of everyone else,” Williams explained. “Everything will be produced there and ready to go.”
Over the weekend, Hard Rock Stadium Executive Chef Dayanny De La Cruz and the Sodexo Live! The Culinary Team will take care of campus menus around Hard Rock Stadium, including terraces, villas, suites and the MSC Cruises Yacht Club. The chef will be supported by more than 2,500 workers and more than 30 cooks flown in for the race. De la Cruz was executive when Super Bowl LIV came to Hard Rock Stadium in 2020.
Williams said then that it’s new ground, the Sodexo Live! contingent is ready after other major events including the Super Bowl, the Rolling Loud music festival and the Miami Open tennis tournament.
“We have a great staffing department and we know what the expectations are,” he said.
The variety and scalable prices make the experience accessible to general admission patrons as well as luxury patrons.
“We want to offer each guest at different levels; from general admission grounds, upgrade to luxury customers,” he said. “We will have a range of values and an experience that matches each different guest we have.”
It means offering something for everyone; from burgers, hog dogs and chicken tenders in the $7-$8 range all the way up to a $20+ wagyu hot dog topped with dollops of caviar. The Miami-inspired menu also includes rock shrimp ceviche, smoked lobster arancini, tenderloin bites, crab and avocado toast, mini Cuban egg sandwiches, smoked marlin dip, wagyu beef satay, chicharron bites and a Key West shrimp cocktail.
Additionally, South Florida Motorsports, the event promoter, has tapped into the best local restaurants in South Florida, including Michelin-starred restaurants and James Beard Award notables, as well as exceptional businesses owned by minorities in Miami Gardens, to improve options for racing fans.
Over the weekend, 35 restaurants will be on the grounds, including Seaspice, Michael’s Genuine Cafe, Harry’s Pizzeria, Groot Hospitality, Casa Tua, COTE Miami, ZZ’s Club and celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein. Race weekend guests will also have unique bar offerings with liquor brands Hendricks, Herradura, Glenfiddich, Cincoro, Flor de Cana, Organika and Whistle Pig.
With a menu that differs significantly from typical NFL game day offerings, Williams said the Sodexo Live! The team will focus on the detailed training of part-time employees and ensure that the first plate is as good as the last. When the doors open, he plans to be in the west side food hall, the largest on campus: “I want to see them when they walk into this space and see options they don’t normally see. I’m glad to see people react to this.
And when it’s over, Chef De La Cruz and Sodexo Live! will work to donate unused food items to the Miami chapter of Food Rescue US, to help local missions and shelters in South Florida. The group regularly saves food from Hard Rock Stadium and has kept three million pounds of food out of landfills since its debut in 2018.