(Cookery) School Excursion to Tottenham Hotspurs (Day 20)

Posted on Sunday, 12th July 2009

White Hart Lane

For our cookery class this week, we paid a visit to White Hart Lane, home to the Tottenham Hotspurs. This might seem an unusual trip for cookery students to make, but a few weeks ago, Stephen Hurley, the head Chef of Kudos Hospitality, the organisation that provides the on-site catering for the Spurs, paid our Cookery School a visit. As a consequence, the gesture was reciprocated to us. Stephen, a Chef with almost 20 years experience, joined Tottenham last year after spending a couple of years as Head Chef at Restaurant Associates. Prior to that he was the Lead Chef for Compass All Leisure at Twickenham Stadium.

I can’t remember the last time I went on a ‘school excursion’, but rest assured, this was a little different. We didn’t have to hold hands and we weren’t made to walk in an orderly fashion. Nor did we get told off for chatting too loudly on the school bus. It was all very civilised, although I was probably a little naughty at certain points of the tour, holding the others up a little bit with my picture taking.

Our visit focused on the stadium’s operations, a kind of behind-the-scenes tour. Stephen looks after the corporate hospitality, in other words, he’s responsible for feeding the players when they are playing at home, the directors and members, etc. The food served in the grounds of the stadium is provided by another catering outfit.

The tunnel

The tunnel

The most exciting aspect of our visit was getting to walk through the tunnel. I am not the most devote of football fans, but even I felt the sense of occasion from taking that ‘walk’. We were also provided with some interesting facts and figures during our tour. Did you know that a corporate box costs £36,000 a year? Each box seats a maximum of eight people and the cost includes drinks but no food. Pricey! There are 11 kitchens in the stadium which service the 17 eating areas, eg, members club, lounges, etc, and Stephen is the only full time member of the catering staff, with the rest of the chefs being contractors. It’s an impressive operation and one can only imagine how hectic it would get during a home match when several hundred mouths want to be fed in one sitting.

The view from a £36,000 corporate box

The view from a £36,000 corporate box

I missed cookery school last week on account of the fact that I went to the kingfisher lunch at Pied à Terre instead. The menu for the day was sweet pastry. I saw the pictures, and the fruit flans and Dutch apple flans that the rest of my classmates made looked delicious! Oh well… As much as I try, I can’t always eat it all.

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5 Responses to “(Cookery) School Excursion to Tottenham Hotspurs (Day 20)”

  1. gen.u.ine.ness Says...

    Did he talk about what exactly he feeds the players? A lot of work must go into the players diet surely with the input of nutritionists etc.
    Also with the feeding of ppl in the private box – did he go into what level of quality he aims for per meal? Or indeed the quality of ingredients used. I ask this because I was watching a show (Dinner: Impossible) where the chef had to cook a meal for the private box people and the ingredients he had to work with were frozen beef patties and disgusting pre packed buns etc.

  2. 'A Girl Has to Eat' Says...

    Hi G, Stephen told us the players’ diets are dictated by the nutritionist. They eat a lot of fish, chicken and pasta. Apparently the players have a tendency to pile on the tomato ketchup.

    Stephen didn’t elaborate on all the ingredients used, but he did let us sample the salad greens that he uses which he sources from a farm in Essex about 10 miles from the stadium.

  3. gen.u.ine.ness Says...

    Tomato Ketchup… lol… thats like sugar + salt in a spoonful. Plus footballers have a bad habit that is drinking too much.

  4. Gourmet Chick Says...

    Really enjoy your cookery school posts girl has to eat – sounds like a great experience!

  5. 'A Girl Has to Eat' Says...

    Hi Gourmet Chick, I am glad you enjoy my cookery school posts. I enjoy writing them.