Sruttgart. The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix sets new standards in many areas. Alongside world class tennis with numerous top stars, it is above all the culinary delights that makes players and honorary guests go into raptures. “Our players love the food in Stuttgart,” says Laura Ceccarelli, a regular for years now in the Porsche Arena in her position as WTA Supervisor. The praise is particularly pleasing for Silke Ruckhaberle and Didier Barth. As the Heads of Events at “Porsche Gastronomie”, they transform the tournament’s VIP hospitality area into a gourmet temple every year.
“For us it is a special challenge over and over again and one that is very enjoyable,” says Silke Ruckhaberle. She has been ensuring that not only the players and the VIP guests but also the media representatives from all over the world and the tournament staff have been well catered for ever since the tournament moved to the Porsche Arena in 2006. Together with chef Didier Barth, she is responsible for the whole organisation starting with the planning the concept to planning the buffet and then putting everything in place. It is anything but a routine job. “It’s one we approach every year with a great deal of pleasure and commitment and it’s naturally nice when people go home happy in the evening and look forward to coming back the next day.”
All the organisational planning has to be finalised before the wooden spoons get to work in the kitchen tent behind the Porsche Arena. It includes for example staff re-cruitment which is something Silke Ruckhaberle takes care of in as early as December. A small core group is taken from the Porsche sites in Zuffenhausen and Weis-sach and the rest is hired especially for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. All in all about 150 people, including 30 chefs, will be working at the tournament. Didier Barth even brings his own works maintenance team along with him. “If there’s a power cut or a problem with the water supply,” he says, “we don’t have the time to call the emergency utility services.”
10,000 sushi and 2,800 oysters
The wares that Didier Barth and his cooks often prepare in front of the eyes of their guests are delivered fresh everyday behind the Porsche Arena. On his shopping list for the tournament week are 10,000 sushi, 2,800 oysters, 1,250 kilograms of meat, 400 kilograms of cheese, 550 kilograms of strawberries, 1850 kilograms of aspara-gus and 450 kilograms of fish. “Our menu is international. We make sure that there is something for every taste,” said the man from Alsace. As for the question as to what the guests like the most, he does not have to think long, “Beef steak is the big favourite like it’s always been.”
If a VIP guest particularly enjoyed the taste of something in the previous year, it does not necessarily mean that he or she will find it on the menu this year. Didier Barth and his colleagues applying their trades at the oven and grill do not want to make it so easy. “If people are satisfied, it’s no reason for us to leaves things the way they are,” he says and feels bound by his pride as a creative chef. “We’re definitely so ambitious that we regularly like to add new nuances. Our challenge is that it also delights the guests.”
Please note: the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Porsche Team Germany and Porsche Talent Team Germany photo libraries, a part of the Porsche Press Data Bank, is available to all accredited journal-ists at the internet address http://presse.porsche.de. Further contents can be found at www.newsroom.porsche.com, the new Porsche Communication service for journalists, blogger and online multipliers.