The World’s Biggest Restaurant is Coming to Paris

As Paris gears up to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, more than 200 chefs will have to prepare over 13 million meals. The base for this huge operation? The world’s biggest restaurant, in the Cité du Cinéma film studio complex in Saint-Denis.

Located near the Olympic Village, the restaurant is set to become a landmark of Parisian hospitality. Covering an area of over 10,000 square meters, it will surpass existing records for dining establishments in terms of size and capacity. The restaurant is designed to accommodate more than 5,000 athletes at any given time, and this colossal venue will feature a variety of dining sections.

The Summer Olympics will have to feed over 15,000 international athletes from 208 territories and nations – making it a huge task. 200 cooks are ready to prepare more than 40,000 meals a day to keep everyone well-fed and most importantly, fueled. These meals will be served both in the Olympic Village restaurant and at the 14 competition sites throughout the city.

The Cité du Cinéma film studio complex in Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris, will be the centre of this foodie-heaven. Here, athletes will have access to six main areas devoted to French, Asian, Afro-Caribbean and world cuisine, with 500 different recipes catering to a wide variety of tastes. Menus were prepared in collaboration with former French sailor and bronze medalist Hélène Defrance (now a nutritionist), who focused her expertise on helping deliver “an overall pleasurable, nourishing offering that would satisfy any type of diner,” she said. She paid close attention to the quality and transparency of the ingredients, but also the flavours and aesthetic appeal of the recipes.

A strict quality charter also governed the food at the Paris Olympics. It was developed over the course of four years of work with the goal of halving the carbon footprint of meals produced during the Games, as compared to London 2012. As a result, a quarter of all ingredients will be sourced in a 250km radius from Paris, and 20% will be certified organic. All meat, milk and eggs will be from France, and a third of the food will be plant-based. Two hundred water, juice and soda fountains have been installed in the Olympic Village, and only reusable cups and crockery will be offered.

Chefs will also have help from Charles Guilloy, Executive Chef of the Olympic and Paralympic Village – the “chef des chefs” – for the duration of the Games. The recipes in place have been in the works for months, which was a huge challenge in of itself, as every athlete of every sport has different nutritional and portion size requirements. That being said, the meals prepared aren’t just your typical buffet spoonful – these are intricately crafted meals both gorgeous in presentation and taste. His signature dish takes full advantage of local lentils! Guilloy transformed the greenery into a lentil dal and paired with creamy Icelandic skyr. The dal is then seasoned with lime and coriander, then topped with a crispy corn tuile (a French baked wafer), making it a dish delicious and nutritious!

Chaignot has paired roasted French poultry with langoustine bisque to take full advantage of the country’s terroir and technique (Credit: Sodexo Live!)

Alongside Guilloy, superstar chefs Amandine Chaignot, Alexandre Mazzia and Akrame Benallal have all developed a signature dish marrying the best in French tradition and local ingredients with an eye towards the nutritional needs of the world’s top athletes.

For many athletes, this will be their first time in France. The chefs have been hard at work to “show them what they can do”. The worlds biggest restaurant looks like it will be serving the worlds most nutritious and tastiest meals!


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