Serving It Up

Photography: Xixi Zheng

Behind The Scenes At Wimbledon’s Debenture Catering

With over 15, 000 seats at Centre Court alone, feeding the guests of the Wimbledon Championships is no mean feat. We had the opportunity to be taken on a tour by Tracey Meade, Manager of Centre Court debenture catering. This impressive area serves thousands of guests every year, including VIPs such as Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Ronnie Wood from The Rolling Stones.

Tracey took us through the bustling debenture kitchen, the Courtside à la Carte restaurant, and the self-service Terrace restaurant. We saw Wimbledon’s special Chicken Liver Pate dish, designed by celebrity chef Tom Aikens, and got some special views of the courts from the Centre Court benches area, as well as the Champions room.

Access to these areas typically costs a whopping £50, 000- a fee which covers access to VIP areas like the open air rooftop bar and the gallery bar. For a further daily charge, debenture customers enjoy luxuries such as Champaign and canapés on arrival, meals, wine and other drinks on demand!

Tracey told us little about routines, popular dishes and strawberries at Wimbledon.

The Plus: What is the typical routine for the Kitchen staff?
Tracey Meade:
We have a night brigade working overnight who do some additional preparations. And then the main body of the chef brigade comes in at 6 in the morning, and work until 8 o’clock at night, producing for the next day.

TP: What’s the most popular dish in this kitchen?
In the self-service restaurant, the most popular dish has traditionally been avocado and prawns. In the main restaurant, the most popular dishes this year have been the fillet of beef and the sea bass.

TP: What makes strawberries and cream so special at Wimbledon?
They are special because they are grown in a farm in Kent, especially for Wimbledon. They are picked early in the morning and arrive here fresh on the day.