Private Chefs to Beyonce, Lizzo and Linkin Park

Private Chefs to Beyonce, Lizzo and Linkin Park

In Stockholm, it was the cookies — black sesame, wasabi and white chocolate, or perhaps gluten-free coconut almond dark chocolate — that signaled to Beyoncé’s dancers, crew and roadies that Grant Bird was back.

Mr Bird is an English pastry chef and one of 14 culinary professionals on Beyoncé’s current Renaissance world tour, which has also employed a vegetarian chef and three personal chefs for Queen B and her inner circle.

After contracting COVID-19 during rehearsals in Paris, Mr. Byrd had to take a week off, leaving dessert duties for the 400 to 600 crew members to two substitute chefs. By then, the crew had become used to their lavish desserts, which often included a dozen different offerings at both lunch and dinner. The meager dessert menu was telling of their absence.

So when the crew once again saw his signature spread across hundreds of cookies in multiple varieties, they knew he was back. “That was lunch, and the whole dining room applauded,” said Mr Byrd, who has also cooked for Carrie Underwood, Justin Bieber and Mötley Crüe. “They just thought, ‘He’s got to come back. Because they just knew from the style.'”

Yes, Beyoncé is one of the biggest stars in the world, but traveling with a cadre of chefs isn’t just a gimmick. Many touring artists now take multiple professional chefs, not to mention entire mobile kitchens, with them on the road for efficiency, health and morale.

while eccentricities like Van Halen’s Ban on Brown M&M’s It has become a familiar story, with the suspension of concerts during the Covid years prompting an industry-wide reset with a focus on wellness. For example, many tours now include vegetarian chefs and prioritize physical and mental health as well as reducing environmental impact.

,Before then, in the ’80s and early ’90s, it was just a party – cocaine and whatever they wanted. And now it’s just a business,” said Gray Rollins, Linkin Park’s longtime chef who has also cooked for Prince, Madonna and Tori Amos on tour. “We have to do one thing and that is to bring that talent to the stage. Make sure the show runs flawlessly. And then do it again the next day.

Poking fun at Linkin Park and Thirty Seconds To Mars’ 2014 tour, he said, “It was called non vegetarian travelBut of the 16 people we cooked for, 14 were vegetarians.”

James Digby, a veteran tour manager who recently handled the European leg of Avril Lavigne’s tour, is familiar with such demands.

“You can’t get non-vegetarian food in the catering on a Paul McCartney tour. it’s a challenge. Because I know most roadies are non-vegetarian,” Mr. Digby said. “If artists are trying to change the world by saying that everyone is a vegetarian, one tour at a time, then my job is to replicate that.”

Whatever the cuisine, the production demands are important. The industry standard for a large tour requires four meals a day on setup and show days: breakfast, lunch, dinner and a post-concert meal, often eaten on the bus.

Mr. Digby said, “The army runs on its stomach, so you have to feed the soldiers.” By soldiers, he meant bands, backup singers and dancers, stage producers, pyrotechnic crews, security guards, managers, bus drivers, and everyone else involved in the high-stakes business of live entertainment.

At a recent Lizzo show at the Acrizar Arena in Palm Desert, California, lunch featured a juicing station with blender-ready baskets of vegetables. There were corn dogs, fried chicken sandwiches and plant-based Impossible Sliders, as well as couscous, squash, carrots and cookies.

All this was prepared in the kitchen of the arena. However, generally, latitude 45Company in charge of culinary operations for vegetarian artists special visitCooks cook in an elaborate mobile kitchen that is packed in special flight cases and reassembled in each new city.

The custom-built kitchen, including cabinetry, shelves, ovens and workstations, was constructed to maximize space and efficiency and provide an elusive sense of “equanimity” to the outdoors, said company owner Chris Mitchell.

He said, “Everything has a place and it goes back to that place every day.” “If someone in the kitchen needs a stainless steel bowl — and most of the time without looking — they can just point and say, “Would you please pass me the third bowl in that pile?”

HSG CateringThe Chicago-based company is currently working on Eric Church Tour, Uses a 53-foot mobile kitchen that features a walk-in freezer, a walk-in cooler, and an 80-gallon water heater. The unit is also equipped with a meat smoker, a wood-burning grill, convection oven and a machine that “can prepare 300 steaks at a time,” said HSG president Bob Schneeberger.

While chefs sometimes accompany the cast in private jets or armored cars with a police escort, they may also be stationed in generator-powered temporary kitchens in fields or parking lots for cooking and baking on the road.

Mr Mitchell says the job requires a special kind of person who enjoys problem solving and being constantly on the move, and who can tolerate sleeping on tour buses for months at a time. The conditions develop a sort of fraternity – many chefs proudly wear T-shirts from previous tours.

There’s also a high-stakes, royal-food-tester aspect to the program.

Mr. Digby said, “One case of food poisoning, and you’re canceling the show for at least 48 hours.” As shows get bigger and ticket prices continue to rise, such an event can put millions of dollars at risk.

One thing that hasn’t changed much over time is the quirks of artists, who definitely have their own distinct likes and dislikes.

“Gene Simmons loved a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato and pickles,” said Mr. Rollins, who cooked for the Kiss bassist in 2008 and 2009. Ever.” Jared Leto would like organic purple popcorn with every meal.

Traveling may also make it difficult to get the desired food. In the 1990s, Marilyn Manson insisted on Kraft mac and cheese, so boxes were sent to England, Mr. Digby said. “Guess it? Kraft manufactures a different variety of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for English consumers.

Mr Bird, who cooked for K-pop group Blackpink in Chicago last summer, said the band had brought a separate truck to transport their favorite brands of instant ramen noodles. Like some of the other caterers who worked on K-pop tours, Mr. Bird was impressed by the emphasis placed on culinary operations, which always included a Korean buffet. “They have a lot of different food stations and stuff. I’ve never seen anything like this before,” he said.

As for Beyoncé, Mr. Byrd sent a fruit platter and cookies to her dressing room. And although he couldn’t say for sure what the pop star’s favorite things are, he added: “As far as I know, the ones he eats exclusively are Reese’s Cup cookies” – a specialty of Mr Byrd’s. Has a vanilla base with chunks of Belgian milk chocolate and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

In addition to being in high demand for his sweets, Mr. Bird was impressed by his name Online credits for Renaissance Tour,

“At the end of the show, they usually give recognition to the lighting, staging and people very close to them,” said Mr Byrd, who is currently touring with them country singer sam hunt, “But they never mentioned that they travel with us to make catering arrangements.”

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