We asked the food professionals at Sahara Force India to tell us how they take care of their VIP guests.
Sahara Force India is a friendly, open and fun team. We want our guests to have an unforgettable experience and feel what it’s like to be integrated with the team at the track. Whether it’s meeting Dr Mallya before lunch or having their photos taken with the drivers, guests can rub shoulders with everyone in the team and see how a Formula 1 team operates. We pride ourselves on serving good food, often with inspiration from India, combined with first-class service.
New for 2017, the team has refreshed the decor to reflect the pink colours carried by the cars. This has seen the addition of stylish grey leather on the walls alongside pink cushions in the seating areas. Guests can also enjoy a glass of BWT’s mineralised water from the bar thanks to the installation of their special filtration system.
The main challenges are usually space and capacity. For European races we look after as many as 40 guests in our motorhome, but one must have in mind that we only have a very small kitchen – about five metres long and two and a half metres wide. So there are the busy moments when our chefs have to work around each other in a relatively small space and serve the food on time. For the fly-away races we often get more space in a permanent kitchen facility, but each venue is different and presents its own challenges.
Whether it’s meeting Dr Mallya before lunch or having their photos taken with the drivers, guests can rub shoulders with everyone in the team and see how a Formula 1 team operates.
There are a handful of races where we always expect high numbers of guests in the paddock. The team’s home race in India obviously used to be the busiest one, and our local race at Silverstone is typically pretty full too. In recent years, Mexico has become another hectic race with lots of VIP guests.
In the kitchen we have two chefs, who cook all the meals for the team and the guests. Then there’s somebody who does the shopping and logistics. We have somebody to do the washing up and make sandwiches too. We have four staff members in the front who serve drinks and provide table service.
As an Indian team we take a lot of inspiration from traditional Indian dishes. We often serve curry to the team and guests and it’s always very popular. Aside from that, we prepare a wide variety of international dishes and serve local dishes depending on where we are in the world. Plus, we often host curry evenings for the media during the year – something we call “Taste of India” – and there is always a good turnout. It’s the chance for the media to spend time with the team after a long day at the track and enjoy our signature curry along with a Kingfisher.