Caesars Palace deals in meals

Oct 17, 2001 2:05 AM

With the holiday season right around the corner, thoughts turn to family, football and the Thanksgiving feast. Thank your lucky stars that you don’t have to do the cooking at Caesars Palace.

The many chefs at Caesars expect to prepare from 22,000 to 25,000 meals on Thanksgiving. Of course, that includes room service as well as meals served in restaurants.

Food preparation also includes serving meals to more than 5,000 employees, who work on three staggered shifts.

“At least we don’t have to serve them all at once,” said one of the production kitchen chefs.

Obviously, feeding guests and employees is no simple task, even for a mega resort like Caesars Palace.

Caesars is one of the larger resorts on the Strip with about 2,500 guest rooms, and 23 restaurants, including Caesars Magical Empire and those in the Forum Shops.

Factor in room service, banquets, convention and meetings and other food preparation outlets and you have an operation that requires about 3,000 workers, from specialty chefs to servers to dishwashers to wine stewards ”” the entire food and beverage department.

The department also has a full bakery, several complete production kitchens, a butcher shop and a huge cook-chill system.

“We have dozens of ovens, from small convection ovens to massive ranges, rotisseries and brick pizza ovens,” said one of the sous chefs. “Of course, our collection of copperware pots and pans would make any gourmand drool.”

On an “average” day, Caesars prepares about 15,000 meals. That amounts to more than 5.5 million meals for the year.

Chefs will also carve about 260,000 pounds of prime rib, toss nearly 350,000 Caesar salads and pop the caps on 750,000 bottles of beer.

In addition to prime rib ”” a hot commodity in virtually all restaurants ”” Caesars serves 162,000 pounds of beef tenderloin and 64,000 pounds of pork loin, as well as 160 tons of chicken breast for those who prefer to eat light.

Caesars also chills 2,700 ounces of caviar per year, peels nearly 350,000 Idaho potatoes and smokes 21 tons of salmon.

From the hotel’s massive liquor cabinet, Caesars bartenders annually drain about 600,000 ounces of vodka, which is frequently mixed with 2.1 million ounces of tomato choice to create those tasty Bloody Mary’s.

Caesars also brews about 70,000 pounds of coffee each year, and goes through about 125,000 bar glasses, many of which are kept as souvenirs.

Of course, serving large volumes of food and drink is nothing new for Caesars Palace. When the classic Strip resort opened in August 1966, there was a 10-day celebration marking the event.

During that first feast, revelers consumed two tons of filet mignon, 300 pounds of lump Maryland crabmeat, 12 King Salmons, 30,000 fresh eggs, 50,000 glasses of champagne, and “the largest order of Ukranian Caviar ever delivered to a single party.

It’s nice to know some things never change!