As with many college football teams this fall, things are a little uncertain for the Horned Frogs at Texas Christian University (TCU), with conferences changing things up. One thing is certain ? The food will be amazing.

“As we resume the football season, we wonder how it’s going to be when it all gets sorted? Well, we can’t control the Pac 10 or the Big 12, but I can control the fun you’ll have at the game,” says Chef Michael Smith, Director of Culinary Operations for TCU at Sodexo.

“Our goal is to create a live dining experience that makes our fans want to attend our sporting events in person, rather than watching them on TV,” Smith said, citing a combination of menu items that starts with familiar Tex-Mex fare, then lands on unique twists “to enhance our fans’ sense of excitement and adventure.”

This emotional connection is Smith’s primary instruction in his kitchen life playbook.

“We don’t save our big ideas for the big game,” says TCU chief Michael Smith.

“Money will come and money will go, but if you can keep people happy on a regular basis, that’s where you’re going to build that ‘rabid fan,'” he says. “Whether you’re at the Super Bowl or going to your daughter’s football game, your emotional needs don’t change.”

Regardless of the game or rival, “we don’t save our big ideas for the big game,” Smith says. For example, during a recent spring training game, a co-worker told Smith “don’t kill yourself, boss, it’s just the spring training game!” Smith replied, “Sorry, but TCU’s culinary team isn’t having fun. If there’s only one fan in the stands, we all go outside.[FT1]

In this scrimmage match, the menu featured items that aptly represent what TCU catering is all about: Mexican comfort food with an exciting twist of the unexpected and enhanced. A few highlights: braised Tex-Mex mac and cheese, ruby ​​red grapefruit tinga de pollo, mint vodka-infused lamb barbacoa, and tres leches cake cups.


TCU’s Sodexo culinary team was one of the first to dive into the birria trend of dipping tacos.

For football games, the menu will match the “tone and timbre of the sport,” Smith says, adding seasonal items and surprises to interact with fans and make them feel like part of the team. After every sports season, he looks at the data, but Smith doesn’t let the numbers rule his game plan. these come more from the heart.

“A lot of companies analyze the data and know what’s selling, then replicate that on a larger scale,” he says. “But I look at the data in a different way: what am I doing that sounds like a win? A win is not a trade; a win is a smile.

And with that in mind, there should be plenty of smiling horned frogs in the stands for the upcoming football season, whatever that brings to the pitch.

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