OITA, 17 Oct - Feeding 31 ravenous rugby players for seven weeks takes almost military precision.
Just ask Andre Moore, chef to the Wales team, who has been preparing for the World Cup in Japan since last year.
Among other tasks, he had to organise the shipment of 24 pallets, three for each hotel, three months ago so all the nutritional foodstuffs the players required arrived on time.
"It is very much a logistics exercise," said Moore, above, who has been with the team since 2015. "There were six hotels just for the group games.
"Then we're also looking to plan for where we might be in the quarter-finals and afterwards.
"Menus were sent out to the hotels months in advance so there was plenty of time for them to get back to us with any questions.
"We sent a lot of recipes and pictures of the food we wanted as the food culture here is slightly different to Wales.
"But all the food is fresh and locally sourced. And if, say, we wanted pasta and they could only get noodles, then there is no issue there."
Rugby players need on average 3,500 calories a day, made up of around 250g protein (1,000 calories), 450g carbohydrates (1,600 calories) and 100g fat (900 calories), to fuel their heavy training workload.
Making sure they get the correct food but do not get fed up with a constant diet of chicken, fish and pasta is where Moore comes in.
"We have to balance the meals so the players get the nutrition they need but don’t get bored," said Moore, who worked at the Michelin-starred Le Gavroche restaurant in London as well as in France, Spain and Devon before returning to Cardiff.
"That’s the key, that it is not too repetitive.
"They have to eat a lot of chicken, but they don’t want to be seeing chicken every day so we try to vary the dishes, and alternate foods and flavours. We will also give them a treat like cheesecake, but not at every meal.”
Moore, who worked at the team's training base in the Vale of Glamorgan before joining them full-time, is well used to finding solutions to tricky culinary challenges.
At a training camp in Switzerland this year, he had to transport his barbecue equipment via gondolas up a mountain so he could keep the players fed as they worked out at 1800m.
The main issue in Japan has been the odd problem with the language barrier - and eggs.
"Some things I've had to show the local chefs how we prefer it done. Poached eggs, for example. A couple of hotels found it difficult getting that right. But I showed them and they cracked on. It’s a different culture and their breakfast is completely different to ours.
"But it’s been a fantastic experience. From a chef's perspective, it's great to see how things are done in another country.
"I’ll either do the cooking, oversee it or a bit of both. It will depend on which hotel I'm working in. Japanese people are very proud but they're happy for me to guide them.
"And we have incorporated Japanese food into the menu. The guys love their sushi.”
Moore revealed he has picked up one new skill in Japan.
"Making an omelette with chopsticks - I had never done that before. But once you can control the chopsticks the method is pretty similar."
*Main picture courtesy of WRU