Game-changer

Fine cuisine for an NFL team? This chef has the recipe for success

Photo credit: Shell B. Royster

The fish was a surprise for everyone.

Beef? Of course. Chicken? Sure. But even the chef never expected seafood would go over so big. Purchased in the New York fish market in the dead of night and delivered fresh a few hours later to the Ashburn, Virginia, kitchen of Chef Jon Mathieson, the fish is prepared, plated and served for lunch—some three 300 pounds of it every week

“I never thought these guys would eat as much fish as they do,” Mathieson says.

“These guys” aren’t your standard suburban lunchtime crowd, nor anything like the fine-dining clientele that Mathieson once served at restaurants such as the four-star Lespinasse and Le Bernardin in New York, and other critically acclaimed restaurants in Massachusetts and the D.C.-Metro area. These guys are professional football players, and after some 25 years working as a classically trained French chef, in 2013 Mathieson took on the job of feeding them in the newly created role of executive chef for the Washington Redskins.

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