Origin provides food for thought
The Holden State of Origin series has long lived under the moniker of 'state against state, mate against mate', but that could take a backseat on Wednesday night with ANZ Stadium catering pulling out all the stops to offer fans an unrivalled 'plate against plate' experience.
No matter how fans are gastronomically inclined, their tastebuds are set to be satisfied with an unprecedented smorgasbord of dishes on offer in Sydney's Olympic precinct.
Speaking to NRL.com ahead of this year's biggest event, head of catering at the Stadium Australia Group Andreas Breitfuss said his staff had everyone's tastes covered from fine dining to the more popular pie and chips combination.
While fast food options will sell like proverbial hotcakes, Breitfuss is banking on the more refined options to leave a lasting impression on guests who can also expect double decanted wines from the Penfolds vintage.
ANZ Stadium features 109 Private Suites, 112 Open Corporate Boxes and 1300 Centreline Seats. Add in private function rooms and over 6,000 people are set to feast on the ground's corporate hospitality.
Those lucky enough to watch the game in style are set to be treated to an array of delectable delights.
"Up here in Arena Restaurants we've got a beautiful five course à la carte style menu," Breitfuss told NRL.com.
"We've actually designed a lot of the menu around the regional areas, so as an example we have a beautiful coriander and pepper crusted beef filet from New South Wales.
"We also have a mango and chili upside down sponge cake; the mangoes obviously coming from Queensland.
"We've been fairly balanced, and for the first time in State of Origin history, we've actually matched each one of those chef designed dishes with an appropriate wine to accompany them."
Executive chef at the Stadium John Dean looks after all of the corporate areas at ANZ and is charged with ensuring everyone leaves well fed.
Dean said there would be 250 staff working across 27 kitchens on Wednesday night while another 3,500 stadium staff would be in operation servicing food stalls.
"Hopefully by Wednesday night all of our food preparation will be finished," Dean said.
"We have every menu you can think of going. It's a premium event for us so the expectations of our corporate guests are very high and we plan to meet them.
"Apart from the 84,000 that'll be in the stadium, in my area alone we'll be catering for just under 8,000 corporate meals.
"There's a whole wall full of great dishes over there but there's a beautiful duck confit and duck breast that the guys are preparing over there. There's a loin of lamb that's also being prepared so there are a lot of very good dishes."
Dean said his team would also have you covered if fancy food wasn't to your liking.
"We take care of all of our guests so the aim is to meet everyone's expectations," he continued.
"There'll be about 10,000 hot dogs going out, just under 20,000 pies going out and about 15,000 buckets of chips. There's a whole other team in charge of that and that's all being prepared as we speak."
While the battle rages on the field, don't expect to see any blue swimmer crabs or maroon inspired creations on the menu.
"We do have blue and maroon macaroons in one of the restaurants, but the two colours are not particularly conducive to food."