Inside the Hard Rock Stadium food operation during the Miami Grand Prix

Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, which drew nearly 243,000 spectators and generated $350 million in the local economy, the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix will run hard today May 5-7. It will be held at Rock Stadium. This year was even bigger, with grandstand capacity expanded to his 56,000 to accommodate additional spectators.

Hard Rock Stadium Executive Chef Jonathan Cowan is no stranger to managing large-scale food operations for events like the National Football League (NFL) and college football games, the Miami Open and last year’s Formula 1. The most attended event in the history of the stadium. He explains: His members of the culinary team, including his 50 head chefs from other venues across the United States, flew in to support many outposts. “It’s a real team effort to get rid of something this scale-off.”

A total of 65 restaurants will participate, including 14 locally-based minority-owned restaurants supported by the team at the event’s food and beverage partner, Sodexo Live! Favorites like Troy’s Barbeque, Food Junkies on Wheels, Soulfly Chicken and Reggae Beets are participating.

Premium ticket spaces will feature fine dining, and Cowan plans to serve nearly 1,000 lobsters and 7,000 Cuban sandwiches over the three-day event. James Beard-nominated chef Brad Kilgore and his CHICA chef Lorena Garcia will also be cooking for the event.

Cowan recognizes the logistical challenges of such a large-scale operation, especially given the sprawling track and campus. It can be very difficult to make deliveries to ,” he says.

However, the chef is confident that the changes implemented after last year’s event will improve food operations this time around. “We deliver produce and ingredients directly to specific kitchens or outposts on campus to minimize product movement,” Cowan explains.

His personal favorite dish is the beach club menu. “Watermelon and Tomatillo Salad (Arugula, Goat Cheese, Mint, Blood Orange Dressing), Yellowfin Tuna Poke (Ginger Soy Sauce, Ninja Radish, Spicy Mayonnaise, Crispy Wonton), Steamed Buns (Korean BBQ Shiitake Mushrooms, Pickled Vegetables, Spicy mayonnaise, lotus chips).The number of daybeds and cabanas in the club has also increased this year, making the area an even more enjoyable experience for attendees.”

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