Allen Tran

Allen Tran is responsible for cooking all the meals the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s athletes eat. Photo: Courtesy of U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association

The skiers and snowboarders that compete for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association have to keep their bodies in top form. That includes copious exercise and, of course, eating well.

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The team has to travel for competitions, so keeping the athletes eating right while on the road falls to Allen Tran, the head chef and dietician for the association. He has to get creative, since he cooks for the team up to five months while they’re in Europe, all from a tiny kitchen housed in a food truck.

“My actual cooking space is on the small side, with electric burners that are more in line with a New York City studio apartment than a typical commercial kitchen,” Tran told The Kitchn.

One way he maximizes space is by employing a slow-cooker.

Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is a favorite of Chef Tran’s because it’s simple to make and packs a ton of protein. Photo: Courtesy of Sarah-Rose/ Flickr

In order to keep the whole team healthy and fueled, he cooks meals with lots of proteins and healthy fats.

“From a sports nutrition perspective, the ski athletes need a good amount of calories and protein to support the hard work they do on the mountain,” Tran said. “My meals include an ample amount of lean protein and nutrient-dense ingredients like Greek yogurt, dark leafy greens, and whole-food starches, like whole grains, sweet potatoes, and polenta.”

He said while the team is in Europe, he works in a lot of rich olive oil, which is a healthy fat.

Another staple? Pulled pork, since it’s easy enough to make in the slow cooker.

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