A perfect 10: Grand Lake caterer will be part of serving team at Winter Olympics | SkyHiNews.com

A perfect 10: Grand Lake caterer will be part of serving team at Winter Olympics

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, CO Colorado

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

Grand Lake business owner Carey Barnes set course for Vancouver on Monday to be part of the catering team at the 2010 Games.

Rubbing shoulders with nationally renowned caterers at past Winter Games landed her a position at this year’s Vancouver and Whistler venues.

As part of an experienced Olympic catering team assembled by Framboise Catering of New York, Barnes, Grand Lake restaurateur and owner of Stone Creek Catering, will be creating meals for U.S. Olympic Committee diners and their guests at the Vancouver and Whistler USA House. They’ll also provide occasional spreads for athletes and team celebrations.

A member of the International Caterer’s Association since 1992, Barnes said she gained Olympic contacts by networking with caterers from around the globe. She originally learned of the opportunities through David McDougal, a former owner of the what is now the Bear’s Den in Grand Lake.

At the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, Barnes was in charge of a staff of 250 caterers who served 900 people three meals per day throughout the Olympics.

“My staff got to know the athletes and their families on a more personal level,” Barnes said.

Barnes, on the other hand, was kept far too busy overseeing the food service. “I didn’t get to socialize like my staff did.”

But she did get to “touch fingers with Apolo” Anton Ohno, who won a gold metal in speed skating and in 2007 and won the TV talent contest Dancing With The Stars.

Barnes’ time working in Salt Lake proved successful.

Pulling it off with “flying colors,” her catering stint led to an invitation to cater at the Olympics in Athens, Greece, and again in Beijing, China.

But due to her summertime schedule of catering in Grand Lake, she was unable to attend either.

This year, Barnes said she’s looking forward to being more of a “worker bee.”

“I hope to learn new things and have somebody tell me what to do for a change,” she said. “I’m positive doing this will spur some inspiration. I want to bring back new food and decor ideas.”

In this economic downturn, Barnes hopes to come home with fresh cost-saving ideas for her clients, or “insight on how to gain more bang for a buck.”

Catering for clients Budweiser and the U.S. Olympic Committee, Barnes plans to work six days on and one day off in both Vancouver and Whistler, having been designated as the sole “traveling chef” for Framboise.

“One reason I was bestowed the great privilege is all these people are from New York and do not drive often,” Barnes said. “My 35 years of mountain driving experience landed me the coveted position of traveling chef.”

On days off, Barnes said she hopes to score tickets for figure skating, speed skating or aerial skiing events.

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@skyhidailynews.com.