ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Chiefs players will eat very well on Friday, when Zarda brings in the spread its known for.
The huge catering event had Zarda workers busy all day on Thursday as they transferred food from their Blue Springs location to training camp in St. Joseph.
“A lot of big guys, I mean you are going to have over 300 slabs of ribs. You’re going to have close to 600 pounds of beans. You’re going to have about 50 gallons of BBQ sauce. You know it’s a tremendous amount of food that you are taking up there,” said Terry Hyer of Zarda’s.
Zarda’s Night at Training Camp is a long-running tradition.
For the past 25 years, Zarda has been feeding players, coach and staff at training camp and they cherish the memories of the event.
“One night they had Neil Smith and Derrek Thomas and a bunch of defensive guys and they wanted to see who could eat the most ribs. So there were these plates with piles of bones, I mean rib bones just mounding off the plates,” Hyer said.
The first dinner was served at William Jewel when Marty Schottenheimer was coach. It continued through all the years the team went to River Falls, Wisconsin.
For the first time they are also filling hearts as well as stomachs. This year, Zarda and the Chiefs have agreed to donate the $2,500 they would pay for the meal to Bishop Sullivan Center, one of the largest providers of emergency assistance in the Kansas City area.
Training Camp 2013 was the first year Zarda was asked to cater two meals at the camp. Hyer said he hears Coach Andy Reid is a BBQ connoisseur, so it’s raising the stakes for Zarda’s feast.