The Super Bowl is about more than just football – it’s a chance for visibility, both for those who get the biggest platforms (say Shakira and Jennifer Lopez) and those behind-the-scenes. Dayanny de la Cruz, a Dominican chef who is part of the Centerplate team at the Hard Rock Stadium, is sure to get a boost after this year’s game. De la Cruz will be in charge of overseeing the menu for game day.
The chef, who earned a hospitality degree from Universidad Central del Este in the Dominican Republic, began working in hotel management. Somehow, she always found herself in the kitchen. Dayanny grew up loving cooking because of her grandmother.
When she realized that she was more interested in the culinary world, she went on to Grand Rapids Community College, where she earned her Master’s degree in Culinary Arts, according to MIAbites. She eventually ended up in Miami, as the executive chef of the Hard Rock Stadium, Hola! reported. She is the first Latina to hold this position at this restaurant.
On game day, she’ll be in charge of the menus for 25 concession stands, seven kitchens, 167 suites, seven all-inclusive clubs and restaurants. All in all, she and a staff of more than 2,000 will feed more than 25,000 people. “This doesn’t happen without a lot of systems and an amazing team,” De La Cruz told the Miami New Times. “I can’t do this alone. I can’t be everywhere, and I have to trust my chefs, and that’s what we work on throughout the year.”
On game day, she’ll arrive at 2:30 a.m. to ensure everything is running smoothly. Attendees will eat empanadas, cebiches, lobster rolls, lamb skewers, barbecue pulled pork, skirt steak and much more.