Feeding Cirque du Soleil performers takes a village — or a circus

Hadas Kuznits
July 26, 2019 - 6:15 am
Cirque du Soleil's "Amaluna"

Theo Wargo/Getty Images


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — It's not easy to feed a circus.

But for the past eight years, Cirque du Soleil kitchen manager Abdel Soriano has been doing just that. The acrobatic performance company has stopped in Oaks for its traveling show "Amaluna."

With 130 people involved in "Amaluna," differing among 22 nationalities, Soriano said the show is a well-oiled machine — which includes three days of kitchen prep time.

Abdel Soriano
"The first three days we do an outside barbecue because we need to give them time to set up. Then, we move into the kitchen," he said.

Performers eat all of their meals on site, and they can eat whatever and however much they want — which can be a lot.

"A week, we're using 1,000 pounds of proteins," Soriano said, "meat, seafood, beef, chicken."

They reach out to suppliers, he added, because the grocery stores often "don't even have enough of what we need."

To feed that many people daily, Soriano is constantly thinking about the next step.

"I plan a month, at least, in advance before going to the next city," he noted. Oftentimes, he said people overlook an unusual and significant factor of his job: It moves.

"We travel," he said. "Everything has to fit in two containers. They don't imagine that all that we can see here — tables, chairs, plants, decorations, baby chairs — have to fit into two containers. They have no idea. They think it's magic — something happens."

"Amaluna" shows are available through Aug. 25 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.

For more on Cirque du Soleil food prep and menus, listen to the What's Cooking podcast on the RADIO.COM app