All athletes competing in next month's SEA Games in Singapore will be treated to local fare like chicken rice and mee soto but they will be served 'high-performance' versions of these dishes.
As part of the standardised menu served at all 20 hotels hosting the estimated 7,000 athletes and officials for the June 5-16 meet, nutrition, taste and food safety are the key concerns.
This means that while some of Singapore's signature dishes will be served for athletes, officials and volunteers to enjoy, they will be prepared with leaner meat and have low salt content.
"Asian nations are particularly good at (cooking) because they already use a lot of herbs and spices in their food," said Kirsty Fairbairn, head of nutrition at the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI).
These dining arrangements are the result of a two-year partnership between sports dieticians from the SSI and chefs hailing from the 20 hotels that the athletes and officials will call home during the SEA Games.
Spearheading this effort is chef consultant Kenneth Francisco, who has worked with the Team Singapore contingent at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and the 2012 London Olympics. His expertise is reflected in the 120 recipes that his team have created.
He said: "With the background of YOG, we already have an idea of what the world wants. You cannot please everybody, but I believe that at least 70 per cent of the food that we serve can be eaten by everyone."