Cooking for Tampa Bay Rays

depuis-janvier-arvidien-mark-hryckoThere are some months, the Tampa Bay Rays, a team of major league baseball, took the healthy route. Keen to offer its players a healthy balanced diet, management has arranged a cuisine that stage to provide three meals a day for athletes and hired an executive chef. The big boss of the catering Rays is none other than Mark Jonquierois Hrycko.

Hrycko, we joined Clearwater, Florida has to pinch to believe, who left his native Arvida around the age of 18, shortly after graduating in the professional kitchen of cross-training center local. The son of a Quebec mother and Ukrainian father had his early education at school Saguenay Valley. Bilingual and eager to make his mark in the kitchen, he left the area to work in Quebec and Ottawa. It is in the federal capital Hrycko that Mark made his debut as leader by joining the team of cooks in the residence of the Ambassador of the United States to Canada. The Sagueneen spent 10 years in Ontario to combine the jobs. Then he and his wife, who holds dual citizenship, decided to exile to the south.

“My wife is American in origin, but she grew up in Newfoundland. His mother lived in Florida. We decided to save themselves from the snow and come here, “he says.

The future looked bright in the land of oranges for real cooking enthusiast. Thus Mark Hrycko worked in several small settlements before being hired by the chain Bay Star Restaurant Group. For 14 years, he carried the executive chef hat at Island Way Grill, one of seven banners grouped under the umbrella of the company. The cook was also responsible for catering to his restaurant, which was among the five holders of a contract with the Rays.

Inspired by the few American baseball teams have begun a shift to healthier lifestyles, the direction of the Florida training put his kitchen project underway there for over a year.

“They asked me to give a little help for the installation of the kitchen and cafeteria. It was a big project and we had to ensure that everything was installed properly. They also made great work to install the ventilation system. After that, the management said, ‘do you know someone who could be our chief executive? ”. I told myself! “Recounts Mark Hrycko laughing.

The Arvidien felt he had been around the garden after nearly 15 years with Bay Star. The 52 year old man also says that the workload, impossible schedules and many tasks inherent to the job began to weigh on him heavy.

“I worked very hard to get where I am today. I always tell young people that I meet the food, it’s not for everyone. In restoration, you receive 90 percent of complaints, and 10 percent of compliments, “he emphasizes.

Proud of his origins
The prospect of working with sports stars of sides, coupled with the nature of the professional challenge, Marc has pleased Hrycko, who accepted the offer of the Rays in January.

He now leads a small team of staff and prepares all menus for players, coaches and management team. The executive chef is very interesting to play with food and to further the process of research and creation. The cook is also open to suggestions and players aware of the importance of eating well, give him a few pointers.

“People have asked me to introduce special ingredients like avocado oil. I also work with the trends, tastes and habits of each, “he advanced.

Marc Hrycko and employees prepare every day a healthy lunch buffet, a pre-game meal (often high in carbohydrates) and a buffet after the match. His contract is for a period of one year, but the Sagueneen hopes to invest long term with the Rays.


Mark Hrycko candidly expresses his deep gratitude to the members of his family and countrymen of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. It is thanks to his parents, who gave birth to four children and have always enjoyed preparing meals, the young Mark was hooked to the culinary arts. It also take this opportunity to make a flower PSC Jonquière (Mellon building), where he received an excellent education.

“I will never forget where I come from and I am very proud. I was a little guy with only a high school and I had a very good two-year course which allowed me to learn the basis of my job and do well in life. I will always be a blueberry in the soul, “said the chief.

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