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This fast-food staple won’t be served to athletes at the Paris Olympics — here’s why

Three-masted sailing ship, the Belem, entering the Old Port in Marseille with fireworks exploding in celebration, carrying the Olympic flame for Paris 2024 Games
Three-masted sailing ship, the Belem, entering the Old Port in Marseille with fireworks exploding in celebration, carrying the Olympic flame for Paris 2024 Games

A meal of champions apparently doesn’t feature french fries.

The 15,000 athletes at the Paris Olympics will forego the deep-fried delicacy in what has been hailed as the largest restaurant in the world: a former electrical power plant that has been converted into a dining hall, spanning 700 feet in the center of the Olympic Village, where approximately 45,000 meals will be served every day.

Instead, the chefs in charge, Charles Guilloy and Stéphane Chicheri, are planning a more health-, safety- and environment-conscious menu of 500 different dishes, including vegetarian shawarma, grilled eggplant, beetroot falafel, vegetarian hot dogs and quinoa muesli.

French fries will not be on the menu in the Olympic Village this summer. DAVID – stock.adobe.com
French fries will not be on the menu in the Olympic Village this summer. DAVID – stock.adobe.com

“French fries are too risky because of fire-hazard concerns over deep-fat fryers,” Guilloy told the New York Times. “No to foie gras because animal well-being is on everyone’s mind, and no to avocados because they are imported from a great distance and consume a lot of water.”

The focus on sustainability is part of a larger emphasis on reducing the carbon impact of the Olympic Games, and the dining hall’s innovative location is just the tip of the iceberg.

French Olympic authorities have banned single-use utensils and dishware in an attempt to create a zero-waste environment.

Chefs are preparing a health-conscious menu to meet the athletes’ nutrition goals as they compete. AFP via Getty Images
Chefs are preparing a health-conscious menu to meet the athletes’ nutrition goals as they compete. AFP via Getty Images
The Paris Olympics will kick off in July. AFP via Getty Images
The Paris Olympics will kick off in July. AFP via Getty Images

An estimated 80% of the ingredients will come from France itself, about a quarter of which will be within 155 miles or so of Paris, aiming to cut the carbon impacts of the Tokyo and London Olympics in half, per the Times.

In addition to the two on-site French restaurants — which will lack the country’s classics like steak tartare and wine — there will also be six “grab-and-go” stations serving cuisine from Asia, Afro-Caribbean meals, burgers, Middle Eastern fare and halal dishes.

“Don’t worry; we’ll have French cheeses, blanquette of veal but with a lightened sauce, and of course baguettes,” Chicheri told the publication. “Athletes will even be able to learn to make bread with a master baker.”

Sodexo Live, the French company in charge of the Olympics’ catering this summer, plans to hire 6,000 people in food services for the event as they hope to “marry the nutrition an athlete needs with gastronomic pleasure,” the organization’s CEO, Nathalie Bellon-Szabo, told the Times.

Three critically acclaimed French chefs have gotten the nod to prepare dishes at the Olympic Village as well — Alexandre Mazzia, Akrame Benallal and Amandine Chaignot. They will serve as guest chefs for a few days every week during the Olympics.

“French fries are too risky because of fire-hazard concerns over deep-fat fryers,” Guilloy said. âðÃâÃÅÃÂýð Ãâþûúþòð – stock.adobe.com
“French fries are too risky because of fire-hazard concerns over deep-fat fryers,” Guilloy said. âðÃâÃÅÃÂýð Ãâþûúþòð – stock.adobe.com

“French cuisine is sometimes seen as boring,” Algeria-born Benallal, 42, told The Times. “It’s not boring. It’s singular. My restaurant is a cabinet full of curiosities, and that is what I will bring to the Games.”

Benallal, who runs Paris’ Michelin-starred Restaurant Akrame, is known for his red and white quinoa muesli, which is topped with mascarpone, smoked yogurt and Parmesan cheese. Meanwhile, Chaignot, 45, will be making poached egg croissants with goat cheese, artichoke cream and truffles.

The Paris Olympic Games have garnered attention for more than the delicious fare in recent months — most notably for the anti-sex beds in the athletes’ lodgings.

The Paris Olympics has emphasized sustainability with eco-conscious ingredients. AP
The Paris Olympics has emphasized sustainability with eco-conscious ingredients. AP

Some 16,000 mattresses will arrive in the City of Love for the games in July, but despite their reputation for being anti-lovemaking, the mattress manufacturer said the beds are actually stronger than average.

Japanese company Airweave told The Post that its twin-sized cots are “designed far sturdier than typical wooden bed frames” with the intention of good sleep — meaning the mattresses may not deter the athletes from going for the gold, so to speak.