WATERLOO (KWWL) -- While thousands of cyclists made their way into Waterloo, a small group of chefs were busy preparing a gourmet meal for 25 of their own riders. This RAGBRAI tradition has been going on for 16 years. Chef Wayne Santi of Phoenix is one of the founding members.
"We had a friend that lived in Mason City and we asked them to go buy some groceries and our little team went there and I cooked steaks barbeque shrimp for them. We played cards outside on their driveway and we went to sleep outside in the tents and I said this could work," said Santi.
Joe Vich is hosting Team Gourmet while they stay in Waterloo, opening up his home and kitchen.
"My wife and I both like to cook and so having an opportunity to watch a number of chefs working in our kitchen is really a thrill," said Vich.
It's the challenge that keeps this team coming back year after year, not the ride but the food.
"We have six days of not knowing what type of kitchen we're going to improvise in to make that happen. Then we get to prepare a whole special dinner each night and you do it without sleep and you have to travel 80 miles between each kitchen. That challenge is our RAGBRAI."
On Thursday night Team Gourmet served Italian wedding soup, beef tenderloin wrapped in prosciutto ham with two dipping sauces, barbeque shrimp with rice, asparagus, and home made ice cream sandwiches.