When the Green Bay Packers inducted legendary quarterback Brett Favre into their Hall of Fame and retired his number on July 18, Delaware North Sportservice, the food and beverage services partner of the Packers, was there to serve more than 1,700 guests who attended the induction ceremony banquet at Lambeau Field’s atrium.
Guests were treated to a heavy hors d’oeuvre reception, three-course dinner before witnessing the induction ceremony and number retirement of Favre, who received a standing ovation from not only the banquet guests but the more than 67,000 fans who packed the stands to watch the induction on the stadium’s Tundra Vision.
The Delaware North Lambeau Field team’s planning for the banquet began back in September 2014 and was led by Food and Beverage Manager Chris Vokracka, Executive Chef Heath Barbato and Catering Chef Sara Martynuska. It soon became apparent that this year’s banquet would be special, just like Favre’s career, as demand for the banquet ticket was exceedingly high. While the annual Packers Hall of Fame dinner usually drawing 1,100 attendees, Delaware North’s catering team was asked to logistically plan for “as many as you can comfortably serve.”
“We always challenge ourselves to try to creatively outperform the previous year’s entrée, dessert and appetizers, and this year was no different,” Barbato said.
Delaware North’s culinary team at Lambeau cut and branded more than 1,800 filets with the Packers “G” and he number “4” to honor the Hall of Fame quarterback.
The night before the event, Farve unexpectedly showed up at 1919 Kitchen and Tap, the new Lambeau Field restaurant that Delaware North is opening. Favre was rehearsing his speech but took time to meet with Sportservice General Manager Charlie Millerwise for a quick photo opportunity. The new restaurant features a row of tables that have the Packers’ six retired numbers on them, one of which features the famed gunslinger’s No. 4. Farve (pictured at right) gladly signed the table so guests for years to come will be able to enjoy seeing his signature and be able to embrace a piece of Packers history.
“It was an incredible night,” Millerwise said. “Meeting an iconic player such as Brett Favre doesn’t happen every day. Nights like this remind me what a special job I have and are never forgotten.”
Stats from the banquet:
• 108 servers, bussers, runners and porters
• 44 bartenders and bar-backs
• 27 chefs and cooks
• 978 lbs. of tenderloin
• 12,000 hors d’ourves
• 1,000 lbs. of chicken
• 634 bottles of wine
• 6,536 assorted desserts