EXCLUSIVE: Head chef reveals Athletes' Village menu for SEA Games

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(CNN Philippines, November 14) — The head chef of the Athletes' Village has revealed the menu for the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Chef Bruce Lim shared to CNN Philippines the list of dishes that will be served during the biennial sports meet.

"It's almost like a hotel buffet setup. We're gonna have a soup station with bread, fresh fruits, desserts, there's going to be seven choices of main dishes, and we'll double check with the nutritionist from every team if they want complex carbs or regular carbs," he said.

"That's why we're working very hard with every nutritionist from every country to tell us the needs of the athletes," he added.

Lim, who is also a member of Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee, noted that the main dining hall in the Athletes' Village will be open everyday.

"The main dining hall is 24/7. We have breakfast, lunch, and dinner service."

The Athletes’ Village is inside the New Clark City in Tarlac. It can accommodate up to 1,800 guests with amenities that include a gym, basketball court, leisure rooms, lounge areas, and conference rooms.

Halal, Haram food to be served

To cater to the dietary needs of Muslim athletes, Lim said all dishes in the main dining hall are Halal-certified.

Halal is the Arabic word for permissible. Halal food adheres to Islamic law as defined in the Koran.

"The main dining hall for the Athletes' Village is 100 percent Halal. We will be serving Haram food in our workforce dining hall. The difference between Halal and Haram — Halal has no pork, no alcohol, anything that wasn't slaughtered in a proper manner, Haram food is pretty much pork, anything with alcohol in it."

Lim said the organizers took all steps to make sure that the food will meet the highest Halal standard.

"We really took a major step in ensuring everything is Halal. There's a Malaysian governing body coming to certify our kitchen is 100 percent Halal. Even our system on where we get our food, the entire chain has to be Halal-certified as well.

Lim said his team specializes in different types of cuisine to adjust to the taste of the athletes.

"My chefs are well-versed in Western, Chinese, Japanese cuisine."

The 2019 SEA Games will run from November 30 to December 11. This edition is the biggest yet as it features 56 sports and 523 events spread across 39 venues in Clark, Subic, Tagaytay, La Union, Batangas, and Metro Manila.