Sports Illustrated: Vanderbilt Dining Table, Chef “Magic” Noori Tops in the Nation 8/9/02

The Vanderbilt training table and its culinary genius Majid “Magic” Noori provide the finest on-campus athletic dining experience in America, according to Sports Illustrated.

In its annual College Football Preview edition that arrived in mailboxes Thursday, Sports Illustrated praised Noori in its two-page spread, saying “the Commodores are fed like champs” through the chef’s selection of gourmet meals. It is the second such honor for Noori, who is entering his 12th year as executive chef of the Hendrix Room training facility in McGugin Center.

Noori was excited about the recognition. “These athletes are special people to me, so I treat them special,” he said. “I have an athletic background myself, so I know how they are feeling. When it’s time for them to eat, I want to give them that extra lift.”

A Sports Illustrated photographer spent six hours on campus last week preparing for the four-color picture than graces the magazine’s Aug. 12th edition. Several players, including kicker Abtin Iranmanesh, quarterback Benji Walker, safety Nick Lyle, offensive tackle Nigel Seaman and defensive tackle Robert Dinwiddie, joined Noori in the photograph.

According to the magazine, Noori’s staff feds 130 players, coaches and staffers at each meal during the hot August preseason conditioning period. The typical amounts of food consumed daily - 320 pounds of beef, 170 potatoes, 200 bananas, 750 eggs and 125 gallons of fruit drinks to name a few - is staggering.

Noori, a native of Iran, was a competitive swimmer at the University of Tehran where he graduated with degrees in physical education and sports science. Since joining Vanderbilt in 1990, he has become nationally known for his culinary expertise, and has frequently appeared on national print and television, including USA Today and CBS This Morning. The Vanderbilt training table has captured numerous honors during Noori’s tenure, including the prestigious Ivy Award for overall excellence in 1998. Several other athletic teams, including the Nashville-based Tennessee Titans, consult Noori regarding their culinary needs.


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