Latvia’s best basketballers become chefs for a day

The Latvian national men’s basketball team is playing two important FIBA World Cup qualifiers this week – at home against Montenegro, and on Sunday in Ljubljana against current European champions Slovenia. In order raise spirits and teambuilding, as well as maintain a positive atmosphere, the Latvian squad gathered for a special dinner. However, the players and coaching staff prepared the dinner themselves, accepting Putnu Fabrika Ķekava’s challenge to prepare not only a tasty meal, but also a healthy Christmas dinner.

“This week we mark the First Advent, the start of our countdown to Christmas. Richly laid tables are a tradition in Latvia, so that the next year will be just as prosperous. Thus, maintaining your waistline becomes a complicated task during the year-end festivities. A healthy diet serves not only as a foundation for athletes, but also helps us all feel better on a daily basis. Thus, we challenged the Latvian basketball team to prepare traditional, yet healthy Latvian dishes, including roast chicken, and for them to remember the recipes for their family gathering over the holidays,’’ said Andrius Pranckevičius, board chairman of joint-stock Putnu Fabrika Ķekava. 

Latvian national team players Rolands Freimanis, Ronalds Zaķis, Kaspars Bērziņš, Artūrs Strautiņš, as well as head coach Arnis Vecvagars and the general secretary of the Latvian Basketball Association Edgars Šneps arrived for the advent dinner and roast chicken master class. Together with chef Arvis Zēmanis and the board chairman of Ķekava Andrius Pranckevičius, the guys prepared four different roast chicken marinades for their Christmas recipes – garlic and honey, herb and horseradish, orange, as well as something more unusual – berry and peppermint marinade. At the conclusion of the master class, these healthy chicken roasts were enjoyed for dinner by the participants.

Latvian forward Rolands Freimanis, who plays for Turkish club Gaziantep: “I really wish to be home for Christmas, but it is not yet clear at the moment whether my club will allow me. I want to be together with my close ones. Mom lays the dinner table during the holidays, but I cook for myself on a daily basis, because it is important for me to know what is in my food and that it is of good quality. I frequently make my meals with poultry, which is why the healthy chicken roast recipes I learned today will certainly be put into use in the future.”

As reported, the Latvian Basketball Association and Putnu Fabrika Ķekava teamed up this past September, signing a sponsorship agreement with the Latvian national men’s basketball team until the end of this season.

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