Hyatt of Valencia prepares for Amgen Tour guests

Hyatt executive chef Daniel Csotai shows locally-sources oranges and clementines to the Signal in the Hyatt's freezer on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. The hotel is preparing to host teams of Tour of California riders on May 17. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Participants in this year’s Amgen Tour of California will speed into Santa Clarita next month, allowing local hotels to provide them with a place for them to eat and stay.

Hyatt of Valencia is already preparing to feed and house the cyclists and their teams who will be in town for the event in mid-May, as the finish line by the mall is across the street.

The hotel’s general manager Eric Ducat said the Hyatt has been accommodating Amgen guests for as long as the race has had a stop in Santa Clarita.

“It’s great, not just for the Hyatt, but for the entire community,” Ducat said. “It brings a lot of business in. It’s really fun to be at the finish line. I would say the amount of business that comes in just from Amgen alone is great from the tour, but then additionally from everyone coming to see it.”

According to Ducat, the hotel’s 244 rooms will be filled to capacity during the race. A cycling enthusiast himself, Ducat said he always enjoys seeing the same people race in person that he sees race internationally on television.

For the most part, serving Amgen guests is business as usual for Ducat, besides having about $3 million worth of bicycles lined up outside of the hotel.

“Hyatt’s thing is, we care for people so they can be at their best,” Ducat said. “That’s what we really try to represent, to care for whoever comes in the doors. We love them coming through and we want to keep them coming back.”

Executive Chef Daniel Csotai is gearing up for his first Amgen race as a Hyatt employee and said his menus for cyclists will be high in protein and carbs and low in fat. Cyclists’ nutritionists send over specific diet restrictions to the hotel about three weeks ahead of time.

“A lot of protein gives them the extra boost they need on the pedals,” Csotai said. “It’s a challenge, it’s fun, it’s not restrictive. In this industry, in this day and age, you really have to accept the fact that individuals or groups have dietary needs and restrictions and requirements.”

For spectators who stay at the hotel, this is another opportunity for Csotai and his team to show off their skills in their usual dining room and bar menus, he said.

The 140-person staff, about 60 or so of whom work in food and beverage services, will prepare primarily locally-sourced, non-GMO food.

“We staff enough people to meet just about any need the city or area can throw at us,” he said. “We have a very capable culinary team. We’re comfortable enough and we’ll be able to meet their needs as far as production and service.”

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