EMU's Campbell mixes work with fun at Olympics
YPSILANTI - After a long, hard day of competition, many athletes competing at the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, like to unwind with a drink.
And it may be Robert Campbell who is serving them.
Campbell, dining services manager at Eastern Michigan University’s CrossRoads Marketplace, is one of four bartenders working for Culinary Expressions International (CEI), a company hired by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to provide meals and beverages for the athletes, major sponsors and families of the athletes. He has been in Torino since Feb. 2 and will return Feb. 24.
"I am extremely honored to be one of four bartenders of the CEI staff. My job entails providing beverages to the athletes, major sponsors and families after a long day of competing," Campbell explained. "I also am a part of Budweiser's biggest promotion, called Bud Club, in Europe. A team of four bartenders, including myself, called 'mixologists,' are responsible for making several cocktails with Budweiser beer for the VIPs. It might not sound good, but it is tasty."
And Campbell has mixed with more than just athletes. Try First Lady Laura Bush.
"This year, I had the privilege of entertaining and accommodating the First Lady, Laura Bush, during her visit to the USA house," Campbell said. "This moment has become what I consider an all-time favorite Olympic moment."
And there have been many such moments as this is Campbell's third Olympics. He also worked in food and hospitality at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
He said watching the USA take home gold medals is exciting, but also expected. However, his experience with CEI has been more than he expected.
"I am a big believer in making things simple, but elegant. Culinary Expressions International
(CEI) solidifies my beliefs," he said. "A caterer does not need to spend a lot of money to make an
event look spectacular. This company knows how to make and keep things simple and, still, graciously makes our clients and customers happy."
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.
Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.