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Chea Krey, the 62-year-old chef who cooked for 100 rowers during the festival.
Chea Krey, the 62-year-old chef who cooked for 100 rowers during the festival. Eli Meixler

Feeding the masses

It takes more than just pork and rice to power a rower through long days on the water.

Chea Krey, 62, from Kandal province, has spent the Water Festival preparing food for 100 hungry boatmen – dishes packed with meat and vitamin-rich vegetables like omelets, eggs, vegetable stir fries and beef soups. He’s been the team’s cook for 30 years.

“I have cooked for many people of different generations, so I know how to prepare special food for people, especially rowers who come from the provinces.”

Each day, for three meals, he spent $250 – about $0.75 for each individual meal.

 “Sometimes it’s hard to find good food for a lot of people, but I’m happy to help them, and I want to see more people come to support the Water Festival,” he said.



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