Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Another of those walking to work trains of thought

This is my week of librarian conferences - went to one in Nashville over the weekend, and tomorrow I'm going for an overnighter at one here in WI (at the waterpark hotel, that is now vying for conference biz; I went to one there last winter) Today while I was walking to work I was thinking aout how the food in these hotels is sort of the last frontier - no matter how enlightened we are in our eating at other places, it's likely to take a real dive at a conference. I always come back feeling overfed and underexercised.

And no wonder - at the conference, the hotel was feeding 300+ people at our events, and we were not the only group in the hotel. So I guess gummy, lukewarm pasta was pretty much the best they could do. The salads were pretty good, and for the big sit-down lunch, the desserts were total overkill: chocolate cannoli - the deep-fried shell dipped in chocolate, creating a good thick layer, with mascarpone-cream filling; I could only eat half. AND tiramisu.

A couple of times I have heard people talking about radical chefs taking over the conference food, and sourcing everything local and seasonal, and I even went to a food policy summit here in WI, in March, where everything was local, including hoop-house spinach for the salad, execept the flour in the bread - it was baked locally, though.

That certainly sounds like a niche that I could maybe move into, sustainable conference food, as we try to try on some of the alternate lives we could of had. Certainly working with the Willy Street Co-op, it could be done. A long time ago, I catered a national lawyers' guild conference, lefty lawyers, I made them enchiladas and salads and cookies for dinner, and quiche and fruit and coffee for breakfast, using the licensed kitchen at the co-op dorm where I used to cook.

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