Kelly the Culinarian: Food for thought: Who's important according to the food tray

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Food for thought: Who's important according to the food tray

At Medill, we have a ton of speakers. For example, last night, Nigel Parsons came to speak in the DC newsroom. He is the president of Al Jazeera English, a broadcast news station headquartered in Doha, Qatar. He came to speak about the formation of the station, the state of network news and how they "set the news agenda."

Regardless, there was food at this reception as well as white and red wine. The food was standard -- various cheeses, crackers and fruit arranged nicely and eaten readily by starving reporters/students.

It got me thinking about food at speeches and such and how you can gauge the importance of the event based upon the food. For example, when Dean John Lavine comes to talk at/with the graduate students once per quarter, he orders us greasy garden-variety pizza. Then again, the students who are paying a ton in tuition aren't particularly important to him.

However, when my Media Management Project made a final presentation regarding the newspaper we created for our client, we ordered a spread of food and beverages because this was an important audience of industry people we wanted to keep happy.

Another example is my friend Rachael attended her sister's meticulously planned wedding last week and took the two photos at towards the bottom of the page. More than a year in the making, this wedding was quite lavish and in order to match the mood of the wedding and honor both the ceremony and all the people who made it happen, the bride and groom served up some pretty awesome food. There was a southern comfort food station with the classiest macaroni and cheese you've ever seen and a sandwich bar designed to fit everyone's tastes with so many option in between. I've heard glorious things about the veggies, the bread baskets and the appetizers.

So the next time you're at an event, take a moment and check out the food. It's an insight into what the host is trying to convey and the importance of the event to them. There's a certain psychology to the types of food ordered and the message behind it, so take a minute to reflect on it.

11 comments:

daphne said...

I certainly agree with you. People flock to the food and people talk about the food in events. Certainly that is important to any function.

Asha said...

Never thought of that before! I will next time!:))

People St.Clair said...

This is so true, having planned events the food is a very important element because it speaks volumes about how the host feels abour their guest. One of the things guest remember is the food.

Valli said...

Sometimes the food can make or break an event. Food is always an imprortant part of any event. I remember my holidays even sometimes by where I have eaten and can recommend a restaurant or not. On a different note the magazine you mentioned Home Cuisine sounds like a good publication. I live in Canada and as far as I know it is not on the shelves. We get a magazine called Taste of Home that is from the States, plus Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Cooking Light...etc. The chicken dish is a classic so probably the same recipe with simple ingredients passed down from generation to generation. I think it is similar to Piccata.

Fruit species said...

Food is always the universal language in almost every aspects. Stumbled in. Fruity.

Matthew said...

I agree Kelly. If I was at an event and it was just I would be like what IS this LOL??!!1!

I was at an event one time where they had corm on the cob - can you imagine? Someone didn't think THAT through let me tell you. But the speaker had AIDS and it was a serious talk.

stay-at-home mum said...

Food is very impt - esp to Singaporeans! We will travel far and wide for good food.

Hmm - those cheeses look good. I love cheese. Just not into blue cheese yet.

VeggieGirl said...

The quality, quantity, and variety of food served at events is most DEFINITELY of high importance, and reflects the host's concern and interest in his or her guests. This is a wonderful, insightful post, Kelly! :0)

tigerfish said...

I need to pay attention in future, if food have special meanings in certain event. Usually I'm so hungry that I'll just eat! OOps!

bhags said...

I think food is the most important thing wherever one goes...coz its always on ones mind...:)

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Very interesting. I once went to a party that highlighted alcohol and cheese and mini weiners. What should I think of that? :)