There were many others tablethat I didn't get pictures at. Several additional notable products were from:
- Rosemary & Sea Salt Walnuts from California Walnuts. Gonna be making these with the fresh dried rosemary!
- Girl & the Fig - Sonoma country restaurant with concentrated and full fruit fig based products. Several of the spreads complimented a roast pork bite they had on the table.
- Vignette Wine Country Soda - I had never thought about naturally fermenting wine grape juice into soda until I had this product. Something new for me to try next year. And low in sugar so they aren't as bad for you as other options.
- Australian Lamb - Lamb isn't something I have that often so I was curious to taste some. The meat was soft and flavorful with just enough of that gameyness that meats beyond beef are known for. I asked how likely it was that I would be able to get Australian lamb at home and it turns out quite a few large grocery chains carry it. Something to look for.
“The food was ok. There is nothing outright bad to say, but that doesn't say much. Catered food is tough, but it can still be good.”
I really didn't have a problem with what I was served. I didn't have any expectations so it could have gone higher but the fact that it didn't is fine. I could have said it was amazing to be nice, but why? What I did say conveyed the reality in front of me and being nice just to be nice is so over. In the end I was distracted with conversation and meeting new people so I didn't really care much about the food.
The one topic I got involved in at dinner and continued conversations about through brunch the next day was the vegetarian/vegan meal for the Saturday dinner. Just so we are clear, I am an omnivore, I’ll eat anything. I have tried some foods, not liked them and will not likely eat them again but that is a preference, not a lifestyle nor medically necessary.
Based on what I saw the catering staff and kitchen were not well prepared to serve as many “alternative” meals as was needed. That’s too bad because Foodbuzz asked about people’s preferences and in the asking there is an expectation. So what should be done?
One idea, thanks Miriam, is to serve a vegan meal to everyone. But why? There are several reasons. First off, it would be cost effective. Buying in bulk for any catered meal keeps the cost manageable and the more the better. Serving the same meal to all maximizes that idea. On top of that consider the creative challenge doing this would represent, and the uniqueness of the meal that could have been presented. It would have gotten everyone talking, even the omnivores like me. Finally it would have been logistically simpler. Cut out the confusion for service. Something for next year and I hope someone from Foodbuzz sees this and considers the idea.
Dessert came and again it was omnivore-centric. I was feeling a bit militant for my underfed peers at this point. Again, there was nothing wrong with dessert, it just didn't inspire me.
A big thank you is due to Foodbuzz, the sponsors and all of my fellow participants for creating such a fun weekend. I’ve offered my critical feedback and I've also shared my stories of what I enjoyed and the fun I had meeting new people. Good and not so good all wrapped up together. See, I used a meaningless word again, good, but I think you get my point.
And I have to put the following photo in just so Greg can leave me a comment asking me why the hell I did it! Sometimes things just have to be done…