If I have to name a least favorite food, I would say it’s anything that comes out of a hotel catering kitchen served in a big chafing dish.
Doesn’t matter what it is, if I’m in some fucking banquet hall or conference room that’s cold enough to hang sides of beef at 12:30 in the goddamn afternoon, whatever’s in that dish is my least favorite food.
When you start traveling a lot for work, you end up seeing the insides of a lot of hotel conference rooms. And after 15 or so, they all look exactly the same. Doesn’t matter what state you’re in, what hotel chain it is, or what the purpose of the meeting is, you’ve seen one hotel conference room, you’ve seen every single one of them. The carpets are ugly as shit, the lighting makes you feel like Tom Hanks at the beginning of Joe Versus the Volcano, there’s a pad and pencil with the name and logo of whatever hotel this is in front of you, and a there’s a dish of shitty hard candies every third person.
And then comes lunch. Oh christ, lunch. Salad, horrendous looking cooked vegetable dish, potato dish that laughs in God’s face at how peculiarly disappointing it is, bizarre attempt at regionalizing a meat dish, lighter meat dish with equally perplexing sauce choice, bread rolls, soup station (usually), carving station (nice hotels only – doesn’t matter, meat is terrible), dessert station on other side of hall, iced tea, coffee, water.
Afterward, you will feel like shit. You will have basically shoveled three Paula Deens worth of butter and oil into your system (even if you only ate salad and bread rolls), and your system now hates you. Again, it doesn’t matter where you are as I attended meetings within weeks of each other at one of the nicest hotels in Houston, TX and one of the absolute shittiest hotels in Casper, WY. I felt equally disgusting after each.
I remember one particularly brutal stretch of conferences I attended, where at one of them I simply couldn’t bear the thought of eating anymore catering food. I felt like throwing my own personal hissy fit, but instead decided to go punk rock on it and ditched the conference altogether with one of my consultants, got some real lunch, and ended up fucking off the entire afternoon with them. It was killer.
Three years ago, Kristin and I didn’t serve dinner at our wedding reception. After now eating more lunches and dinners from hotel catering departments than I can even recall… this decision has retroactively made my wedding 20% better.
Fuck hotel catering.