Really, need I say more after this?
le gros jambon, montreal, qc
I don’t go to many conferences, at least by comparison to what seems like the majority of conferencers. I do enjoy the ones I carefully choose to attend. And among the ones I have attended, they’re always well-organized, interesting (for the most part), held at interesting venues, have lots of free swag(!) and provide a nice environment to network (actually, that depends on the topic and who’s there). For the most part, I’m not complaining. Well maybe the prices are a bit high – I mean do we all really need to be given yet another weird and intensely coloured reusable drawstring backpack?
Recently I attended a conference and saw some people I knew, met some new ones and had a good time. I met a guy from Google which really was the cherry on top. I don’t know why it made my day better, but they have great branding and I use a lot of Google products. Anyway, whilst being herded into a messy queue for the buffet lunch, a friend suggested I write about food at conferences because no one ever talks about a shortage of food at conferences. Why? Because everyone is treated like a herd of cows who need to be fattened up before slaughter. Sorry for being graphic, but that’s the corporate feel.
Let me start from the beginning.
Knowing that breakfast will be served, I made an easy decision to eat breakfast at home and timed my arrival such that I would only be able to hang my jacket, grab a tea and check out the crowd before the conference started. I looked at the breakfast spread and it was great – many different types of muffins, mountains of pastries and platters of fruit. I got a sugar high from just glancing at the food. “Good thing I ate at home.” I thought to myself.
Sessions began and before I knew it, it was morning recess.
Back out at the reception area I saw another spread of pastries and sugary goodness for all! Perhaps they were leftovers from breakfast? I somehow manage to avoid them before the sessions began again.
Then it was finally lunch time!
That’s where I found myself in a herd of conferencers with a couple of friends.
The food itself wasn’t bad. I’m not going to sit here and say it was horrible and nasty. It was somewhat Italian themed. The antipasto spread was nice. We’re not in Italy, so there were some lunch meats in there. The caesar salad was very creamy, but as I understand it, those who like caesar salad like it saucy.
Both vegetarian and meat lasagna was served and I had the vegetarian one. It definitely looked better than the meat lasagna, which appeared to be hamburger between strips of overcooked pasta. I do have to give credit for the amount of vegetables that were served – garlic rapini and roasted fennel. Usually you’ll just get some potatoes or overcooked beans.
They also served some dessert with lunch – a medley of various cake/loaves. But I couldn’t even finish off what was on my plate!
And of course, after lunch – back for more speakers until afternoon recess…
This time they had cookies – more importantly oatmeal raisin cookies. I had several. No one can keep me away from oatmeal raisin cookies or ginger molasses cookies or spice cookies or gingerbread and really, most cookies.
In conclusion, I’m just glad they didn’t serve sandwiches :P
Beginning in February and running until June is the Food on Film series at TIFF. It brings together foodies and film buffs, as well as culinary experts together in one place. Every month TIFF will feature a guest that will do a talk and among them, David Chang of Momofuku fame.
It’s a subscription event, which means you’re going to have to shell out for a package of tickets which is $180 for those non-members and $153 for members. I read on The Grid that TIFF may release single tickets depending on availability. Definitely don’t count on seeing David Chang if you’re banking on single tickets…
Here is the schedule of events/talks:
- Wednesday, February 13 – Claire Stubbs on I Am Love
- Wednesday, March 13 – James Oseland on The Trip
- Wednesday, April 3 – David Chang on Eat Drink Man Woman
- Wednesday, April 24 – Aldo Sohm on Sideways
- Wednesday, May 15 – Anita Stewart on Food Inc.
- Wednesday, June 19 – Kent Kirshenbaum on El Bulli: Cooking in Progress
When am I not daydreaming and dreaming of Italy? Rarely.
Ever since I traveled to Italy, I could never get it out of my mind. The architecture, history, music, beauty, food and people; definitely a dream. I feel like I’ve written a lot about Italy for some reason, but whatever! It’s my favourite topic.
I just finished watching episodes of No Reservations where Anthony Bourdain goes to Sicily, Naples, Rome, Venice and Tuscany (yeah, it has been my goal to just veg out on the couch watching No Reservations for Christmas holiday. An easy goal to accomplish!). The Tuscany episode really hits me. It is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth. I don’t know what it is about Tuscany, but words, pictures and video cannot describe or do it justice.
And of course, the food. Italian food has to be one of my favourite cuisines. I’d eat Italian food for the rest of my life. Italian food is very close to Chinese food – which is probably why I love it so much. The cuisine varies so much from meaty, to vegetable, to saucy, to simple and then complex. There are offal dishes, wild game dishes, seafood, raw food…everything. *cue salivation
Italy romanced me and I can never go back to anything less than Italia. And with that, I’ll leave you all with some vacation pictures and No Reservations Tuscany :)
Great Thai food in the Market
While the music can feel too club- and lounge-like, the food definitely makes up for music choice. The pad thai was great – something I would compare closely with that at KSR. Also tried the Khao Soi, which was amazing! The coconut soup base was fragrant and flavourful; which in turn made the beef and egg noodles fragrant. Looking forward to more visits here!
It may be sad and disappointing for some that Habaneros will be no more. But I for one never appreciated Mexican food, so I am EXTREMELY EXCITED that Sukhothai will be opening in the old Habaneros location (Wellington/Church).
This will somewhat satisfy my love for noodles. Salivating right now. I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to a Monday this much…