It’s the caterers I feel sorry for

by Jeanne on January 13, 2006

in Table scraps

Well, after knocking myself out to get the banner up and running, I feel I need a little break.  So tomorrow morning I’m leaving on a jet plane fast train for Paris for the weekend.  Aaaah, French food!!  Can’t wait.  So it’s au revoir from me and I’ll leave you with this to amuse you for the weekend:

A London firm recently held a staff function (not a Christmas function, mind you… that’s just faaaar to un-PC these days :o)) and, as you do, the catering firm sent out an e-mail to everybody a few days in advance, asking if people had any specific dietary requirements.  Read that last line again.  Dietary requirements. I ask you to keep this in mind when you read the rest of this post.  Now, when somebody asks me about dietary requirements in a mass-catering context, I assume they need to know stuff  like “I need a Halaal meal” or “I am vegetarian” or “Allergic to nuts – will foam at the mouth and die, causign you great embarrassment and inconvenience”.  However, this lot clearly have an inflated idea of how accommodating any catering company can possibly be – and some seemed to lose track of the “dietary” part of the question altogether.

So here, for your astonishment and your reading pleasure is a list of the actual dietary requests received in response to the caterer’s question:

  • Nothing slimy
  • Gluten free vegetarian meal [so far so good]; allergic to tomatoes [fair enough]; and I don’t really like peppers or raisins either [now you’re having a laugh!]
  • Nothing with oysters in it [clearly you over-estimate the firm’s entertainment budget!!]
  • Meat and beer
  • No tripe and onions [and, erm, how often have you seen these served at large functions?]
  • I don’t eat eggs as a savoury dish on their own [maybe as a sweet dish on their own??]
  • No snails or frogs legs [I guess puppy dog tails would be out of the question, then?]
  • I don’t like wine or beer – will only drink watermelon Bacardi Breezers
  • Can I have the sauce on the side of my plate as opposed to on my food?
  • I need lots of food/big appetite/lots and lots [OMG, they employ Homer Simpson?]
  • I will be coming from the Bristol office [your point being?]
  • Cow’s diary free [cows keep journals??  What next – mooblogging??]
  • I don’t like balloons [maybe you’re just not cookign the long enough!]

And that’s all for now folks.  See you next week!

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Johanna-Maria Wagner January 13, 2006 at 10:50 pm

thanks jeanne, you really made my evening. laughed my head off. even chris managed to squeeze out a faint smile (you know that IS a testament to your humour!!!). and as much as i love nick, i am thoroughly enjoying his absence, as it means that you’re posting more frequently ;-) ENJOY PARIS!

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Johanna-Maria Wagner January 13, 2006 at 10:50 pm

thanks jeanne, you really made my evening. laughed my head off. even chris managed to squeeze out a faint smile (you know that IS a testament to your humour!!!). and as much as i love nick, i am thoroughly enjoying his absence, as it means that you’re posting more frequently ;-) ENJOY PARIS!

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Johanna-Maria Wagner January 13, 2006 at 10:50 pm

thanks jeanne, you really made my evening. laughed my head off. even chris managed to squeeze out a faint smile (you know that IS a testament to your humour!!!). and as much as i love nick, i am thoroughly enjoying his absence, as it means that you’re posting more frequently ;-) ENJOY PARIS!

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sam January 14, 2006 at 4:21 pm

that’s funny – looking forward to reading about paris maybe?

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celiaK January 14, 2006 at 11:30 pm

Hahaha! thanks for making me laugh … :)
Btw, congratulations for being named one of the 5 best foodblogs in the Olive magazine Feb 2006. Hip hip hooray!!

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ejm January 15, 2006 at 11:55 am

I particularly like the request for “nothing slimy”. And as for tripe and onions, isn’t that basically haggis? Might haggis not be served at a Christm Staff Function? Or perhaps it’s the tripe and onion combination that the person has a problem with. The biochemical reaction of the two cause the person to break out in oozing hives or something.
I can’t tell you how very very envious I am that you can take a fast train to Paris for the weekend. I think I need to move to a different continent….
-Elizabeth
P.S. I don’t like balloons either. They’re so loud when first pierced with a knife and fork, not to mention SO hard to digest!

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Laura January 15, 2006 at 5:32 pm

*giggling helplessly* This is GREAT….

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melissa_cookingdiva January 15, 2006 at 8:50 pm

It’s quite true, funny and sad at the same time. I’ve been there! Hope you had a great weekend! Hugs,
M

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millie Garfield January 16, 2006 at 1:50 am

Everything on your banner looks good enough to eat!

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anthony January 16, 2006 at 3:05 pm

The Bacardi Breezer person doesn’t deserve to drink.

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Christina January 17, 2006 at 2:06 pm

LOL! The Breezer one is definitely my favorite.

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Jeanne January 17, 2006 at 2:29 pm

Hi Johanna
Wow!! A smile from Chris – now that is a rare compliment indeed! ;-) Glad you enoyed it – and that you’re reaping the benefits of Nick’s absence, what with my renewed blogging vigour!
Hi Sam
Erm, yes, blogging Paris… I may have to start with my June trip first (chronology freak that I am…) but I promise that while N is away and I don’t have a camera to do new posts, I will use the time to catch up on all the wonderful trips I have taken but never blogged. (had a great time though… just too short!)
Hi Celia
Glad you enjoyed that!! It certainly makes you wonder whether people actually engage their brains before putting pen to paper… And thanks for the Olive compliment – it came as a very pleasant surprise to me!
Hi Elizabeth
LOL picturing the biochemical reaction… Haggis would need oatmeal too methinks – not that I am intimately acquainted with it!! Re. balloons – I always thought they were an excellent source of indigestible fibre – you know, balloons keep you regular and all that :o) And I have to say that you’re not the only person who was a teensy bit jealous of the Paris jaunt!!
Hi Laura
Glad you liked it – it certainly tickled me!
Hi Melissa
I can only imagine that there are even weirder requests out there if you happen to find yuorself in the catering industry!! My sympathy. Hope you got/get out with your sanity intact ;-) And the weekend was fab, thanks – I hope to get round to blogging it soon, in my renewed spirit of regular blogging!!
Hi Millie
Thanks *blush*! Once I started designing the banner, I was amazed at how many pretty food photos I have taken since I started blogging. I really need to start putting them on the site or on Flickr…
Hi Anthony & Christina
And what’s wrong with watermelon Bacardi Breezers?? Apart from the colour, the taste, the ingredients, the target market… ;-) Oh well, maybe we can take the red balloons that her colleague won’t be eating and use them as colouring and flavouring in the next batch of BBs… Who would ever be any the wiser??!

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Pille January 19, 2006 at 7:05 pm

Hi Jeanne – this was amusing. I’ll keep your post in mind next time I fill in the “special dietary requirements” field:)

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keiko January 19, 2006 at 11:59 pm

Hi Jeanne, fantastic post as usual, and I hope you had a great time!

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Jeanne January 23, 2006 at 6:36 pm

Hi Pille
I know – I think I have been faaaaar to restrained up to now when making dietary requests! Next time it will be more along the lines of “I am allergic to everything except truffles” or “I would like a large slab of roast pork belly with crackling, but it must contain no cholseterol” ;-)
Hi Keiko
Glad you enjoyed it – always good to start the new year giggling!

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