Sunday, February 06, 2005

I attended the OLA conference this week and was very disappointed with the catering abilities of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. I, along with three other people - whom I did not meet- requested a gluten-free meal. I was presented with a platter of cold meats (salami, etc.). I had some suspicions about the food. After all, I have heard that this type of food is problematic because of the fillers and such. I can't imagine that they called the company to verify. And so, I managed to get some rice and salad from the buffet. The other stuff was clearly off-limits. Worse was the fact that the huge pile of fruit was all gone by the time I made my way there. All that was left in the dessert area were pastries and cookies. I have the email address for the catering service, so I plan to let them know that the MTCC is not, despite what I was told, a "world class organization." At other conferences, I have had no difficulty obtaining a special meal that is a "real meal", not a last minute platter of cold cuts that clearly required no thought. I don't think I am being unreasonable.


zebby said...

yeah. it's really not that hard to make a gluten free meal, it just takes some information - and unadulterated non packaged foods. ($$$) it's also something pretty strange to realize how often wheat is in products. i think there's alot of ignorance when it comes to people realizing what they are eating. alot of people understand peanut allergies and get a mental image of anaphalactic shock in their head. but unless you turn blue, people tend to be cranky about it. i was at an extended family gathering, where they were "trying" to be accomodating, but they were annoyed at having to deviate from their recipes, which required a tablespoon of flour - for thickening. i even heard mumbling in the background about putting it in anyway, it's not very much, and "no i CAN"T USE bread crumbs now" with a visible eyeroll. (so yeah, i didn't eat. actually i left early)

i've totally been sick from eating sausages, so now i don't eat them.

the strange thing about restaurants, is that i used to think it was special to eat out, but half the time (on my budget anyway) they use the crapiest food, with crappy ready made sauces, and the cooks have no background that would enlighten them about nutrition, food allergies, cross contamination, and undestandably, because they generally get paid badly, even for high end unionized chef jobs, with chef school backgrounds.
it sounds like they thought you were on an atkins diet or something.

Anonymous said...

For the MTCC to not be able to provide a GF meal is ridiculous. I've generally found conference (hotel/convention centre) caterers to be very accomodating and able to provide just about any type of special meal, even in much smaller cities. I would definitely complain, Brian.