Canapé And Buffet Disasters

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Have you ever been to cocktail reception, served with these tiny bites of mystery food that you wonder what they were and whether it was really something you wanted to eat? Well it happens to me a lot, you get offered something the waiter him/herself do not really know what it is (mind you, you could be consuming something you are allergic to even if they assured you it does not contain it). On the other hand, buffet dinners display most dishes that you are familiar with except with a taste less than average (which means you have to settle for variation and not quality!).

With a few exceptions to the rule (like my favorite place with great quality Sheraton Amman Spice Garden) I hardly find any buffet worth going to. The steamed vegetables are usually oiled up (which defies the whole point of healthy steamed food), the chicken either over cooked and rubbery or just plain tasteless, meat is usually dry and the list goes on. I have no idea where do these things go wrong, but sincerely there must be a way to keep the quality of food at a decent level, even when you are serving different types of people.

As for the canapé, I find it very strange when they hand you out “elephant bites” and expect you to start chewing with a massive ball in your mouth standing in front of a most likely business connection. I do believe they should keep the size reasonable in order for the person to enjoy the bite without squirting the juice in someone’s eyes or maybe even just spill the rest all over the floor.

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From my point of view I have to say, canapé should be small bites of absolute culinary perfection that reflects the essence of any event it is being made for. On the other hand, buffet dinners should probably taken more care of towards the quality served and not quantities piled up (I would prefer a steak station rather than a cold overcooked one in a ready serving dish).

Is it just me? Or does anyone else find these things very common all over the world?

Loving Wishes To All

Lama

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2 thoughts on “Canapé And Buffet Disasters

  1. Hi Lama, I am not defending the dignity of the hotel speaking world, but buffets seem fairly common in hotels and have a mass market appeal [albeit for some]. On the contrary, when done well they are virtually sumptuous by comparison to what one could sample in an ala carte situation. In the Arabian penninsula they seem to be an ideal showcase because they present two characteristic situations for the hotelier – the virtual feast for the eyes and convenience to serve en masse. I do agree however that the proof is in the pudding [for want of a better word] and many buffets are both lacklustre and boring – done more so to cater for a quick meal for a time deficient visiting conference. Sorry to offend some industry professionals with a limited amount of candor but you have to blame the chef and the hotel management for this when it does happen. Hot food can be prepared fresh [for masses too] and I have seen this successfully managed and applied throughout Asia particularly Thailand and Singapore where they never fail to impress me with both quality and choice. A good culinary manager will be all over this issue and will also be able to manage this effectively even considering his cost base, particularly as today costs are eating more and more into the real profitability of these lavish spreads. Your point on canapes is well noted – I had never thought of it per say with that perspective [“small bites of absolute culinary perfection”] but I am going to take the sentiment and work on it. Personally I have seen boutique caterers do this component in events better than hotels despite hotels having a better production facitlity and opportunity to impress a guest with their ability to improvise. Good posting, always food for thought.

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