Food is what connects people. It brings people together without needing any introductions or explanations. It is what sits people from different backgrounds down at the same table and share a sensory moment that creates a memorable experience. For a meaningful event, consider quality, sustainability and inclusivity when choosing the culinary options. Smart Meetings has rounded up the top food and beverage stories from 2023 that discuss these topics and more.
For attendees who have been to many events, many venues and had a wide variety of experiences, it can be hard to remember details. What sets an event apart? The food. Not only the quality of the food, but where the food is sourced, sustainability, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options, and expressing personality and local culture through cuisine. Smart Meetings offers tips on how food and beverage can be the element of an event that creates a lasting impression in the memories of attendees.
The cruise industry has shed itself of the stereotype of having sub-par food served via never-ending buffet lines. Cruise ships today are serving 5-star restaurant quality food and cocktails from top-tier mixologists. Culinary legends such as Jacques Pepin, Adam Sachs and Daniel Boulud have become culinary directors and culinary ambassadors for cruise lines. In addition to enjoying the fare, guests can enjoy lectures from food experts, witness cooking demonstrations and receive lessons from the best.
Martha Stewart is an internationally celebrated icon who has inspired the culinary and hospitality industries with her talent, wit and perseverance in the face of adversity. In her “golden years,” Martha and others featured in this article discuss how they continue to thrive, create new projects and pursue new ventures. Read more about the contributor’s journeys, the refusal to let age be an adversary and how the mature years may just be the best yet.
Accommodating the dietary requests of attendees creates an atmosphere of attentive hospitality and inclusion for everyone. Those who identify as vegans have many different reasons to live that lifestyle and it is important to plan a menu that has options. Smart Meetings listed some domestic and international culinary venues that serve high-end cuisine sans animal products.
While many event professionals, catering services and event venues are interested in donating the leftovers from an event to charitable causes, the health risks of transporting and delivering food causes them to hesitate. However, in January, 2023, President Biden signed the Food Donation Improvement Act to protect the meetings/events industry from any liability should they choose to donate food to those in need. Read more about the mutually beneficial relationship between the hospitality industry and organizations working to fight hunger.