Planning food for 3000 plus people!
We were new to all of this. Didn’t really know what we were getting into but were determined to do it. Food committee was a group of more than ten women who really enjoyed cooking and feeding. We started planning a lot of things but soon realized how many rules, regulations we had to deal with from the convention venue as well as the banquette venue.
General committee members thought that there should be food stalls which can be rented to local restaurants where they can sell their food. Some thought it should not be only Indian food so a Chinese food stall was added. To manage crowd and avoid long lines for payments by cash or credit card we decided to sell food ticket stamps of different denominations. Food committee wanted to have a caterer who could make Maharashtrian food but there was none in the Bay Area so we drove to LA and back in one day to taste food by the only Maharashtrian food caterer in the LA area. Along with the food we also worked on décor, music, ambiance etc. Since the Banquette venue didn’t allow Indian food to be catered by others we had to settle for Indian food prepared by the non Indian chefs who cooked for the café at the venue. The tasing session was really good however on the day of banquette they could not manage the taste, quantity or the quality of the food.
People rushed to the banquette after a day full of sessions and ready to eat the appetizers. Where did the appetizing papads go from the appetizer plates? Guess they already made it to the stomachs of attendees who got there first ! In 1999 Bay Area didn’t have as many Indian restaurants and also the hotels didn’t allow Indian food catered for the guests. Indian restaurants were not used to catering food for thousands. How things have changed for good! We Indians have come a long way in a very short time.
BMM2024 Food will be a challenge yet will be an enjoyable experience with so many food varieties available and also so many dedicated committee members ready to put in all their creativity and efforts to make it a successful event. I am truly excited to be part of the food committee and looking forward to working with this exceptionally talented group while developing friendships along the way.
All of the 1999 Food Committee members have still remained as good friends!