Thursday, September 01, 2011

FREE FOOD - KORBEL DINNER

On the evening of August 24, thanks to son-in-law Jonathan Moyer, I was on the receiving end of a free dinner at the downtown Denver Hyatt [well, it was almost free - we had to pay for parking].  Daughter Rachel had a work conflict, so I got to be the replacement.  The event was the Fourteen Annual Dinner for the University of Denver Joseph Korbel School of International Studies, where Jonathan is currently working toward a PhD. Basically it's a fund-raiser with lots of schmoozing and catering to rich folks, but it's also a time to recognize some folks who have had an impact in Denver and the world.  This years honorees were Chauncey Billups, Timothy and Bernadette Marquez, and Ban Ki-Moon, who also gave the keynote address.

But this is not about the event - it's about free food!  We were greeted at the top of the escalator by staff serving champagne.  Then it was on to the open bar for a Blue Moon and a glass of Merlot.  Dinner was First Course - Butter Leaf Lettuce & Endive Salad with Honey Glazed Pecans, Fresh Figs and Local Fort Collins Goat Cheese with a Sherry Garlic Vinaigrette;  Entree - Creek Stone All Natural Filet Mignon with Boursin and a Syrah Reduction, Parmesan Truffle Risotto, and Asparagus & Half Roasted Roma Tomato; Dessert - Dulce Picchu.   Everything was very good.

What is the fascination with free food?  I don't think that it's only me.  I certainly did not grow up hungry, but I think that perhaps it all started in college.  At Goshen College, the meals were strictly rationed - not even a second glass of milk was allowed during my first couple of years at GC.  And, being growing and active boys, we were always looking for more food, and the cheaper the better.  Many times we would toast up a whole loaf of bread and top it off with peanut butter and jelly.  Our roommates from Vietnam introduced us to "noodle" and we could fill up for pennies!  During graduate school days, we students would keep a keen eye out for any event that was accompanied by free food.  Thus, I became hooked on the concept that if one looked around, one could find an abundance of free food, from holiday receptions hosted by administrators to departmental seminars and gatherings to happy hours featuring free food bars.

While I still keep on the lookout for free food, our focus now is more on cheap food at Happy Hours!  But free is still good, and thanks Jon - that was the best free food I have had in some time :-)

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a young man, before marriage and career employment, I would have an occasional free "mission meal". I would don shabby clothes and show up at dinner time. It usually required participation in a short religious service (which never hurts anyone). Then off to the dining room for bread, drink, and a hearty soup or sandwich. Interesting sociological experience and good for the soul to count one's blessings.

Jonathan said...

Yea, I'm removed from this "free food" thing considerably (I'm the "Jonathan" in the post). I know that my parents were oddly taken by free food, and my grandparents even more (my grandfather would tell us stories about eating "ketchup sandwiches" during the Great Depression). My son surely will never understand this. Don't know if it's a good thing or not.

Dr S said...

Anon - interesting story. When our kids were younger and we lived in Colorado Springs, we would make soup kitchen runs to various places and pick up food that would otherwise go in the dumpster. Safeway and King Soopers always had many items, but our favorite stop was the cinnamon roll shop that had huge rolls. Each roll was individually boxed and sometimes there would be 75+ rolls to pick up. Naturally we absconded with a few before we delivered them to the Marion House Soup Kitchen! Sometimes we would help serve lunch and then partake of the meal after everyone else had eaten.

Dr S said...

Jonathan - it would appear as though there is a generational relationship to the 'free-food-syndrome.' We will have to train Elias in the old ways. :-)

Shirley said...

It's nice the Denver Hyatt supplied the details. I guess. It wasn't just any goat cheese. Just, how come the farther one gets from the barn, the more rapturous the description? Something here seems slightly delusional.

Dr S said...

Shirley - I had to chuckle at your comment about rapturous descriptions. We often make fun of the euphoric wine descriptions, the blissful descriptors of organic foods, the highbrow references to otherwise normal stuff - like cheese :-)